Bull Shark (2022) Review
Bull Shark begins with an alarm going off and the local game warden Spencer Timms (Thom Hallum, Sister Aimee, Yellow Rose) holding his head. The empty beer cans on his nightstand explain why. He proceeds to make himself a thermos full of coffee and vodka and heads off to work several hours late.
He’s barely there when Nolan (Billy Blair, What Josiah Saw, Cherokee Creek) calls. He’s got something he wants his buddy Spencer to see, a dead shark he plans on making a fortune from selling the teeth etc. Instead, he’s told to get rid of it since people will think there are sharks in the lake. Since, as well as being none too bright, he’s too lazy to properly dispose of it he dumps it into the lake. Unfortunately not only wasn’t the shark dead, but it was also pregnant. And it’s a bull shark which can live in salt or fresh water.
Being hungry after its journey, it promptly chows down on a swimmer (Mallory Hargrove, Fake). And when the body gets found, putting the summer tourist season at risk, in an election year no less, Sheriff Wilson (Derrick Redford, Mega Shark vs. Kolossus, Freshwater) and Mayor Groves (Richard Ray, Caged Birds, Night Night) want the matter resolved quickly and quietly.
Writer/director Brett Bentman (Outlaw Buckle, Meteor) takes the plot of Jaws, drops it into a Texas lake and adds a dose of domestic drama as Spencer’s drinking has his already estranged wife Dottie (Lindsey Marie Wilson) seeking a divorce. He also gives Bull Shark some comic relief in the form of Nolan, “It was dead, I poked it with a stick!” and Tiffany McDonald (90 Feet from Home, Operation Overlord) as a coroner with some interesting eating habits of her own.
While Bull Shark is, unlike yesterday’s film Beneath the Surface, actually about a killer shark, that doesn’t mean we get a lot of attacks. We do get a lot of shots of swimmers, boaters, even a flock of ducks with one of the sharks in the background. It does help the film build some suspense because you can’t tell if a given scene will end with someone getting eaten or not. On the other hand, it can get annoying because seeing people get eaten is why most people watch films like this.
The attacks themselves are about what you would expect from a low end DTV film like this. A fin, a lot of shots of the victim thrashing around and a bit of blood in the water. Bull Shark is pretty much gore-free, and the only effects we get are the shark itself. Again, as you would expect from a film with this kind of budget, the bull shark is computer generated. Quality wise, it varies from fairly good to pretty bad. Thankfully not Jurassic Shark 2: Aquapocalypse or Amityville Island bad, however.
The last half hour brings everything together as the weekend arrives and everyone, including Spencer’s son Grant (Colin Heintz, Adventures in Game Chasing) heads to the lake. With no other choice, he’s got to confront his drinking and work with Dottie to put an end to the sharks’ rampage.
When all is said and done, Bull Shark, while no classic, is entertaining and better than the similar Shark Lake, even if that film had Dolph Lundgren as its troubled shark hunter. Don’t expect too much, have a drink whenever Spencer does, and you should have a good time.
ITN has released Bull Shark free to watch with ads on both Tubi and YouTube as well as on DVD and premium commercial free streaming platforms.