Santa Jaws (2018) brings a bit of festive fin for a #SharkWeak4🦈 Christmas Special!
SANTA JAWS is a pun so delicious and filled with festive promise that it’s a wonder it took until 2018 for the chum-grinding sharksploitation mill to get around to it. While it shares all the usual hallmarks of its peers: cheap production values, so-so CGI and widely variable performances but for all its shortcomings, it’s got just enough spirit and self-awareness to land just on the right side of so-bad-it’s-good.
Aspiring comic book artist Cody (Reid Miller) discovers the pen is mightier than the swordfish in this festive cautionary tale when a magic pen brings his latest comic creation to terrifying (and serviceably CGI’d) life to grant his petulant wish to be free of his family for the holidays.
Mercifully (and, no doubt parsimoniously) free from the usual holiday-themed trappings of fake snow and conspicuously incongruous weather, SANTA JAWS focussed its festivity on finding reasons for its eponymous monster to absorb the blessing of the season. So a Santa hat sits implausibly atop the dorsal fin and a string of Christmas lights take the place of razor-sharp teeth, although a narwhal-like candy cane horn stretches the concept to breaking point.
There’s cleverness in the incorporation of the comic book as a basis for the selachian shenanigans and some of the kill scenes are pretty inventive and entertaining, under the experienced supervision of director Misty Talley (OZARK SHARKS). The acting is decent – the younger cast members are conspicuously better than the older ones – and, especially after an eggnog or two (or three, maybe four to be safe) – there’s enough silly shark action here to satisfy for a late-night midnight Christmas movie treat.