Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


SHARKS IN VENICE (2008). Director: Danny Lerner.

This movie, recently shown on the Sci Fi Channel, is a perfect example of how a great idea -- sharks in the canals of Venice indeed! -- can go awry when the talent behind the camera is of the mediocre variety. David Franks (Stephen Baldwin) goes to Venice with his gal pal Laura (Vanessa Johansson) when he learns that his Dad was killed when he got caught in a boat propeller. But the man's wounds more closely resemble shark bites. Seems there's a Great White and other sharks on the loose in Venice! This would all make for a perfectly workable horror thriller but the screenwriter decides to muck it all up by bringing in a sub-plot (that basically takes over the movie) about mafioso searching for a lost Medici treasure and using the sharks to keep other treasure hunters away from the canals. At one point Laura is kidnapped by these guys. There's much more action relating to these bad 'uns then there is to the sharks, who wind up supporting players in their own movie. The sharks are portrayed by real ones and phony-looking computer-generated sharks. The acting is okay, but what a complete waste of a terrific idea.

Verdict: Sharkless in Venice. **.

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