The Sharktopus, named S-11 (because I guess no one really wanted to call it “Burford”), is a genetically engineered creation specifically designed as a bio-weapon for the Navy. At first, S-11 has a device strapped to his head through which Scientist Dr. Sands (Eric Roberts) and his team can control their cuddly lil’ lab experiment. But then – you guessed it – the device breaks off during a test run and so now we have an uber-predator running (make that swimming) amok. But, not only does this mo-fo swim, he leaves the water, too, walking around on his tentacles.
This movie has the requisite military officer pinhead, the scientist who wants to succeed no matter how many casualties, an utterly selfish and unlikeable female television reporter and a protagonist who doesn’t quite make the grade as a wiseass hero-type.
Cute cameo by legendary producer and director Roger Corman as a mentally ill beachcomber who watches S-11’s tentacles come out of the water and latch onto a young bikini’d beauty. She’s using a metal detector on the shoreline at the time. It grabs her just after she finds a gold coin of some kind which she drops during the fray. After she disappears under the waves, the man grins at the water, retrieves the coin and happily heads off down the beach.
A highlight of the movie is seeing a bungee jumper basically feed herself to the Sharktopus. Too bad, really; she’d just overcome her fear of heights and was working on her second jump when S-11 leaps up out of the water and grabs her like a take-out meal. Thank you for your order, please pull through.
As an extra treat, you get to see some really bad “native” dancers in the Puerta Vallarta resort sequence. This particular type of bad dancing hearkens back to the musical numbers in those old Mexican wrestling films. I almost expected the Aztec Mummy to show up here.
If Eric Roberts would spend more time kissing his sister Julia’s ass, perhaps he’d be getting roles in her films and not be relegated to movies like this. Word to the wise, Eric.