TV Movie: “Ozark Sharks”

There’s something about TV movies that’s irresistible. You know what to expect, yet seem surprised when you get it. The story’s never that different from the last one you saw, but it has you pumped up! Torture may be many things, but fun usually isn’t one of them. Unless, of course, it can offer you something you so seldom get.

The Active Entertainment TV movie “Ozark Sharks”, is surprisingly entertaining, but still suffers from too much stupid that, depending on the viewer, it could go either way.

This horror movie stars Allisyn Ashley Arm (“Astrid Clover”, “Short Girls Club”), Dave Davis (“NCIS: New Orleans”, “Demonic”), Michael PapaJohn (upcoming “Cold Moon”, “Hap and Leonard”), Ross Britz (“My Father, Die”, “Zombie Shark”), Ashton Leigh (“Exit 14”, “Convergence”), Thomas Francis Murphy (“Free State of Jones”, “The Whole Truth”), and Laura Cayouette (upcoming “Cold Moon”, “Zombie Shark”).

The movie was directed by Misty Talley (“Zombie Shark”, “Soup’s On (Short 2011)”) and written by Marcy Holland (“The House Sitter”, “Wish Upon a Christmas”).

The movie originally aired July 28, 2016 on SyFy.

It took me long enough, but here’s the first entry in this year’s recent shark TV movies on SyFy! For some reason, probably just time and life, I couldn’t keep up with this year’s TV movies aired during SyFy’s annual “Sharknado Week” celebration. It’s exactly as it sounds, and more or less, it’s a fun time to spend watching TV movies. Even more so if you’re being entertained by other viewers who are commenting on Twitter. While this particular viewing, coming over a month after it aired, doesn’t have snarky Twitter users providing comedic insights, it wasn’t at all the bad experience I was expecting.

This TV movie was bearable. Truly bearable. It was also quite entertaining. When you think about all the other’s that aired this year, or in past years, or regularly air on the network, this was a true winner! If it were to air again, and nothing else interested me on TV, then I’m sure I’d tune in. Why not? It’s better than watching reality TV.

Past the enjoyable level of this particular movie, well, you don’t have much else in the positive column. One different thing that I liked the most, is the fact that there was actual comedy. Be it the script or some sort of ad lib, there were funny moments. Were they all that great? Debatable. Compared to most of the accidental funny moments that occur in these horror comedies, this one truly seemed like it aimed to make its viewers laugh. There was an enjoyable level in this movie, which I’d only previously thought possible in a “Sharknado” movie, or now a “Lavalantula” movie.

Some comedy gems (if you can call them that) include:

“Come on you son of a fish.”

“Whoever heard of a shark in a river?” Oy, but still funny.

“Maybe you and I can rock the boat a little.” A bit gross and groan inducing, but funny as this cued up the shark attack!

“No Shark is going to tango with my girl.” Says Murphy as he’s walking on a dock with some powerful weapon, which only sets up another thing and made me think of another shark film. He finishes by saying, “Now that’s settled, first..” And then his arm get’s bitten off! How very Samuel L. Jackson of him. Super funny. What’s funnier about this, is the fact that I wrote down, in between Murphy’s lines of dialogue, “Isn’t this the part where you get eaten?” As it turns out, it was, we just didn’t get to see it.

Also, just plainly funny, was when Grandma got eaten! It just, it was great. I can’t explain it. If you watch any of this TV movie, watching until that bit is well worth it! Or, maybe you can try and YouTube it.

There were many more comedic moments, but so many of these also came with the biggest downside to this particular TV movie. Stupidity.

For seemingly interesting characters, ones who are certainly likable enough, none were too smart. Once the chaos started with the shark attacks, no one thought it was a good idea to think or use common sense. My favorite, which was accompanied by a nice snarky comment in my notes, which is also how I coped without fellow Twitter viewers,, was how Leigh survived the attack by climbing on a fallen tree, but instead of climbing off, using an easily escapable route, she just sits there. She even says that she’s been watching the sharks all day. All day? But you couldn’t find time to move off the tree and get help?

Then there’s just the regular stupid choices made by characters trying to save others from the swimming meat eaters. Some people were saved, others, well, they died for no reason. One character really deserved to die. If you’re using a wood chipper, which is what I think that was, don’t stand behind the machine where the chewed up remains come shooting out. Some people can’t be saved, nor should they. At some point I just wanted the sharks to eat everyone. Sometimes I can deal with stupidity, usually through the help of Twitter, but somehow it just became too much, even if it was funny at times.

Everything else about this movie was business as usual, and depending on the type of TV movie viewer you are, this could be a good thing or a bad thing. There was little plot, acting was surprisingly decent, but not great, and the CGI looked like shit. This particular story also featured something I don’t think is typically in these types of movies. The cops didn’t believe those calling in for help. Huh. Oh well.

Oh, and there’s one true negative, if you can call it that. There weren’t enough deaths. Certainly didn’t seem like it. They weren’t as exciting as I was hoping for or as bloody. Maybe that’s what I missed. Blood and gore! Maybe next time.

TV movies automatically have a bad reputation, and with good reason. Most only seem to be “good” on accident. Occasionally there will be that one that truly achieves something all the others can’t. Be genuinely entertaining. I love the TV movie that’s so bad it’s good, no matter the level of stupidity or ridiculousness, but I also enjoy ones that work from start to finish. Perhaps we’ll be getting more of these in the future. Who am I kidding? We won’t be getting that but once in a blue moon. In some ways, it’s better than nothing.

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