Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Monster Shark aka Devil Fish

 -Reviewed by Skunkape-
Directed by Lamberto Bava 1984
A quick personal note. Really I promise it'll be quick. I had just seen Demons for the first time and therefor was now familiar with the name of Lamberto Bava. The next summer I was on vacation with the folks in North Carolina bored out of my mind. I went to the local video store, then imagine the joy of seeing a Jaws rip off showcased in the VidMark Big Box, and it being directed by Lamberto Bava. The night was anything but pleasant. I've resented that viewing experience my entire life. I've finally had the courage to watch the film again but this time I watched the alternate version titled Monster Shark. It still sucks, but being the Michael Sopkiw megafan I've now become, it was a lot more fun and I already had low expectations.

If you like Deviled eggs you'll love Devil Fish!

The film starts with a chopper flying over the ocean, then it pulls a man with his legs chewed off out of the water. You know I'm really sick of these movie monsters being so wasteful! If you're a hungry monster, you could at least eat more than just the legs, that's a whole torso wasted. Don't these monsters know kids are starving in Ethiopia.
"You can't see from this angle that my butt's missing too."
 Monster Shark is Michael Sopkiw's third starring role. He plays Peter, a studly genius who makes radio and computer technology for a pair of marine biologists. He'll probably even fix your TV too! One of these scientists is a British beer drinking know it all and the other is a praying mantis.(she's really skinny) The thin but hot dolphin training love interest is a real dickens, Dr. Stella Dickens that is! We first meet her while she's training a dolphin named Donald, I wonder if the in the Italian version it's Donatello? Dr. Stella is played by french actress Valentine Monnier. She was Sopkiw's gal pal in 2019 After the Fall of New York and their chemistry on screen got her this role as well. 

Life Aquatic with Peter Zissou

"Every time I swim it's literally Skinny Dipping."

"This new Don Johnson album rocks!"
 Monster Shark maybe a Jaws rip off (as the fish's theme definitely suggests) but this shark squid mutant isn't scaring tourists away or shutting down any annual festivals. He's actual even more of a menace with his tentacles than his teeth but Tentacles is another title that was already taken. This sharktopus was man made. There's another troublemaker in this film besides the fish, Dr. Davis Barker, a money hungry scientist from West Ocean International (W.O.I.) created it as a weapon to sell to the highest bidder. Not only that but he's sleeping with the head of W.O.I.'s wife, Professor Donald West. To protect his investment Dr. Davis has hired thug named Miller and he's running around knocking off anyone whose digging for clues putting Peter, Stella, and the rest of the marine team in danger. They discover that the super fish can regenerate it's cells. Which means if they blow it up all it's pieces will make hundreds of little devil fish. Peter uses a device to recreate the fish's own sound in order to lure into shallow water. The Coast Guard and local police will be waiting for the devil fish with gasoline and blow torches. Will Dr. Davis's mob squad snuff out Peter and will the Police be able to burn the monster until not one regenerating cell is left? Who Cares!  :)

WOI vey

"I'm Dr. Davis Frankenfish"

"I can't find my swim trunks."

Next on the Sci-Fi Channel it's Sharktopus vs. Ravioli-Saurus

Devil Fish aka Monster Shark is a monster turd no doubt. I think the project may have been an excuse for Italy’s bad boys of film to take a trip to Florida.  When Italians go to Florida they have way too much fun hanging out at the beaches and they don’t spend enough time making good films. Two Italian/ South Florida movies are Ruggero Deodato’s Raiders of Atlantis (many will disagree with me that this film doesn't suck) and Alberto De Martino's Miami Golem, both great ideas with potential but guilty of sucking. Director Lamberto Bava has made some classics but directing this crap under the name John Old Jr. is one of his epic failures. The Assistant director is none other than hack master Bruno Mattei aka Gilbert Roussel. The Story is by Martin Dolman (Sergio Martino’s director aka for 2019 After the Fall of NY) , Lewis Coates (Lugi Cozzi’s director aka for Contamination and Dean Lewis.(Dean Lewis? A Mystery Italian?) The actual screenplay was penned by four different writers including Dardano “Zombie” Saccchetti. Composer Fabio Frizzi aka Antony Barrymore does the score, which isn’t horrible, it’s actual quite good but it just doesn’t really fit this film. Funny that he scored Blastfighter under the name Andrew Barrymore and in the credits for this one he’s Antony.  One Conspiracy theory is that Frizzi had a split personality and wanted to start a company run by two talented brothers that will score film’s known as the Super Barrymore Bros.  

Floridians are the Pollo of the Sea

Devil Fish the video game by Commodore 64

If you thought that I wasn’t going to mention the MST3K version of Devil Fish you thought wrong! It’s one of my favorite episodes and serves this movie right. The only major differences between the two are that scenes are arranged in a different order and there’s a fair amount of nudity in the uncut version. My only issue with the riffing is that Mike and the bots repeatably peg Sopkiw as a European when he was born in Connecticut, USA.


4 /10 on the CULT-O-METER

Almost fun, for Sopkiw fanatics only

Stick with the MST3K version you know that’s 10 of out 10!

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Monster Shark or Devil Fish?

At Theater of Guts we call it



  1. Bert I. Gordon was going to make a film titled "Devil Fish" in 1981, but it didn't happen, so...somebody made this!?

  2. Its actually quite entertaining. Monster Shark cut is better than the Devil fish cut.


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