Like Monday’s entry Shark Kill, Spring Break Shark Attack was a made-for-television movie, in this case a CBS Sunday night attempt at counterprogramming Desperate Housewives. This gambit is made explicit in the opening scene, in which four MILFy types floating in an inflatable raft enjoy cheese, wine and catty remarks before being devoured by sharks. Cute, sure, and emblematic of the overall disposability of the project; watching the movie four years later, divorced of its original context, I would never have made the connection if not for my diligent research on behalf of this column.
Spring Break Shark Attack breaks down the formulation of its title thusly: 85% spring break, 15% shark attack. Our heroine is virginal high school student Danielle, who sneaks away from home against the wishes of her domineering father to join her slutty friends for a sun-and-fun getaway in beautiful Seagull Beach, Florida. It is there we find all the traditional MTV-approved trappings of spring break: volleyball, jello wrestling, wet t-shirt contests, bikini montages and a couple of brahs with camcorders capturing “Girls Unleashed” footage.
One of these gym-muscled, man-tanned douchenozzles is JT, who makes Danielle his mission of conquest. For her part, Danielle quickly falls for townie Shane, a secretly sensitive fellow who works for his mother’s boat rental outfit. (His favorite hangout is a bookstore, so he’s definitely the deep one in this crowd.) After being rebuffed several times, JT resorts to roofies, but Shane interrupts before he can lay his loving on a drugged-up Danielle. Provocative stuff, I’m sure you agree, but I know what you’re thinking: what about the sharks already?
Well, it turns out that Joel (Bryan Brown), an unscrupulous bar owner from a rival beach, has been chumming the waters around Seagull Beach to attract sharks and drive the clientele his way. But he never dreamed it would come to this: a massive wave of shark attacks, leaving dozens dead or wounded. Well, of course – who could have seen that coming? As a primetime network presentation, Spring Break Shark Attack is light on the gore effects; mostly we’re treated to clouds of blood and what seems like hundreds of digital fins circling the water. On the plus side, the movie is well-stocked with people we can’t wait to see eaten by predators.
- Scott Von Doviak