Snow Shark: Ancient Snow Beast gets its norks out for the sharks

Sometimes when I’m curating the latest Shark Weak collection, an exercise that’s the cinematic equivalent of a dog owner clearing up their back yard after an unusually persistently rainy few weeks, I’ll come across something like Snow Shark: Ancient Snow Beast, a vintage entry in the bad shark movie oeuvre, a movie so old that I feel like I should have seen it before.

Snow Shark: Ancient Snow Beast is a rare gem in the world of low-budget sharksploitation, a film so audaciously bad and aggressively home-made that it transcends its own shortcomings to become an unintentional surrealist masterpiece. Imagine the horror of Jaws colliding with the terror of The Thing and put together with the skill and panache of your grandparents trying to figure out how to set up a new broadband router and you start to get an idea of what writer/ director Sam Qualiana’s feature debut is like.

The plot, if one can call it that, begins in 1999 with Professor Jonathan Hoffman (Michael O’Hear) leading a team of biologists who unwittingly awaken a prehistoric shark from its icy slumber. Fast forward twelve years, and the small town’s residents, including Mayor Shawn Overman (Robert Bozek) and Sheriff Donald Chapman (C J Qualiana), are terrorised by this snow-swimming predator. Enter Mike Evans (Sam Qualiana), an eyepatch-wearing, beer-drinking local who joins the hunt to stop the shark before it devours everyone in sight.

The acting is more wooden than the scenery and given much of the film takes place in a denuded winter forest, that’s saying something. Actually, the trees aren’t the only things lacking in coverage, because Snow Shark: Ancient Snow Beast features actual nudity. Of course, lots of bad shark movies tease nudity. Take a look at the Shark Weak page and you’ll see it’s practically mandatory for the poster artwork to feature one or more bikini-clad beauties facing off against a toothy terror (ironically not this one) even though most of them tease a lot more than they deliver. Well, not Snow Shark. Snow Shark actually delivers. But you’ll probably wish it hadn’t.

When they’re not busy stripping off for their friend’s home movie, the cast deliver their lines as if they’ve never encountered them before the camera started rolling and some of them like they’ve never encountered the English language. Character decisions are baffling, contributing to a plot that meanders aimlessly through a series of ill-fated attempts to kill the shark while the special effects push the boundaries of the word “special” to its absolute limit, although there is admittedly a certain charm to the repeated sight of a cardboard fin being dragged through the snow by an off-screen string.

Despite its myriad flaws, Snow Shark: Ancient Snow Beast manages to just about be entertaining in a so-bad-it’s-good way. The film tries earnestly to be a serious horror flick but ends up being a somewhat flaccid farce, a celebration of absurdity, revelling in its lack of coherence and quality the way a pig rolls in shit. It’s a cinematic trainwreck that you can’t help but watch and a testament to what can be achieved with a budget of $7,000 if you’re absolutely determined that none of the money will show up on screen.

shark weak 5
snow shark review
logo

Related posts

The Stuff (1985) Review

The Stuff (1985) Review

The Stuff is young, dumb and full of…disappointment.Larry Cohen’s heavy-handed consumer satire has long held a quasi-mythical place in my movie subconscious. Although I never got around to watching THE STUFF in the late eighties/ early nineties when I was going through my horror...

Money Monster (2016) Review

Money Monster (2016) Review

Reuniting George Clooney and Julia Roberts on screen for the first time since 2004’s “Ocean’s 12”, director Jodie Foster has constructed a topical corporate thriller which attempts to combine the hot button issues of domestic terrorism and socioeconomic anger.When a slick money market TV show...

Loki Episode 4: The Nexus Event Review

Loki Episode 4: The Nexus Event Review

*SPOILERS, MAYBE?*There are lies, damn lies and LOKI episodes which laugh to scorn at the audience’s expectations. Delivering on the event promised by its title, THE NEXUS EVENT retrospectively justifies the naval-gazing of LAMENTIS (which some, but not I, found so tedious) with a...

Nielsen Ratings: The Poseidon Adventure (1972) Review

Nielsen Ratings: The Poseidon Adventure (1972) Review

Although his role is not a large one in terms of screen time, Leslie Nielsen’s contribution to Irwin Allen’s seminal disaster classic "The Poseidon Adventure" is a pivotal one, literally. As the Captain of the ill-fated SS Poseidon, it is he who reluctantly follows the orders of the ships...

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.