Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

LIZ CLANCY: Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus

It is fortuitous that Nick Molloy was recently the interviewee for Oll's series, Five Questions on Cryptozoology, for I recently borrowed a DVD from Blockbuster simply because its theme mirrored that of Nick's book, Predator Deathmatch (which I urge you all to buy as it's fantastic!).

Just as in his book Nick pits famous carnivores against each other in imaginary but well researched fights to the death, so does the aptly named film Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. I don't remember this coming out in the cinema and after watching it, have come to the conclusion that this is because it's trash.

Starring American soap actor Lorenzo Lamas and one of Darren Day's many ex-girlfriends (Deborah Gibson - no, I'd never heard of her, either), this cobblers was penned by Jack Perez (he wrote an episode of Xena: Warrior Princess), who also directed. It tells the story of a group of friends who try to stop a megalodon and a giant octopus from destroying humanity, by getting them to destroy each other. Said beasties were apparently frozen alive mid-battle during the last ice age and due to global warming (Emma suggests their survival is "our comeuppance") have been defrosted to wreak prehistoric havoc on an unsuspecting twenty-first century.

A little far-fetched this plot may be, but stranger things have worked in film; this was an opportunity sorely missed. We were 'treated' to a cast of stereotypes - the sexy academic, the foreign academic, the anti-hero who is racist towards the foreign academic and the token charming Irishman.

The most ridiculous part of the film was when the mega shark leapt from the ocean and bit a jumbo jet in half.

I suppose it did have some redeeming features: the script was so bad I at least got a good laugh. In retaliation to yet another racist jibe from the government bloke in charge of the 'kill the monsters' operation, the Irish man replies "Megalodon don't discriminate," and the Chinese scientist adds, "Yes, he's an equal opportunities eating machine." And then when challenged over the likelihood of success in their plan to lure the creatures to a secure location by faking the scent of potential mates, it is pointed out that "Those guys have been frozen in ice for millions of years; wouldn't you be a little horny?"

Apart from the fact that it has given me the opportunity to plug Nick's book, that film stole two hours (it actually felt more like ten) of my life that I will never get back so if readers see it in their local video shop, they are advised to do a quick about-turn. You have been warned....


Geordie-dave said...

Well thats all well and good but what I want to know is it as bad as Evil Beneath Loch Ness! Com'on Jon lets have a top 10 of crap crypto critter films! I am putting my money on the aformention Evil. It sucks more than a Henry vacuum cleaner with the boost button switched on!

Neil A said...

Believe me, I have a massive collection of crypto-movies, literally thousands, currently being compiled for my CRYPTOOLOGY IN THE MOVIES book and most are trash! Over-sized beasts, rubbery cryptids, prehistoric survivor's...but ya know what, I can't get enough of them!!

Oll Lewis said...

A film in a similar style I'd actually recommend is Shark Attack 3: Megalodon staring John 'Captain Jack' Barrowman.

Shark Attack 3... well it has to be seen to be believed. As others have said on the internet it is the best bad film you'll ever see.