Sharkula (2022) Review

Sharkula Poster

Sharkula opens with what may be the worst day-for-night shot in history as Dracula (Jeff Kirkendall, Sister Krampus, Noah’s Shark) is chased across a field by irate townsfolk only to end up falling off a cliff into the ocean where he’s devoured by a shark.

Fast forward to the present, Miskatonic University students Arthur Smith (Tim Hatch, Shark Encounters of the Third Kind, Project D: Classified) and John Beaumont (James Kelly, Reel Monsters, Children of Camp Blood) arrive in Arkham to start their summer jobs working for the mysterious Vladimir Constantine (Jeff Kirkendall). Mr. Constantine however isn’t seeing visitors at the moment, so they have to deal with his assistant Renfield (Kyle Rappaport, Bloody Nun 2: The Curse, Faces of the Dead).

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Yes, Mark Polonia (Jurassic Shark 2: Aquapocalypse, Return to Splatter Farm) is at it again and Sharkula is a mess even by his standards. The plot seems to have been cobbled together from bits and pieces of not just Dracula and Jaws but a few other films as well. The whole setup with Constantine/Dracula in a small New England town was obviously stolen from Salem’s Lot.

The flying bat/shark creature looks like it was inspired by the flying fish from Piranha 2: The Spawning in some scenes only, even with visible wires holding them up they looked considerably more realistic . And Renfield, with his Amish attire, made me think of one of the lesser Children of the Corn sequels every time he started screaming about “The Master”.

The film’s actual plot has something to do with Dracula, excuse me, Vladimir sacrificing virgins to Sharkula with the aid of Renfield and a couple of rotted-looking zombies. There’s also a sub-plot about most of the male cast becoming smitten by Dracula’s intended bride Mina (Jamie Morgan, Amityville Island, Bloody Island). And every now and again the flying shark shows up to off a random victim including Polonia regulars Titus (Sharkenstein, Bride of the Werewolf) and Natalie Himmelberger (Virus Shark, Hell on the Shelf)

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Much of the film’s running time is taken up by shots of a dancer who looks like she’s waving flaming marshmallows while dancing on a beach at night. It looks like stock footage and seems to be edited in randomly between scenes. And while Polonia has also included B roll footage to help pad his film’s running time, in Sharkula he’s approaching Dustin Ferguson levels of random footage.

Sharkula could have been one of Mark Polonia’s better films. The idea is certainly batshit crazy enough to be funny, intentionally or otherwise. But it seems like after he got the idea he didn’t know what to do with it and just strung a bunch of scenes together and tossed in some effects that even he should be ashamed of. The zombie masks look acceptable in a couple of shots, but that’s as good as it gets.

Do I have anything good to say about Sharkula? The idea of giving it a surf music theme song is certainly unique even if the results are as bad as the rest of the film. That’s about as close as I can get.

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The whole thing feels like Polonia had twenty dollars left over after shooting Amityville in Space, and slapped a script together overnight. One that could be shot in an afternoon and padded out with stock footage to reach a seventy-minute running time. I have extremely modest expectations when I sit down to watch one of his films. Sharkula didn’t even come close to meeting them.

Wild Eye Releasing has put Sharkula out on VOD and Digital Platforms as well as DVD.

Where to watch Sharkula
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