This is how most Americans who waste money on cable TV instead of putting it in their IRA’s like they should watch TV nowadays. I was scrolling my way through utterly pointless reality crap, (Too Fat for The Dress, My Morbidly Obese Life), Bigfoot shows where Bigfoot is always a no-show and reruns of hit movies that are now being offered every single day on several channels just in case you have just regained consciousness from years of comatosedness and have not yet seen them, or you just prefer to watch them larded up with more commercials than a Super Bowl (The 40-Year Old Virgin, The Hunger Games).
Should that word be comatosity? Spell check Is no help.
Anyway, our eyes happened upon the regularly scheduled program line for the SyFy channel and we knew right away it was Shark Week, or, as we found out through additional research, Sharknado Week. Not only were Sharknados 1, 2 and 3 on the schedule, but they were backed up by such epics of the cinema as Megashark, Shark Assault, Atomic Shark and Malibu Shark Attack. Then there were the hybrid sharks, frightening mutations usually caused by radiation but sometimes by vaccinations, Sharktopus, Zombie Shark and the masterpiece of the genre, Two-Headed Shark Attack and its sequel, Three-Headed Shark Attack.
The relationships between the inhabitants of our delicate and fragile ecosystems were explored in titles like Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf, Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda and Mega Shark vs. Kolussus.
We realize that some of you are too busy working, or shopping, or finding Pokémon, to DVR all these cinematic triumphs and devour them, so we will happily summarize the plot lines for each one. Easy to do, because there are only two plot lines in the entire shark subgenre. In sharks vs humans dramas, a handsome guy and his beautiful estranged wife and their cute children, still suffering from the strain of the breakup, are thrown together and menaced by sharks, crawling in from the beach or swirling around in tornadoes or whatever. Then there is the estranged wife’s new guy, who is also handsome and usually richer and smarter than the first guy. Smart enough to realize that the best course of action when confronted by toothy terrors is to get the hell out of there, abandoning your new family to the mercies of Shark Munch City. The handsome guy fights off the sharks, saves them all and gets his family back, and the movie ends before she starts drinking a box of wine every day and the kids flunk out of school because of PTSD brought on by the memory of sharks swimming around their sectional sofa.
In the Vs catalogue, humans are irrelevant. This subcategory of film is for people who just love to watch monsters whale the shit out of each other. Yet the demand of high art means that the viewer must be given a hero to pull for, and these movies comply; we are given reason to believe that behind the chomping teeth and poisoned suckers of Sharktopus a spark of decency twinkles, whereas Pteracuda is just a piece of lowlife mutated crap, and as the credits roll, we are filled with a feeling of justice having been done as the wounded Sharktopus swims slowly away from the watery grave of Pteracuda.
In search of that louse Whalewolf, but that’s another movie.
In real life last week, ex-Tampa Bay Buccaneer Warren Sapp was bitten by a shark. Both shark and Sapp immediately retreated from the encounter, and both are alive today. Sure, it’s what usually happens, but you can’t make a movie out of that.
That would just be stupid.