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Shark Encounters of the Third Kind (2020) Review

I’ve been saying for some time now that Mark Polonia  (Virus Shark, Deadly Playthings) needs to step up and improve his game, And with Shark Encounters of the Third Kind he has. Unfortunately, it’s by ripping off two classic films instead of one. Even worse, Polonia and writer John Oak Dalton (Jesse James Unchained, Scarecrow County) seems to have put more effort into the title than anything else.

Kay (Jennie Russo, Return To Splatter Farm, Hi-8) has taken over her late father’s UFO contactee support group. And she’s noticing that the members are acting oddly. Fishermen turned treasure hunters Sloan (Jeff Kirkendall, Ghost of Camp Blood, Bigfoot Vs. Zombies) and his partner (Mark Polonia, ZillaFoot) are noticing the sharks are getting more aggressive and they keep losing divers. Could there be a connection?

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Of course, there is. Anyone can see the aliens are using mind control on the sharks in order to keep humans out of the water. This means plenty of random folks go diving and meet horrible deaths via even more horrible CGI. If you’ve seen Amityville Island, you’ll quickly notice the writer wasn’t the only thing Polonia recycled from that film. Most of the shots of the barely animated shark swimming around are from it as well. Needless to say, it looks nothing like the more animated one that attacks people. Or the real ones that turn up in stock footage.

But you expect that from Mark Polonia, or at least you should by now. Along with CGI explosions superimposed over static images and alien masks you can see the ends of. It’s all bottom of the barrel, even by his standards. All it needs is a few hand-drawn buildings.

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The sad thing is that Shark Encounters of the Third Kind had the potential to be an enjoyably off the wall film. Apart from sharks, the aliens also use their powers on cats and some apparently not very smart people. There’s a crashed UFO, a reference to Amelia Earhart’s skeleton and intelligent, talking sharks. This could have been epic cheese.

Instead, Kay wanders around most of the time occasionally getting attacked by alien-controlled members of her group like Nesbo (Steve Diasparra, Alien Surveillance, Queen Crab) and her own mother (Natalie Himmelberger, Bride of the Werewolf). Unlike in It Kills, Polonia has her keep her clothes on in Shark Encounters of the Third Kind, denying viewers even that bit of prurient pleasure. Eventually, she teams up with Alan Cason (Titus Himmelberger, War Raiders, Sharkenstein) to put the film, and the audience, out of its misery.

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Shark Encounters of the Third Kind is a total waste of time. Hopefully, the thirty-year later sequel to Splatter Farm, Return to Splatter Farm, will be an improvement. But somehow I doubt it.

Shark Encounters of the Third Kind is available to stream via Wild Eye Releasing. It comes to DVD in March 2021. They’re hoping by them people will have forgotten how bad it is. You can check Wild Eye’s Facebook Page for updates.

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