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  • Rev Horror

Bad CGI Sharks

Dir. MaJaMa (2019)

When two brothers come together to discuss a shark movie they wrote as kids, they find that the shark has escaped their script and is hunting them in the real world, no water required.


There are a lot of really bad shark movies out there, trying their best to capitalize off of the inexplicable shark craze that rose to prominence after the 2013 release of Sharknado. Don’t get me wrong: shark movies have trickled in ever since the success of Jaws, but the last decade or so has given us about 1,320,047 shark movies, most of which are God-fucking-awful. Thankfully, MaJaMa, a directorial team made from actors Matteo Molinari and Jason and Matthew Ellsworth, actually have a decent sense of humor to go with their shark aspirations and brought us Bad CGI Sharks. This film is a meta-shark movie, wherein a pretentious director who has the ability to put screenwriters into their films to give them a better handle of their material and turns his magic towards the JaMa part of MaJaMa, inserting them into their childhood script “Sharks Outta Water” about sharks hunting people in suburbia.

Matthew and Jason are estranged siblings, with Matthew trying to grow up and start a career in California while Jason is the man-child still living in their childhood home in New Jersey. After their dad kicks Jason out of the house, the pair are reunited to begin work on their epic movie idea once again. Unfortunately, they quickly find themselves running from the subject of their film as a CGI shark begins swimming the streets of Hollywood looking for people to eat. The film plays all of it for laughs, in no way taking itself or its subject seriously at all, but it manages to do it in a way that is actually funny (and not in a “so bad it’s funny” way.) Bad CGI Sharks makes fun of all of those other sharksploitation movies, utilizing juvenile humor and, well, bad CGI, and all of the problems that come with it, to deliver a legitimately interesting story about two brothers thrust into their own creative device.

Bad CGI Sharks is more Velocipastor than Toxic Shark: it doesn’t really even try to make sense, and it continually makes fun of itself for being absolutely ridiculous. There’s no coherent plot, the film serving as a way for the actors (and writers and directors) to showcase their personality and sense of humor more than to advance its nonsensical plot. Not all of the jokes land, but some of them actually do, leaving the audience shaking its head and chuckling at its own eclectic taste in Tubi movies. The shark snarls and growls its way through the film, occasionally glitching out during its travels. Jason’s energetic persona can be a bit grating at times, but it also provides most of the movie’s hilarity, so it balances itself out nicely. Matteo’s Bernardo, the weird, third-wall-breaking director, is a cleverly-used plot device that helps to explain things to the audience and to the characters, playing a role not unlike the criminologist character in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The trio do a fantastic job with their characters, overacting in every scene and helping to bring the utterly ridiculous premise to life in style.

Let’s be real honest with ourselves here. If you’re binging shark movies, you’ve already sat through a ton of bad movies. It’s easy to blame filmmakers for making such terrible movies, but if you’re binging shark movies, that’s all on you. While there are plenty of shark movies that are so-bad-they’re-terrible, there are a few gems that you may stumble across during your travels. Bad CGI Sharks is one of them, though it’s definitely an acquired taste. It’s a movie that unfortunately looks a lot worse than it actually is from description and cover art, losing a good bit of audience that would actually enjoy the film. Then again, it very well might have gained some audience from it as well, so maybe that all balances out too. What could otherwise be described as the Scream of shark movies is well worth a watch for people who have seen them all and are looking for one that can actually hold their attention.

Who this movie is for: Shark movie fanatics, Bad movie lovers, Graphic designers who hate the beach

Bottom line: Bad CGI Sharks is a ridiculous movie made by ridiculous people for ridiculous people. It’s also amazing and super fun, filled with humor and self-deprecating jabs at the genre and itself. It’s genuinely funny throughout and gets every ounce of entertainment that it can get from badly rendered computer-generated sharks. Leads Matthew and Jason Ellsworth are more than capable of carrying the film, delivering a movie that is absolutely worth a watch for folks who love bad shark movies and horror comedies. It’s also one that the more discerning fan wouldn’t be caught dead watching, but fuck ‘em.

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