“Yep the poster looks cool so we can make a movie that is crap” John Hijiri this movie’s director after the poster for the movie was made. (At least I assume that’s what he said)
So there is only one reason one would choose to watch a movie like “Japanese Jaws” aka. “Psycho Shark”. And the reason is one of the simplest ones I can think of. Girls in Bikini and Boob shots. I mean. Other than that I can’t think of any other reason to watch what is supposedly a Japanese horror film, and it frustrates me because I love J-Horror. It has one, ONE, scene that can be considered creepy. Just creepy not scary.
There it is, the beginning of the only creepy moment from this movie.
Does it have a plot? Is it worth losing time to summarize it hahaha… Hell NO! So I will look for the Wikipedia summary surprisingly the most accurate. Here it is:
“On the coast off of a private beach in Okinawa a shark is waiting for his prey. Beautiful young college students Miki and Mai arrive at the Island but are unable to find a hotel in which to stay. Both the young women soon find out that something is seriously wrong after they find a hotel and spend some time there happily filming each other, using video cameras offered by the hotel to guests, yet Miki discovers material filmed by a previous occupant. Dream Sequences and actual events become intermingled as Miki realizes that a human serial killer on the loose as well as finds herself and her friend attacked by a gigantic, almost whale-sized shark. Despite the movie’s titles, the vast majority of the scenes consist of either the girls playing together in bikinis or of them examining materials that have been recorded. Whether or not the killer shark actually exists or is a metaphorical device relating to the human serial killer discovered by Miki in the hotel room recording is left unexplained.”
So I could go over they tell the story so badly with a plot that is basically a cool idea, a group of girls facing off against a group of psychos and dealing with a shark I must admit it’s a story that if told correctly would awesome to watch, and explain to you why the movie is a piece of… it’s not a very good movie but I’ll tell you the main problems with the movie because the plot of this movie is something that appears from time to time to remind you it’s there.
First off the fanservice and the Summer romance movie inside my J-Horror movie make me forget the plot and make the movie forget about being a horror movie, you know because a horror movie should never concentrate on the horror or in building tension it’s all about the Hot… well they are also about that but there should be an equilibrium, if you make a movie simply about hot women you are just making a different kind of movie not a horror movie. And frankly, and I can’t believe I’m saying this it can get a little boring.
Scary right? Right!?
Second, I know I said this when I pointed out my first problem but there is practically no tension building moments. I mean the movie tries to have those type of moments and you kind of get that something is going on… and then it cuts to anything completely unrelated and if the scene has managed to make you even a little bit nervous the nervousness is gone. Like I said there was a scene that was creepy, with a jumpscare in it, but there is nothing scary in this movie or a tense moment (I know had more or less made that clear by this point of the review but I must emphasize the point, this J-Horror movie is NOT SCARY not even in the climax
Third. The acting, I mean the acting in this movie is a little over the place not all over the place, just over the place the part that in my opinion ranges from normal acting to “Oh my god they are not even trying.” So this kind of thing takes a lot of points from the movie for me.
Fourth. The Characters. First the girls. Well the best thing that can be said about the characters is that they are not unlikeable. Because you don’t get to know them well enough to like or not like them too much though. I mean from the girls in the tape, the group that was in the motel before the Main Characters you only learn that they are teenager girls who like girls and like practice confessions before the camera. It’s like a realistic bad dating sim. From the main characters, you learn that one is interested in one of the boys from the island, the same one of the previous group liked and dated, that she didn’t think twice to abandon her friend for what seems a whole day to be with the guy she likes, and that the other girl doesn’t seem to mind because she is watching all the tapes from the old group, also the friend who likes the boy has more trust in the boy she has met less than a week prior than in her friend, and you’ll say doesn’t that make her an unlikeable character? Well it would but the other one isn’t really worried about she not being with her for a long time despite her saying she was going to get drinks from a supermarket and she would be back soon and the “would be unlikeable one” isn’t that mean when they “fight”, other than those two instances they are just girls with little personality and you don’t know anything about them except that they are girls and they have boobies like they like to remind everyone every so often, this last thing also applies to the girls from the tape.
The Bad guys, well in this movie there are about 10 actors and actresses and two of the actors are extras, but all of the actors are bad guys. However you don’t learn they are killers until the last few minutes of the movie, well you can guess if you know the plot because you’ve read the summary and know it’s J-horror but if you walk into this movie without knowing about it you don’t know if they are going kill them rape them or are just filming them to pleasure themselves with the videos later, you just know there’s something off about them since minute one thanks to the camera work (more on that later). Also their main motivation is to feed a shark, you know because a large Shark out in the sea doesn’t have food and it’s not like the girls get in the water so that it can attack… Hell after what we see it do for the 30 seconds it ‘s completely visible at the end even on land they wouldn’t be safe and a movie called Jaws in Japan doesn’t need Shark attacks. And you may be saying but the film is called Psycho Shark, the thing is the main bad guy has three ways of acting, flirty when seducing the girls, deeply uninterested in what’s his doing when he is killing them and pissed off when one MC escapes, he is thrown into the sea and doesn’t get eaten for whatever reason… because the shark didn’t have to appear for 10 more seconds in a movie on which both titles imply a KILLER SHARK!
Fifth. Unexplained dreams and visions. So for no apparent reason whatsoever, while watching the tape about the other girls the MC begins to have supernatural dreams and visions. Is she an Esper? Did she have that power before? Is it because a ghost? To these questions the movie replies with a middle finger to the audience. She has visions about what happened to the other girls before watching it on tape and dreams about going to the beach and watching the titular Shark’s fin while her friend is on the water, she doesn’t dream of an attack just the Shark Swimming close by. Also the tape with what happened to the other girls only plays what happens to them when it’s plot convenient.
The first time we see the shark and it’s a dream… it still constitutes about 20% of the time it’s on screen.
Sixth. The pacing. With all the summer video, romance movie, sport illustrated girls in bikini’s special filler, the movie feels long. It’s seventy minutes long and it feels longer than the extended version of the LOTR, any of the movies from that franchise. Also while even if what’s happening it’s relevant to the plot, I guess… at least some of it is the way it’s filmed shot and acted in some it still is boring and filler. Since the movie is also not shot very, it’s half the videos the characters film half with a normal camera you kind of forget you are supposed to watch a movie, especially with the found footage part (handheld camera part), and that the director just said “do whatever you like and film it”.
Seventh. Dumb moments. It has some dumb moments. The first one when one of the MCs decides to try her potential boyfriend she has known for less than a week before trusting her friend because she thinks the other girl is jealous, taking into account the other girl just saw the potential boyfriend once and she hasn’t given any indication that he likes him plus her friend seems really scared, this is when the tape with what happened to the other group refuses to play, after showing the scared girl what had happened. The second dumb moment, the potential BF/serial killer, begins caressing the girl with a knife, to the point of almost making her make out with the knife and the girl doesn’t notice until she’s cut with the knife and her hears her friend calling out. Third the main villain doesn’t kill his GF/MC but slashes her leg and tries throwing her at the sea, when he had no problem stabbing his other GF on the stomach and stabbing her friends too and killing them. One of the girls is not killed that way but she is still knocked out and thrown into the sea. Other dumb moment during the dream about the shark, when the girl who is dreaming that notices the shark, she walks into the water trying to reach for her friend instead of getting the fuck out and shouting at her to get out from a safe distance. And the last Dumb moment I think is that most of the girls of the previous group clearly see that the bad guy has done something to the other girl, it’s more or less obvious that he has stabbed her and they run towards the guy only to be killed themselves. You don’t run towards a killer, who hurt or killed your friend, even if it’s to help your friend unless you have a plan to confront him for god’s sake!
Eighth. The Kills. Most of the kills were lazy and not creative at all. There was an instance of people getting killed offscreen that made me laugh, just because of what happens prior to the scene and a bucket of I will say either red paint or animal blood and meat that is thrown on some rocks after it happens
Ninth. The Camera work of this movie is not really good even when it’s not supposed to be from the camera the characters are holding. The normal camera is bad too. It tries at first not to show the main bad guys too much but it does it in such a sloppy way it’s ridiculous. Not to mention that there is a few seconds of the movie when it films the beach sand, nothing is happening and nothing will happen yet but the camera lingers on the sand as if something is going to happen but then it doesn’t. The first time the bad guys do something suspicious I think they try to hide their identities which is pointless since the bad guys are the only male actors in the whole movie, also in previous scenes it seems the camera is avoids the bad guys or shows them very little if it’s strictly necessary and you immediately know there’s something going on with them
Tenth. The Shark. So… this is both an issue I have with the movie and one of the things I liked the most about it. So the Shark has less than a minute of screentime (and several underwater shots which I guess are its PoV (???)). And as angry as I am because of that I can’t help but laugh at the scenes when it appears. If you have small kids, have them paint a large shark, then imagine that shark as a CGI Shark and you will get this movie’s shark, unless your kid is an extremely talented artist then his drawing will be much better than this movie’s shark.Here is the link
Now I will like to say some things (don’t worry it won’t take much space) in this movie’s defense. First it has many scenes with girls in bikini. Second, it sometimes tries and manages at least one cheap jumpscare with it’s sole creepy scene. Third the Shark scene will make you laugh your ass off. Fourth it’s direct to video and well with exceptions those movies usually aren’t good, it still is bad even for a direct to video release though
So For those reasons I award this movie with 1 Star out of 5. I was going to award it 0,5 stars out of five but the shark scene made me laugh. Since the scene is available on youtube and I have posted it here please avoid this movie at all costs except if you are drunk or high, better if you are both.
And now… girls in bikini!!!
And a rather accurate comparison of the shark (not made by me I’m just borrowing the image.)