Sunday, January 24, 2016

3-Headed Shark Attack (2015) and Pollution

Movies come in all shapes and sizes.  Some of them are meant solely for entertainment purposes.  These movies, typically the summer blockbusters that earn all the crazy money in the box office (though the year end movies are taking a lot of that money now), tend to be a way for people to enjoy their time without thinking about anything deeper than what is on the screen.  There are other movies that work as metaphors for serious issues.  There are biographical movies and movies based on real stories.  Then there are movies that tackle serious issues while completely sidestepping any form of metaphor that could be used.

3-Headed Shark Attack is one of the movies that completely sidesteps metaphors and simply flat out tells the viewer the issue that it wants to address.  That issue is pollution in the ocean.  The movie is about a shark that gets mutated by a floating island of garbage and uses three heads to attack and eat a whole lot of people.  It starts at a research facility near the garbage island, proceeds to a party boat, and concludes at another island where a party was.  There’s even a little bit of Danny Trejo in there to spice things up.

Throughout 3-Headed Shark Attack, the message about how bad pollution is to the world and the wildlife that lives on it is always a topic of discussion.  It comes into play in many aspects of the movie.  First and foremost is the fact that the shark is a product of the pollution.  Early in the movie, some of the workers of the research facility are looking around a room where scientists are studying the marine wildlife near the garbage island.  There are mutations being caused by the garbage in the ocean.  It makes the animals look different and alters their brain chemistry, causing them to be angrier than they would normally be.  In the case of the shark, that hostility is heightened to a blood hungry lust for human bodies.  Secondly is the fact that the shark becomes more agitated by garbage.  The garbage island being the first place of the main story makes sense because of how much garbage is contained there.  The party boat and party island are the creators of more garbage in the ocean, which causes the shark to go there as well.  The movie is as submerged in garbage as it makes the ocean out to be.

The message of pollution and the effect that it has on the world is an important message to give to people.  If we don’t keep the planet free of random garbage, it will cause danger to all creatures big and small, and eventually lead to the destruction of everything we know and love.  This is a problem that has been more prominent as the human population rises to new heights.  More people, more garbage, more problems.  It’s a good thing for some movies to point out problems with the amount of waste that we create.  Though, in many cases, this message is very bluntly stated.

3-Headed Shark Attack isn’t the only Sunday “Bad” Movie that has featured an environmental message of this sort.  The movie Frogs is one of the best examples of this message that I have seen while writing these weekly posts.  The opening of the movie involves Sam Elliott paddling through some wetlands and studying all of the pollution within them.  The whole motivation of the animals to knock off the human characters is that no humans would mean no pollution and no danger to the animals’ habitat.  It is a movie meant to show people that there are consequences to pollution, even if the consequences depicted in the film are exaggerated.

Another movie I’ve covered that has dealt with this material is Birdemic: Shock and Terror.  Most people know the movie for its bad effects and extended shots/scenes of nothingness (such as the opening five minute or so driving scene, or the clapping scene where there is a separate shot of each character clapping).  But if you’ve seen the movie, you know that a large chunk of it focuses on pollution and the need for clean energy.  The birds are angry because of pollution.  They are acting out because they want to get rid of the pollution.  Rod, the main character, is in the business of solar panels, a way to provide energy and electricity to the population without pollutants being spread around.  Environmentalism was a clear message presented through the movie.

Even a few weeks ago, there was a movie that dealt with environmentalism and pollution, though it mainly focused on a different aspect of damaging ecosystems.  Furry Vengeance was primarily about animals trying to keep their homes when a forest was going to be destroyed for a housing development.  It all started with a little bit of litter as Riggs threw a cigar out of his car window.  The animals did not appreciate their forest being treated in such a careless way and fought back by rolling a boulder into Riggs’s car.  It was a message from the filmmakers to care about the environment and the world we live in.  Don’t pollute it or get rid of it.

Pollution and destruction of nature is a theme that comes up time and time again in movies.  I’ve seen it time and time again in the Sunday “Bad” Movies.  Will it ever actually change anything within the minds of the people watching the movies?  Probably not.  Most audiences just want to be entertained.  When they watch a movie like 3-Headed Shark Attack, they aren’t watching it thinking about what the people are doing to their environment.  Audiences don’t think about how bad the world is for the shark that got mutated into having three heads.  People want to watch the shark eat people.  Three heads are just an added level of ridiculous fun.  Viewers are there for the blood, boobs, and action (couldn’t think of another b).  They don’t want or care about the message the movie has.

This week, I watched 3-Headed Shark Attack.  It was an okay product from The Asylum that had some insane moments within it.  It also had a message about pollution and the problems that it causes for the environment.  But nobody cares about that.  They only care about how insane this movie is.  Let me tell you one thing that should sell you on the movie.  A guy jumps off of a boat and proceeds to waterski on a shark with an axe.  So that’s a thing.
Also a thing are these notes:

  • 3-Headed Shark Attack is the sequel to 2-Headed Shark Attack.
  • Other Sunday “Bad” Movies I mentioned in the post are Frogs, Birdemic, and Furry Vengeance.
  • One of the actors in 3-Headed Shark Attack is Danny Trejo.  He was already in a few Sunday “Bad” Movies: Death Race 2, Death Race: Inferno, Rise of the Zombies, and Anaconda.  This puts him in second place for the most frequent actor.
  • 3-Headed Shark Attack was directed by Christopher Ray, who also directed 2-Headed Shark Attack.
  • Have you seen 3-Headed Shark Attack?  Have you seen 2-Headed Shark Attack?  Have you seen any bad movies that deal with environmental issues?  You can discuss all this and more in the comments section.
  • The comments section is also a good place to discuss movies that you think I should watch for future Sunday “Bad” Movies installments.  Is there a movie you want me to watch?  Suggest away.  If you want, you could always tell me on Twitter too.
  • Next week’s movie is going to be Gooby, a Canadian movie about a boy and his adult-sized teddy bear voiced by Robbie Coltrane, better known as Hagrid.  I’ve heard about it.  I accidentally bought two copies of it.  And I’m going to watch it for next week’s post.  See you then.

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