Director: Jerry Dugan
Script: David Anderson
Cast: Dolph Lungren, Sara Lane, Lily Brooks O’ Briant, Michael Milligan, Lance Nichols
Running time: 89 minutes
Beginning with a prelude whereby Clint Grey (Dolph Lungren) gets arrested for illegal animal trafficking out of his lakeside home, we see his young daughter being rescued from a life in social services by young female cop, Meredith Hernandez (Sara Lane) who later adopts the girl as her own, to live with her and her mum.
Five years later and Grey is let out and resettles himself back at his lakeside hut, but is trying to keep a low profile as he wants to go straight and win back his daughter’s trust, the legitimate way. Unfortunately, one of his shady, gangster clients has other ideas…
Meanwhile, starting with an elderly couple panning for gold in the lake’s shallows, people in the area start to get attacked and killed by something in the water, something that looks like a shark, and let’s face it, is a shark – the title of the film is a bit of a giveaway!
Through a random, coincidence Meredith meets Peter, a visiting oceanographer (that’s handy!), and in a stereotypical scientist side-kick role, he tags along to advise the cops that the gruesome attacks and deaths are all attributable to a Bull Shark and no bear, as some local hunters believe.
As the story plays out most of the central characters coalesce for the final showdown with the creature beneath the lake’s mainly calm surface. There will be blood; well, a fair bit of it – this is a 15 certificate after all!
Based on an original story by Gabe Burnstein, Shark Lake, basically does what it says on the tin and delivers a fair amount of fishy mayhem as the usual array of stock stereotypes are rolled out to, shortly thereafter, appear on the water monster’s menu. Adults and kids alike do stupid things just to get them within easy reach of the predator’s pointy teeth, and the audience will shake their collective heads in amused dismay…
While probably not an expensive film, Shark Lake obviously had some sort of budget to attract the likes of Mr Lungren and a decent cinemaphotographer, since there’s some nicely shot underwater footage on display here. The film also features some lovely outdoor locations (courtesy of Lake Tahoe in Mississippi), so I’m guessing that might have been a draw for the cast and crew when they signed up.
For a shark attack movie Shark Lake is reasonably well scripted, even though there’s nothing particularly original here, but the film is sadly let down by some sub-par effects shots and a lack of tension during some of the shark scenes. Still it’s worth a punt if you’re into the Selachii side of this particular ‘monsters on the loose’ subgenre.
Europa Distribution and Soda Pictures are distributing Shark Lake on DVD and Blu-ray. Extras include: A trailer that focuses on Dolph Lungren’s character’s job of illegal animal trafficking, which we don’t see much of in the actual film!