This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labour of the writers and actors currently on strike, the movie/series/feature being covered here wouldn't exist.
"Sharksploitation is a documentary that will no doubt prove thoroughly interesting for those in its target audience and also added a host of new additions to my ever expanding watchlist."
BY JACK RANSOM JULY 17, 2023
Sharksploitation explores the weird, wild cinematic legacy of sharks on film and the world's undying fascination with them. From hidden, obscure undersea gems, to the ever iconic Jaws, the toothy SyFy Channel conveyor belt and Statham taking on the Megalodon.
As a kid I absolutely loved sharks. I was completely obsessed with what lurked in the ocean and this childhood curiosity has always lingered throughout my life into the quarter of a century years old that I am now. Creature features were part of my introduction to cinema, the more ridiculous the better (e.g. Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus & Sharktopus). Despite these obviously being near unwatchable now, the nostalgia has always hung around and I have always had a soft spot for big creatures munching their way through hapless bystanders in their way or in their territory.
From a presentation perspective this documentary is very much a straightforward affair. Moving along a timeline structure and discussing particular films with a host of filmmakers (including Roger Corman, Joe Dante and nearly every single director behind the host of miniscule budget schlock shark flicks that litter direct to DVD bins, the SyFy channel and sink to the bottom of streaming e.g. your Sharkula, Ghost Sharks, Sand Sharks, Avalanche Sharks…you get the picture). All of which gush over their influences, favourites, goofy recommendations and how this sub-genre has made an impact from an industry perspective.
Sharksploitation not only is a celebration and exploration of the dorsal finned hunters of the sea on the silver screen, but also provides insight from a myriad of authors, historians and of exploring the roots of sharks in mythology and delving into the audience perception of these creatures. With in depth observations on why sharks are nearly entirely associated with villains on screen and how, once Jaws hit, a wave of negativity and fear aimed towards the toothy saltwater inhabitants shot across the globe and led to a hunting obsession that nature is still recovering from to this day.
Sharksploitation is a documentary that will no doubt prove thoroughly interesting for those in its target audience and also added a host of new additions to my ever expanding watchlist. It’s an easy and accessible watch that swims along its 1 hour 45 minute runtime with ease.