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SAND SHARKS hits the new formula to a T, casting the famous-for-a-minute Brooke Hogan (also star of 2-HEADED SHARK ATTACK) as a marine biologist / shark expert investigating the shark problem, discovering that these sharks are actually prehistoric sand sharks (as in, they swim and live in the sand). Where these sharks have been all these years is never explained, nor why they just woke up, or really any sort of explanation whatsoever other than, they’re sand sharks and they exist. And for this type of shark movie, that’s all you need.
There’s a back story of a previous shark attack on the shore of said island a few years ago, which has the beefy Sheriff all worked up and distressed. This back-story is essentially unnecessary in the scheme of the rest of the movie, but I guess it it gives the characters something to talk about when filling in all those awkward moments. This whole scenario is straight out of Steven Spielberg’s JAWS, by the way, with the determined Sheriff wanting to keep the beach closed, the Mayor wanting to keep it open, and the scientist/shark expert wanting to help in capturing the monster. There’s also the crusty fisherman who moonlights as a shark hunter. In fact, SAND SHARKS may be one of the biggest JAWS rip-offs in history, except here, the sharks swim and attack on sand.
Let’s talk about the sharks. They live in sand so their skin is more tough and scaly, but mostly we don’t see much of the sharks other than their dorsal fins zooming around the beaches (like that scene from FREDDY’S DEAD: THE FINAL NIGHTMARE, if anyone remembers). The effects are bad (100% CGI all the way through), which is to expected in a flick like this, but especially so here. When we do see the whole shark, we just get a glimpse as it’s jumping out of the sand to kill its prey, then back down under the sand it goes like it wasn’t there at all. Sort of a let down, but as the effects are pretty awful, it likely worked in the film’s favor.
SAND SHARKS is obviously made for television as the gore is more or less absent, there’s no bad language, and while there are a number of bikini-clad co-eds, there’s not an ounce of nudity to seen anywhere. So what it comes down to is sharks attacking people on the beach, a whole subplot about putting on the ultimate spring break party that will attract hundreds of kids to the beach, then a final feeding frenzy that doesn’t nearly live up to the hype the film creates for itself. This should be PIRANHA 3D level of carnage, and it’s simply a splash in the water in comparison. Top it off with unlikable characters and Brooke Hogan as a scientist, and you have yourself one drag of a modern day shark movie.