Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus (2010) (DVD)

maxresdefaultBefore you write this off, I have two words for you: Jaleel White. Now calm down, before you start jumping up and down screaming in excitement, he’s about the only draw here. If you were around in the nineties. And liked “Family Matters.” And remember who Jaleel White is. No he didn’t play Carlton in “Fresh Prince.” In either case, The Asylum is not intent on implementing brevity for the sake of catching on with their fan base. To prove how unnecessarily lengthy the title is I can still fondly remember showing my dad the DVD and him smiling at the premise of the movie. Twenty minutes later, this man who is known for having a mind like a steel trap and over the course of an hour continued mixing up the title.

Such variations included “Megalon vs. Sharkosaurus,” “Megashark vs. Sharkasaurus,” “Sharkasaurus vs. Megacroc,” and various facsimiles. Coming to fans in 5.1 surround sound (or 2.1 Stereo) and crisp widescreen, “Megashark vs. Crocosaurus” is about on par with other Asylum films of this ilk. While it’s intended to be a classic B grade monster clash, this has nothing appealing for any movie geeks beyond those willing to waste ninety minutes on an abysmal monster mash. In a prologue that I can only assume was written with mad libs, slave diamond miners in the Congo accidentally unleash a humongous Crocosaurus from the depths of the caves. Well, they don’t so much unleash him, there’s the hint that they were digging so deep it was unleashed, but we’re never told what it was doing there, why it didn’t come out of its cave before, what it was waiting for and what kind of animals it was feeding on for survival.

After snacking on the evil white slave trader in the cave, we visit protagonist McCormick, a shark specialist traveling with the navy (wait–is that normal?) who is fine tuning an underwater device that is capable of controlling sharks… how convenient that Megashark has just shown his gill packed face for the massive ship’s crew. To add a bit of tragedy behind McCormick’s motivation to bring down Megashark, his girlfriend on board (who we meet for about three short scenes), is killed by the Megashark after it rattles the ship so hard she… faints… or passes out in a pool of blood. There’s never an indication how she died… but McCormick cries over her for a minute before reverting back to hero mode for the gargantuan predator of the deep. “Megashark vs. Crocosaurus” is not so much awful as it is inept. While I sat down groaning and rolling my eyes through most of it, it’s not their worst output.

While many will stumble in to it for big animals, the cast is the reason to sit through this. Jaleel White does his best as the intelligent but slick McCormick while Michael Gaglio is one to look for. As Captain Smalls he’s on all turbines of over the top and will make you laugh at his delivery of every single line like his life is depending on this one role. And to make the proceedings all the more harrowing, a small team behind the Congo slave miners have enlisted the help of hunter and survivalist Nigel Putnam! Of course, you don’t have to be a specialist to notice a humongous crocosaurus stomping around jungle trees, but who are we to argue with the hunter? Along with the cliché character molds, goofy violence, and stock sound effects, “Megashark vs. Crocosaurus” has your usual list of inconsistencies and continuity lapses in a normal Asylum production.

Crocosaurus is so big his mouth engulfs the cave he originated from, but he can’t fit in to it later on while chasing Putnam? How did the Crocosaurus make it around the world so quickly laying its eggs and why didn’t anyone notice it? How is it capable of laying so many eggs in a few hours? And why is the croc as big as a hospital one moment, barely towering over trucks the next, and then flicking helicopters like flies with its tail? Think Terry, Think! I also have to commend Sarah Lieving for her role as heroine Agent Hutchinson. It’s not many people who can deliver angry dialogue with gritted teeth, but she pulls if off hilariously. If you need further incentive to see this masterpiece, I’ll leave you on this note: Crocosaurus eats an entire aquatic park in one gulp. God love you, Crocosaurus.

The DVD features a four minute “Behind the Scenes” reel that sheds light on the production. The earthquake in the opening is accomplished with grips throwing rocks at the actors, Jaleel White describes his character as obnoxious, and Gary Stretch compares his character to Crocodile Dundee. There’s also a five minute blooper reel lacking in laughter. Jaleel White gives a hilarious performance in what is a pretty standard bit of schlock and awe inspiring piece of D grade action fare. “Megashark vs. Crocosaurus” is a tedious and horrific mess that at least gives audiences what it wants: A big croc eating people, a big shark eating, and two gargantuan stock CGI animals battling it out for the fate of Earth. Or something.