Psycho Shark, also known as Jaws in Japan, is more an exploitation film than it is a horror movie or creature feature. Those that tune in to this picture are more than likely expecting a story where a giant shark plays a major part, killing people here and there before it finally gets killed itself. Suffice it to say, that is not what happens here and while one has to give director John Hijiri a little credit for not going down that very clichéd route, what he does deliver is a somewhat interesting, somewhat messy film that cannot seem to decide on what it wants to be.
The good thing is that there actually is a giant shark featured within and while it looks terrible, the CGI being bottom of the barrel effects and which only appears in the last five minutes of the film, the movie at least kept its promise of having one. Why it was in the film is anybody’s guess as it really made no sense to even have one in the movie, but it was there with no backstory and no resolution. The bulk of the story instead would feature numerous girls heading down to one particular stretch of beach and one particular hotel, both past and present, at times using found footage to explain certain events. It is for the most part, just girls playing on the beach or in the water or in the hotel room in their bikinis. It soon comes to light as the girls are having fun, that there is something wrong with their host at the hotel, especially after he is seen killing one of the girls through the footage in the camera, the cameras of course being provided by the same man so that his guests might film themselves playing around and having a good time. So what starts out as an excuse to ogle girls for a good portion of the movie, turns out to be a film about a serial killer which then transforms into a monster movie as a giant shark shows up to make a snack of the film’s lead.
Hijiri might have created a bit of a shambles as he went along with this film, but one cannot say that it was not intriguing. Most of the audience who purchased or rented this film were probably waiting to see a giant shark start killing some people which then turned into a waiting game and it was one that would draw the viewer in, perhaps slightly impatient, but nevertheless fascinated by just where it was going. In the end, that was the best thing about it all – the mystery. Psycho Shark might not be a great film or even a good one, but it was different and different is definitely a positive.
2 out of 5