By: Henry J. Fromage (Four Beers) –
It’s summer, which used to mean avoiding the out of doors, heading to a nice air-conditioned theater, and watching sharks eviscerate scantily-clad teenagers. It was a pretty clever play by the studios, as who’s going to want to skip the theater and go swimming after watching Jaws?
Fuck that. What if a baby one swam through the pipes then got all big and stuff?
It seems like it’s been awhile since we’ve had an even halfway decent, halfway big shark movie, though, so I had to go all the way Down Under to get my latest fix. Bait is basically Jaws in a Walmart. If you’re wondering how a shark got into a big box store, well, tsunami, of course. Have a beer and stop thinking so hard.
Once we get past the setup and into the waterlogged store, you can’t help but respect the work put into the set and the cleverness of basically making a soundstage shark movie. Once inside they also thankfully have a big, fat mechanical shark to work with instead of a bunch of CGI abominations, and the respect for practical effects also extends to the copious gore, with all of the red food coloring you could hope for.
Best Halloween costume ever
Besides the solid technical skills on display and all that gore, Bait does one more thing, so, so right. The film takes a different approach than others of its genre, which generally are just fishy slasher flicks these days. While it certainly has a bit of that, Bait has a surprisingly low final body count, filling that void with plenty of dubious but nonetheless awesome displays of badassery. Without everyone going down in predictable order, the stakes are paradoxically raised, lending power and surprising emotion to the sacrifices and losses that do take place.
Before we get to the good stuff, though, Bait seems hellbent on giving you as bad a first impression as possible. The dialogue was hopefully dubbed in post-production, because if it wasn’t then the actors’ wooden line delivery is even less conscionable. Regardless, don’t’ expect any Oscars or whatever the Aussie equivalent is out of these folks.
The Golden Fosters?
My heart sunk after the first shark attack, rendered in shitacular low-budget CGI. Sure, it’s not Asylum-level half-assery, but it’s not much better, either. Say, instead of N64 graphics, think Playstation 2. Thankfully we get that mechanical shark later.
One last thing that annoyed me is how they set up the store manager as some sort of villain or douchebag at least. If I was him, I’d be much more of a prick towards a habitual shoplifter, finally caught red-handed, and I’d sure as hell fire her stockboy boyfriend who apparently lets her rifle through whatever storeroom she wants.
It would have been twice the movie if they’d just started it in the supermarket, but stick with the flick and you’ll find a badass little B-Grade shark movie.
Take a Drink: for every shark attack, of course!
Take a Drink: every time somebody gives a person a hand
Do a Shot: when that becomes a bad pun
Do a Shot: whenever something flies at your face