By B-Side|Monday, March 21, 2005 | 12:48 pm | 40 Comments
By B-Side and Madeyoulaugh
TVgasm rarely covers made for TV movies, but every once in a while, a true gem comes along that must be seen. No, we’re not talking about Dynasty: The Making of Guilty Pleasure. We’re referring to Spring Break Shark Attack, CBS’s latest and random foray into the teen horror genre. Needless to say, it was terrible. And yet two hours later, we left the TV feeling supremely entertained. But that might have more to do with some awkwardly placed herpes commercials.
Anyway, with The OC‘s Shannon Lucio at the helm, we would be remiss to leave this movie uncommented on. So without further review, here is the TVgasm play by play of Spring Break Shark Attack.(Please note that all times are approximate and most likely incorrect.)
The movie opens with a random quartet of thirtysomething ladies having a picnic on the high seas. It’s not really very logical, especially since the ladies are draped around an inflatable raft, a.k.a. the easiest thing to capsize EVER. One slovenly woman excitedly mentions that Spring Break is just around the corner. Aren’t these ladies a bit old to be doing Spring Break? Or are we in for a bunch of Gabrielle Carteris coeds?
“Alice would have loved this,” says one of the Kim Catrall wannabes. Everyone sighs. Um, are we supposed to catch the significance of Alice? The Sex In The Ocean moment is brutally interrupted though when the ugliest member of the group is suddenly pulled underwater. General screams ensue, followed by the obligatory consumption of each woman. Wait, I wanted to know more about Alice. Oh cruel world! Whither Alice? Whither Alice?
We meet Danielle, played by Shannon Lucio who displays little if any range from her Lindsay character on The OC. At least she’s better than the monotone actresses playing her two friends. “Come on Danielle,” they say, trying to coax their bookish friend down to Spring Break. “The sun, the surf, the sand. And tons of gorgeous men.” Yeah, that’s all great, but why did they hire the people who dub over Asian movies to play her friends?
Danielle asks her dad if she can go to Spring Break. He says no. “Those guys, they’re all sharks.” Okay, we’ll just start up the obvious shark foreshadowing counter now. 1.
Danielle’s dad notes that preying on innocent girls is what guys do on Spring Break. “It’s in their nature.” Shark foreshadowing: 2.
The scene and movie comes to a complete halt (or at least maintains its halted state) when Danielle calls out her dad for an affair he had a few months ago. Mom and Dad look down at their plates sadly. Who called in Edward Albee for the rewrites?
Exactly one second after the family seems headed for a domestic drama not seen since The Ice Storm, or at least an Olive Garden commercial, Danielle’s parents happily smile as they wave goodbye to their daughter who’s going off to help Habitat for Humanity. So that whole extra-marital affair thing, we’ll just pretend it didn’t happen, mmkay?
Tricky Danielle doesn’t go to Colorado to build houses for the poor. She sneaks off to Florida where the music never stops! We then are treated to a lovely montage of bikini bottoms prancing around the shoreline. Ah yes, Vagina Beach. Home of, you guessed it, vagina. We then cut to a random old man sitting amongst the young coeds and reading a newspaper. Look, I know directors like to do cameos, but this just isn’t working.
Danielle is finally reunited with her friends. They accuse her of having skin that’s too pale. What’s the remedy? Why a montage, of course! Cut to the galpals trying on hats and sunglasses. Man, Spring Break has really gotten out of control.
Check out the sexy Spring Break hat.
Danielle and her nameless friends stroll along Seagull Beach. “That is the coolest!” they say, pointing to a few guys swimming in a small, inflatable pool. Hey ladies. Don’t look now, but to the right, there’s a whole OCEAN. Crazy, huh?
The girls seem unfazed by the gay pride parade rolling by the beach. We can’t see it, but based on the diva techno in the background, it’s safe to assume RuPaul is just a few feet away. Meanwhile, Danielle and her posse marvel at other sights of CBS’s Spring Break. Why, over there is a dry bikini contest! Oh, and look, there’s an air bong. It’s like a beer bong, except instead of beer, there’s air. Awesome!
We meet J.T. We know he’s bad because he’s carrying around a video camera and trying to get girls to flash their titties. Plus, he looks like Dan Cortese.
Kathy Baker surfaces in the middle of this mess as a homely local who rents out fishing boats to Spring Breakers. Sadly, turns out her little beach isn’t as popular as Seagull Beach which apparently built an artificial reef to lure in the coeds. Yeah, Spring Break is all about the ecosystems, man.
The residual checks from Cocktail and FX have apparently dried up as Bryan Brown arrives to chat with Kathy Baker. Through some clunky exposition, we learn that Kathy Baker is hard up for money as Bryan Brown hands her a $100 bill. No word on whether any sexual favors are included in that deal. Still, Kathy Baker nods towards the incoming students and says “The invasion begins.” Shark foreshadowing: 3.
Kathy Baker’s dreamy son arrives wearing a sleeveless flannel button-down. Turns out he’s not a lesbian, but a handyman. He alerts us that he’s got to fix some fishing boat. Uh oh. Hope that boat doesn’t flunk out on anyone, you know, especially during a shark attack, if that were to happen.
Two researchers babble on a boat. One is a chubby Indian dude with a British accent. The writers prove how hip they are by having him say “Get jiggy with it.” Sadly, he didn’t follow up with “This is a great Spring Break, NOT!” The other researcher seems to be the unholy lovechild of Johnny Mosely, Jason Schwartzman, and Weird Al Yankovic. The two guys seem oblivious to the giant pool float lurking towards them. Oh wait, that’s a shark.
Danielle has inexplicably broken off from the pack to look for her.. brother? Okay, we’ll just go with it. Instead she finds Shane working on his boat. The two have instant corpse-on-corpse chemistry. Danielle stammers. Oooh. What’s she gonna do? Invite him to the party tonight? Oh, she should do that. Do it Danielle! Do it! Sweet relief. Danielle invites Shane to the party. “It’s not my scene,” he says, adding “Seriously, I’m not in that scene. You have to talk to the writers.”
Danielle’s friends ask her “Feel guilty about coming here?” Danielle laughs and says no. Meanwhile, in Colorado, a homeless family stands by a pile of lumber and waits for a volunteer to arrive.
JT becomes smitten with Danielle for no good reason except that she’s the star of the movie. Normally you’d think he’d go after all the hotter, less prudish coeds who have no qualms entering a dry t-shirt contest. JT asks if Danielle has ever been on Spring Break before. She says no, and he replies, “There’s nothing like your first time.” He then adds, “By the way, that was a double entendre. I was referring to sex.”
Later at the club, JT taps a girl on the shoulder. It’s Jennifer Aniston! The girl gives him that patented “You date raped me” look and marches away. Tough crowd.
Danielle and Shane manage to flirt without sparks at the bar. Later they dance to more techno not heard since the days of La Bouche’s “Be My Lover”. Luckily for Shane, everyone else at the club seems to be wearing flannel. Honestly, was this filmed in 1996?
A slow song comes on at the club. Does that happen? Danielle and her friends become mortified when they realize they’re actually at a 6th grade dance.
Danielle’s friend exclaims, “Have you seen all the hot guys from Dartmouth?” Hey, maybe this movie ain’t so bad after all.
After babbling about Dartmouth boys, Danielle’s friends drag her away from both Shane and JT. Aw. Even CBS has cockblocks.
Danielle and Shane have escaped to the local bookstore directly next door to the club (the music comes in through the walls, natch). Gotta love those late night Spring Break bookstores. I wonder if Fat Tuesdays will be adding on that Jane Austen reading room.
Shane comments that the bookstore is more of his scene. He then reveals that he’s saving up for college and wants to be an engineer. Doesn’t really explain his love of bookstores, unless of course they’re in a store devoted to technical pamphlets. The two talk about their hopes and dreams while browsing through stacks of disorganized volumes. And by “browsing”, I mean they pick up a book, flip through pages without actually looking down at what’s in their hands, and then put the book back on some random pile. Things get intense when Danielle grabs a book from behind Shane, almost causing an accidental kiss. Yes, if there’s anything Spring Break is known for, it’s gentle flirting.
JT’s friend and some random blonde chick hang out in a curiously well lit corner of the ocean. The girl freaks out because she feels something graze her foot. Maybe if you looked down into the remarkably well lit water, you might see a shark. Suddenly the girl is dragged underwater. JT’s friend laughs it off and accuses her of being a jokester. Again, a gander at the well lit water might… oh never mind. Moments later, the shark tugs JT’s friend into the water, although we could have sworn he dove in himself. Suddenly, a bloody geyser gushes out of the water. Wow, the shark made him blow up! And by the way, that was pretty cool of the girl to wait for the guy to get eaten before she bled in the water too.
Wow, that guy full on exploded. You’d think with all the light in the water he’d see the shark coming.
Danielle finally meets her brother at his apartment, and it turns out that he’s the researcher from before. No, not the Indian guy, although I would have liked to have heard the backstory on that scenario. Danielle goes in for some household appliance humor as she teases her bro for hoarding a suctionless vacuum cleaner. After we were done chuckling at the badinage, the brother explained that what she thought was a suctionless vacuum cleaner was really a device he was designing to help rid entire beaches of sharks. Oh, but it doesn’t work yet. Better get crackin’! You only have an hour and fifteen minutes left! Before the visit is over, Danielle’s brother says that whatever she does, don’t go in the water! He has a shark sense. We personally would like to see Danielle’s brother at a party with Dennis Quaid from The Day After Tomorrow, Jeff Goldblum from Independence Day, and the guy who predicted the asteroid in Deep Impact.
Danielle watches in horror as a coed languishes in the surf. Is it a shark? No, it’s JT. Oh wait, it’s almost like JT is a shark. So many levels.
JT asks Danielle and her friend what they’re up to for tonight. “Come to the party,” he says, adding “I was thinking about date raping one of you, so come on. I’ll bring chips.”
Shane, rockin’ another flannel vest, encounters his mom, who’s just had a visit from Danielle. “A girl came by. What’s her name?” eggs on Kathy Baker. I don’t know what her name is, you’re the one who took the message, MOM.
Shane tells Kathy Baker that he’s going to go off and check on the boat. Sure you are, laughs Kathy Baker. Hey, stop laughing at my imminent masturbation, MOM!
Bryan Brown returns. He shells out more cash for Kathy Baker. We like the prostitution undertones. It’s a layer.
“Is Karen here?” asks a nymphet, walking into the gals’ beach house. “I’m Karen!” responds, well, Karen. Moments later, a guy walks in and asks if Vinnie’s there. Sadly, Karen resists the urge to say “I’m Vinnie!”
Uh oh! Looks like the few people Karen invited over went and invited a few more people and they invited a few more. There’s a rager at the Spring Break house! This is exactly the sort of bad stuff daddy warned Danielle about. Oh and look, there’s another air bong! This is getting out of control!
The aforementioned Karen yells out to a partygoer, “Hey, drop that vase!” Wow, someone tried to steal a vase. MY GOD!
JT arrives looking less like Dan Cortese and more like JC Chasez. He prances around with a look on his face that seems to say “I only button two buttons on my shirt.” Man, he’s a real shark!
As more gay pride techno pipes through the stereo, a random older dude grinds with Danielle and JT. If this were ESPN, that would certainly go on the highlight reel.
In a random subplot that promises to go absolutely nowhere, Danielle’s non-Karen friend grabs a hold of JT’s video camera. She retreats to a quiet, sob-friendly corner of the house where she views the Spring Break footage. It’s a girl in a bikini standing around. Oh man, this is too hot! The girl finally takes her top off, but the camera conveniently whips around to JT’s friend laughing. Danielle’s friend is crushed by this footage. We are sadly deprived the luxury of watching Visine eyedrops roll down her cheeks.
Shane arrives from the party. Glad to see him back from the bookstore/engineering lab. Kinda wish he’d brought some flannel vests for everyone.
Danielle and Shane are suddenly at a food court. She orders a very family friendly soda. JT arrives magically and manages to slip a roofie into the drink. He hands the soda to Danielle with a look that seems to say “Try this. It’s what I like to call a rape and tonic.”
Later in the evening, Danielle feels sick! What pray tell will happen?? We’re not sure, but we think it might have to do with rape.
JT proves to have terrible roofie etiquette. He leaves Danielle alone, making her the easy target for any other drunken poacher. Luckily, she stumbles out to a bonfire, but sadly she does not become engulfed in flames. Shane is there to grab her, kiss her, and then carry her back into the party. As they re-enter the house, some guy says “Check it out!” Yeah man! Somebody’s carrying someone! And someone found a vase too! Best Spring Break EVER!
JT ascends to a room where Danielle’s passed out on a bed. We know he intends to rape her because the camera tilts down to his crotch for a gratuitously long crotch shot. Meanwhile, the movie suddenly remembers that there’s supposed to be sharks on screen, so we cut to two girls lying on a dock, complaining about boys. One of the girls stands up and walks away for no real reason. She might as well have said “I’m gonna go not die now.” Her friend simply lies there, eventually falling victim to a giant, plastic shark head which supposedly chomps down on her foot, but from what we could see, missed her completely. We’ll just assume its gravitational pull dragged the girl into the water.
I only drink Chablis on Spring Break.
Back in the roofie suite, JT has now made his move. Well, he’s nuzzled his nose against Danielle’s and kissed her cheek. “You cannot resist my hair which is both crunchy and oily all at the same time!” Suddenly Shane walks in to check on his beloved lass. He asks what JT’s doing. “I was just… um… date raping. I mean, rape dating. I mean, watching Desperate Housewives.” There’s a pregnant pause, and for a moment we wonder if Shane and JT are going to make out. Finally, bitch is asleep. We can succumb to our urges!
The next morning, Danielle tells her roommates that she doesn’t remember anything from the night before. They surmise that someone slipped her a roofie. Suddenly Danielle recoils in disgust. Oh my god, I called my dad, she says, suddenly remembering a random moment. I mean, yeah, someone slipped a drug into her soda in order to take advantage of her sexually, but that doesn’t compare to calling her dad!
Hey, Shane. I’m here to rape your engine.
Kathy Baker makes a funny. She says a fraternity cancelled on her: “Alpha Beta Zeta Jones.” Hey, I was in that frat. Kathy Baker then falls victim to a roofie and lets JT have his way with her. They do it doggy style.
Danielle and the crew all hit the open water in Shane’s boat. JT waltzes around on the deck looking bored. We half expect him to say “Danielle, just let me rape you real quickly. I mean, it doesn’t have to be you. Who wants to be raped? Did I mention I’m a shark?” Meanwhile, Shane reacts to JT’s presence by honing his inner pirate and eating apple slices off a knife. ARGH!
Everyone except Shane jumps into the water to swim. Moments later, a red liquid appears in the waves. Guys, the boat’s bleeding. Shane yells out “There’s blood in the water!” The kiddos respond to him with blank looks, even as the bloody water surrounds them. Finally they get the hint and climb back up into the boat. Poor Danielle though has swum out too far. “Are you guys sure it’s blood?” she asks idiotically. No, Danielle. It’s not blood. It’s just a huge amount of cranberry juice that just happens to have attracted the two sharks swimming behind you.
While Danielle furiously swims for the boat, the sharks decide not to attack but quietly observe their prey from a distance. Shane tosses her a flotation device but tells her to be very still — the sharks rely on motion. I liked this better when it was called Jurassic Park. Danielle’s fear of lumbering, plastic sharks comes to a head as she begins screaming. The sharks circle her several times, but apparently they are blind, deaf, and unable to sense the warm blooded prey directly next to them. Eventually they swim away, and when they’ve covered a safe distance of about twenty feet, Danielle makes a break for the ship. Luckily, the sharks are feeble and can only wish to swim half as fast as Danielle.
The sharks attack the fishing boat, causing the coeds to scream and fall over as the camera shakes to and fro. “We’re taking on water!” announces Shane. Everyone looks down to see that they are in fact standing in ankle-deep water. Do top decks usually leak before ship hulls?
Danielle’s brother hauls several decapitated sea turtles out of the ocean. It’s supposed to be a grim sight, but the turtles sort of look like big pillows. Based on the evidence in front of him, Danielle’s brother announces that he can draw no other conclusion except that these turtles have fallen victim to sharks! Or maybe a ship’s rudder. But we’ll go with sharks.
The gang have docked the fishing boat on a random island. JT announces proudly that the beer’s still good. Does beer usually go bad during a shark attack? Danielle brings some items onto the beach and discovers a pack of roofies! And one is missing! She flips the pack over, and discovers that the plastic is broken behind the pill that’s missing! So that means the pill didn’t just disappear. It was removed by a person! Oh what a horrifying, logical sight! The only thing missing is a big label that says “ROOFIES”.
This broken plastic means one thing: this package of roofies wasn’t accidentally missing one pill. Someone used one!
During a commercial break, CBS advertises its next made for TV movie, “Locusts!” Seriously CBS, you might want to fire some people. For the record, if it were called “Spring Break Locust Attack”, I would totally watch it.
We return to the kids on their new island home. “What are we doing here?” asks one of them. Um, shark attack? A few hours ago? Ring a bell?
Danielle complains to Shane that she should have listened to her parents. Her dad was right. Let that be an obvious, moralistic lesson to you kids. Always obey your parents! Shane responds by saying “Your father won’t take you serious.” Actually, it’s seriously. Shouldn’t he know his adverbs, being a reader and whatnot?
The next morning, Danielle’s friend stands in the surf and washes her face. Oh no! Will a tiny shark bite her nose??
Actually, no sharks attack the girl. Instead, the half eaten body of her boyfriend washes up instead. Of all the beaches in all the lands, why’d you have to wash up here?
The buds pile back into the boat and return to Seagull Beach. Why’d they spend the evening if the boat worked?
At the police station, JT and Danielle’s two friends report the dead body. “This is twisted!” says JT, adding “By the way, is my constant use of ’90s slang turning anyone else on?”
Best moment of the night:
Click on the image to play.
The herpes man rock climbs with a happy blonde. “It’s been months since my last outbreak,” he boasts, adding “But only minutes since I gave it to her. Bitch.”
Shane tells his mom that the fishing boat’s bait hatch or whatever was left open, causing accidental chumming that attracted the sharks. With this nugget of information, Kathy Baker then finds Bryan Brown at a beachside bar and accuses him of chumming the waters all week to put a few shark fins in the water and scare the crowds away from Seagull Beach in order to return patrons to the local businesses elsewhere. Wow, she’s really intuitive. CBS should start CSI: Kathy Baker.
Mourning the death of his friend and several failed rape attempts, JT pounds some apple juice, I mean, beer. Hey, is this Spring Break Shark Attack going to start anytime soon?
A crowd of people has gathered on a pier. They spots sharks, and lots of them. Police officers come running with their nightsticks out. So are they going to club the sharks?
Look out! Pool toys on the horizon!
Shane and Danielle see the army of sharks approaching all the drunken coeds in the water. “Let’s lure them away!” suggests Shane. How about you go warn all those people to get out of the water?
While Shane and Danielle spend forty five minutes loading chum into a chest, a drunken JT makes his move on a sexy girl in the water. Just when they’re about to make out, a shark pulls her under. Man, even the sharks cockblock.
Geysers of blood everywhere! Apparently these people have grenades in their bathing suits.
Hey look, there’s a parasailer. It looks like he’s having a great time. Oh shit! He just sailed right into the mouth of a shark. Wow, that was great anticipation on the shark’s part.
A girl emerges from the ocean with what’s supposed to be a bite but looks like a bullet wound. My God! The sharks have guns!
Wow. This is like Normandy.
Well, JT’s dead. Amazingly, the shark raped him before eating him. Now that’s some good irony.
Here comes Danielle driving a boat. Huh? When did she learn how to do that? Shane, Danielle, and Charlie (that’s her brother) arrive to chum the waters and lure the sharks out to the open water. Question: isn’t it a bit late to chum? The sharks have already attacked. And isn’t there enough natural chum now that the chum bait won’t really have any effect? And why are you chumming where the coeds are? Luckily, the sharks speak English because when Shane says “Come and get it, sharks!” they actually listen and ignore all the half eaten bodies in the water (ie. dinner for three weeks) in favor of a floating chest that’s seeping a little bit of blood.
Bryan Brown surveys the horror that is Spring Break Shark Attack. “This wasn’t supposed to happen,” he says. We’re still unclear whether or not he’s referring to his career.
Out on the open sea, the boat suddenly lurches and the bait box disappears under the waves. “What was that?” asks Danielle. Um, I believe it was a shark. You know, unless an Orca got loose too.
The ship rocks violently again. Shane double over in pain as we discover that an arrow seems to have gone straight through his shoulder. The sharks have crossbows too? What can’t they do?
Charlie drops what appears to be oversized Christmas ornaments in the water. We’ll win the sharks over with Holiday cheer!
We learn that the Christmas ornaments are actually pods, and inside them is Charlie’s science experiment. He’s reluctant to use his experiment at first, screaming “But it’s a SCIENCE EXPERIMENT!” But then he relents. Unfortunately, the pods don’t work. You see, if one of them malfunctions, they all malfunction. Kind of like Christmas lights, he says. Well, guess someone’s got to go underwater and fix that pod! Can’t be Charlie. He’s got to man the computer. And Shane is injured (damn crossbow). Conveniently, there just so happens to be a female wet suit on board that fits Danielle perfectly. Don’t really know why she needs one though.
Danielle dangles her foot just above the ocean surface. The camera pulls back to show that she’s literally about to step on a shark’s back. Maybe she should wait for it to swim away? Or maybe they should just go back to shore?
Danielle heads underwater to fix the Christmas ornament. A shark swims right at her, but then suddenly a burst of bubbles emerges from the pod. The shark scampers away terrified. Never underestimate the power of bubbles to keep sharks at bay.
With the Christmas ornaments safely driving the sharks back to the deep, all seems well on Seagull Beach. Amazingly, the media doesn’t seem to care about the giant massacre. Danielle embraces her dad. The two have a sweet heart to heart, culminating with Danielle stating “Maybe I needed you. Maybe I didn’t.” Gosh, this is a really ambiguous ending. Hey remember how her dad had an affair and it never resulted in anything in the script? Yeah, that was great.
Danielle checks in on her beloved Shane, a.k.a. the guy she’s known for just under two days. He says that he thought he was going to lose her. “You’re never going to lose me,” Danielle says, adding “Anyway, gotta go back home. Toodles!”
As they watch the sunset, Danielle jokes “What do you think? Next year Cancun?” Shane simply laughs and says “You’re crazy!” He then adds, “Seriously. All those Mexicans? That’s just too much for me.”
And so ended CBS’s triumphant foray into teen horror. It was truly terrible, and yet, we want more. Much more.