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Land Shark (2020) Review

Scientists in an undersea lab experiment on sharks in an attempt to cure cancer. No, it’s not Deep Blue Sea or even Deep Blue Sea 3. It’s Land Shark (陆行鲨 aka Luxingsha) and not to be confused with Mark Polonia’s Land Shark, another Chinese creature feature. It also shouldn’t be confused with the classic Saturday Night Live sketches, although it isn’t meant to be taken entirely seriously either.

Scientists at the Poseidon Project’s undersea research facility are performing genetic experiments on a shark in order to find a cure for cancer. The shark is none too happy about this and smashes through the unbreakable glass of its enclosure, flooding the facility.

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It’s up to Song Yi (Luo Liqun, Deadly Sniper, Snake 3: Dinosaur vs. Python) to lead the survivors who include Ye Xin (Xi Meili, Snakes) and Qian Youyou (Ren Yixuan) the eight-year-old doctor of the facility’s director to safety. But they’re in for a terrible surprise, the experiments have given the shark the ability to live on land.

Director Cheng Siyu and co-writer Tao Siwei start Land Shark off as a very cheap imitation of Deep Blue Sea. How cheap you ask? So cheap, it’s all shot on one sparsely furnished set. It hardly looks like a control center for a cutting-edge research project. It’s better than the middle school Virus Shark tried to pass off as a research facility, but that’s not saying a lot.

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Once we get past that and onto the island, Land Shark becomes a goofy, if still predictable, monster movie. It seems that the shark was mutated with earthworm genes. So not only can it move on land, it can burrow through the ground as well. It also means it can reproduce on its own. And that’s something that the people financing the project’s money, man Qian Youyi (Yang Yong) is perfectly OK with. The fact that the shark has killed several people and almost ate his daughter is a mere detail.

We do get a few scenes of mass destruction in the middle of the film. But, for the most part, Land Shark stays on its deserted island and lets the monster chew its way through some corporate mercenaries while the good guys try to find a way to stop it. That’s probably a good thing, as the film’s CGI has trouble making the shark look convincing in the middle of an empty field. The scenes of it in the city are horrible. Not as bad as Cockroach Tide and its PS 1 ships, but it’s not good either.

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Land Shark doesn’t have the outrageous setting of something like Snow Monster, but it’s still a perfectly acceptable way to kill some time. It’s currently available free to watch on Youku’s YouTube channel.

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