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  • Rev Horror

Sharks of the Corn

Dir. Tim Ritter (2021)

Victims begin to pile up as Great White sharks are swimming in a Kentucky cornfield.

If there was any place in the country you would think you'd be safe from sharks, it would likely be Kentucky. If there was any place in the country you thought you'd be safe from shark-worshipping serial killers who summoned the power of the Great White to kill, it would be... I dunno, maybe Kentucky? I wouldn't have thought that was something I would have to worry about at all, and yet here I am, contemplating supernatural shark people and whether or not I need to plan my next vacation to avoid them. It's not rare for a shark movie to be a bit on the crazy side, but 2021's Sharks of the Corn is a wild one for sure, a bizarre mixture of genres with dollar-store effects and a much longer runtime than anticipated.

It's difficult to really describe the plot of this film in a succinct way. There are sharks in the cornfield, yes, and there is the aforementioned serial killer who is trying to harness the power of the "shark goddess" by murdering hookers in hotel rooms. There's also a corn festival taking full advantage of small-town Kentucky's surprisingly large corn harvest, cornfield strip-and-go-seek, sharkcrows (which, of course, are scarecrows with shark heads), and corn liquor day drinking, all of which combine to create a film that is a ton of fun and absolutely batshit crazy. This movie is chock-full of absurdity, from an Area 51-esque alien bunker to Stonehenge, corn puns to blowguns, lingering tit shots to peeled apart faces. There's also a bizarre subplot featuring Sasquatch, who apparently lives in the corn, of course.

Some of the dialogue was ad-libbed by the characters, which makes a lot of sense when you listen to the rambling nonsensical word salad coming from the characters in the film. Interestingly enough, it actually makes the film a little more believable, because the lack of polish on the lines actually make the characters feel a little less like actors. It also doesn't hurt that the acting is far too terrible to feel like it comes from people who make a living doing this. Sharks of the Corn is as much an example of parity as it is parody: the ability for just anyone to make a film results in people who are, well, just anyone making a film. Whether or not they should make a film is up to the beholder, but I generally fully support these types of films and the creativity that births them. Sometimes, less is more, and this is very much one of those cases.

How in the actual hell a filmmaker thought that a film like Sharks of the Corn needed to be almost two hours long is beyond me, but rest assured very little of the runtime is wasted. There's nothing about this movie that could be considered "good," but man is it wildly entertaining, at least in the same way that doing massive amounts of drugs is entertaining. It feels like an indie fever dream, in which the filmmakers just threw every last thing they could think of on-screen as long as absolutely none of it made any sense whatsoever. The effects are horrifically bad, from the rubber body parts to the rubber sharks. Really just a lot of rubber, is what I'm saying. The only thing not rubber in this film is the acting, which is decidedly wooden throughout.

Look, if you thought you were going to get a good movie from Sharks of the Corn, I really don't know what to tell you. You should've known going in what kind of movie this was going to be, and it doesn't disappoint in the slightest. The only thing unexpected about this movie is how seriously it takes itself, eschewing outright humor for inadvertent hilarity. I can't quite tell whether this movie is trying to be funny or if it just ends up that way from its absurd choices. Director Tim Ritter is known for his humor-focused indie horror, and while this one doesn't quite cross into "so bad, it's good" territory, it's certainly a lot of fun for purveyors of terrible cinema. If half-nude women being chased through cornfields by rubber sharks is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

Who this movie is for: Sharksploitation fans, Z-grade indie horror lovers, Corn whiskey appreciators

Bottom line: Sharks of the Corn is just as bad as you'd think it would be, and perhaps even worse, but for fans of ridiculously cheap indie horror, it may well work. It takes itself a bit too seriously, with nary a joke to be found, but it's insane enough that it's funny anyway. A bizarre mashup of cult horror and creature feature, the film is ultra strange and never tries to be anything but. If you enjoy the truly terrible side of horror, this one will be right up your alley. If you don't, best to stay far, far away. If you want to check it out for yourself, it's streaming free on Tubi, where you can watch it in all of its corny (see what I did there?) insanity.

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