DVD Review ” Shark Week: Shark ’n’ Awe Collection”

DVD Release Date: May 9, 2017
32 episodes on 6 discs
Distributed by: Lionsgate
Run time: 22 hours and 35 minutes

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Shark Week: Shark ’n’ Awe Collection” is a Walmart exclusive release and released to get us all excited for 2017 Shark Week coming up soon! Over the six discs, there is nearly a full day of content. This is not a full collection of 2016, rather what you get are some of the best episodes from both 2015 and last year. Some of the episodes includes in this new collection are “Alien Sharks: Close Encounter”, “Ninja Sharks” and “Sharks Versus Dolphins: Face Off” to name a few out of the 32 episodes included.

Official Premise: Shark Week is back, making a huge splash with all-new, compelling and jaw-dropping shark stories and shark technology. Working with the most respected marine biologists and science institutions, Shark Week: Shark ’n’ Awe Collection highlights some of the most recent breakthroughs and developments that have led to remarkable new insights into these magnificent creatures.

Other than the 32 episodes included over six discs, there are no additional special features included. The episodes chosen are solid choices for sure. Every year I watch Shark Week and I always think it will be the same of the same each year but it is not. I always learn something new with each year and these collected here deliver for sure. I am a big disappointed with the fact that Lionsgate did not include digital copies like with previous releases.

Celebrate 4th of July by Entering to Win a Limited Edition “Jaws – Bruce Shark Shakems” [ENDED]

Fourth of July is right around the corner! You know what that means? Time to hit the beaches! Nearly 40 years ago, fans flooded the theaters to be forever scarred by the film “Jaws”. Media Mikes is teaming up with Factory Entertainment and are very excited to giveaway a limited edition Jaws – Bruce Shark Shakem to our readers. If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of this prize, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite “Jaws” quote. This giveaway will remain open until July 4th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US and Canada only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

“This shark, swallow you whole! This Limited Edition Premium Motion format statue is designed to match the ‘Bruce’ filming models seen on screen using the original construction plans as reference. Crafted from heavyweight polyresin and hand painted the integrated, non-electronic motion feature brings the piece to life and creates the illusion of the shark swimming. Each statue is 7.5” long and comes packaged in a full color presentation box.

Book Review “Sharkopedia: The Complete Guide to Everything Shark”

Author: Discovery Channel
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Time Home Entertainment
Number of Pages: 192 Pages
Release Date: June 11, 2013

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Sharks, why are we so fascinated with them? We just recently completed another amazing year of Shark Week, one of the best in my opinion! Great job, Discovery Channel. They are also behind this great new book, “Sharkopedia: The Complete Guide to Everything Shark”, teaming up with Time Home Entertainment, Inc. If you are a shark finatic like myself then you are going to love this book. This is a 192 page full-color book that includes over 400 vivid photos and tons of great information about nearly 500 species of sharks. I am very excited more importantly to show this book to my daughter as she gets older to have her learn about these amazing marvels. “Sharkopedia” is for all ages and really delivers an ultimate comprehensive book for shark fans.

Some of the chapters included “Shark Anatomy and Senses”, which explore shark parts, skin, muscles, fins, gills, hearing, taste and touch. “Feeding Habits” discuss different types of whats that sharks eat. “Record Breakers” show which shark can live over 200 years. “Shark Behavior” discuss if sharks sleep. “Shark Conservation” talks about what we can do to understand sharks better and how we can help them. There is tons of great information about Great White, Bull and Tiger sharks. I pride myself on being a big fan of sharks and there was still tons of great details that I have never known, thanks to this book. Highly recommend this and it is a great way to ease of having to wait another year before the next Shark Week.

Blu-ray Review “Great White Shark – A Living Legend”

Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
Release Date: July 23, 2013
Run Time: 50 minutes

Special: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Anything related to shark, count me in.  With Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” right around the corner, “Great White Shark – A Living Legend” arrives at the perfect time. This episode was originally filmed for “Natural World” on BBC. If you can’t get that from the cover art we get to go up close and personal one of our most feared predators in our oceans. I mean who doesn’t love shark.  I am absolutely fascinated and eat up anything I can get on these amazing creatures. My main concern is that this only runs 50-minutes but it is entertaining and there is a bit of knowledge shared here but nothing out of this world.  If would recommend this for hardcore shark fan. Come on in the water!

Official Premise: Get up close and personal with one of the most vicious predators of our oceans, the Great White Shark! We think of great whites as fearsome aquatic killers, but do we know them as well as we think? In this presentation from BBC’s acclaimed Natural History Unit, Mike Rutzen, the world’s foremost great white shark diver, follows great whites as they feed, at proximity never before achieved. Mike’s unique ability to communicate with them using his body language allows him to swim amongst them unscathed. Mike explores why occasionally attack people. He also challenges the view that their feeding is unstructured and frenzied, to prove instead that they obey the subtle rules of a complex form of social hierarchy.

Even though it is short, BBC still delivered a very nice Blu-ray presentation for “Great White Shark: A Living Legend”. The episode looks amazing with its 1080p high definition in 1.78.1 widescreen.  The colors are sharp and the detail is very impressive. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is also quite great. Since there is no action in this film, the score and music still delivers  a great surround experience and takes advantage of this track. In the special features department, there is only one extras included, called “Smart Sharks: Swimming With Roboshark”. This 50-minute documentary is narrated by David Attenborough and looks into the life sized mechanical shark designed by Andrew Sneath. This as a good companion to “Great White Shark – A Living Legend”.

Blu-ray Review “Shark Week: Fins of Fury”

Rated: TV-14
Studio: Discovery Channel
DVD Release Date: July 16, 2013
Run Time: 301 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Shark Week is my favorite week of the year no question.  I set my DVR and tape not only the new specials but also the classic ones as well. Discovery Channel has been running it for over 25 years now and it only gets better and better each year.  “Shark Week: Fins of Fury” delivers some of the best special from the 2012 season.  If you are a fan of Shark Week, then this release should be a must purchase, especially to get you ready for this years great line-up!

Disc one contains the following episodes are included “Great White Invasion”, which focuses on the routines of sharks seen around the waters in California, Australia and South Africa. “Jaws Comes Home” looks into sharks returning to the same waters where the film “Jaws” was made. “Rogue Sharks” debates the idea of sharking being territorial (if you’ve seen “Jaws” you will know this debate).

Disc two includes the rest of the episodes including “Summer of the Shark”, investigates Australia’s recent attacks. “Killer Sharks” looks into the 1957 holiday shark attacks in South Africa. “How Sharks Hunt” features Dave and Cody of “Dual Survival” as they discuss the habits of great whites. Lastly, “Shark City” features Andy Samberg (“SNL”) as he takes us on a tour of the protected waters of the Bahamas.

I loved all these episodes from latest year but the major complaint I had was Andy Samberg.  Man, was that a mistake.  Out of anyone to be the Chief Shark Officer, why would they choose him.  I understand they want to make it fun for the week of episodes but I was not feeling him as a host at all.  Hopefully they will fix that for the 2013 season.  Until then, this Blu-ray is a great way to catch up on last year’s greats (excluding “Shark City”).

Blu-ray Review “Deadly Sea Creatures: 2-Headed Shark Attack / 2010: Moby Dick / Mega Shark Vs Crocosaurus”

Starring: Jaleel White, Carmen Electra, Charlie O’Connell, Barry Bostwick
Distributed by: Asylum Home Entertainment
Running Time 264 min
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Release Date: Feb 19, 2013

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Here is the thing about these films…they are very bad but so bad they are good. Yes these are all fun films. “2-Headed Shark Attack”, well has a two headed shark and that is cool enough for me. Please it has Carmen Electra, Charlie O’Connell and Brooke Hogan in the lead. “2010: Moby Dick” is a riot and Barry Bostwick is a riot in the film. Lastly we have Jaleel White in “Mega Shark Vs Crocosaurus”. The film is a follow up to the amazing “Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus”. I mean where else can you see a giant croc eat Shamu at SeaWorld? There is tons of fun to be had here with this 3-Pack if you are up for it.

“2-Headed Shark Attack” Official Premise: A Semester at Sea ship is sunk by a two-headed shark, and the survivors escape to a deserted atoll. When it starts flooding, the coeds are no longer safe from the jaws of the monster. “2010: Moby Dick” Official Premise: A modern adaptation of the classic novel of the captain of a high tech submarine and his obsessive quest to destroy the enormous prehistoric whale that maimed him. “Mega Shark Vs Crocosaurus” Official Premise: The massive prehistoric shark has survived the last battle, and the world is again threatened when a new, more dangerous foe is discovered in the jungles of Africa.

This 3-Pack marks the first time that “2010: Moby Dick” and “Mega Shark Vs Crocosaurus” are being released on Blu-ray. I have to admit, I am glad to get a chance to own them but I would have preferred to have individual releases especially for “Mega Shark Vs Crocosaurus”. The main issue with this release is that all three films are all compressed onto one 25GB Blu-ray. The bitrates are a low for a Blu-ray quality and they do not look the greatest with their 1080p transfers. The audio tracks are also only Dolby Digital 5.1, which to me is not even Blu-ray standard.

So why am I still recommending this release? Since if you know Asylum Home Entertainment, if you’ve seen their past release then you should know that they are not always quality. But still they are fun films are since this is currently the only way to own two of the three films, I am down for this sub-par release.  I will keep my hopes up that they will produce individual releases in the near future.

R.I.P. David R. Ellis – Flashback Interview for "Shark Night 3D"

I was very saddened to find out that David R. Ellis has passes away on January 7th, 2013. He was the director of action films like “Shark Night 3D”, “The Final Destination” and “Snakes on the Place”. Here is our interview from August of 2011 with the late director to chat about working on “Shark Night 3D”.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you originally become attached to “Shark Night 3D”?
David R. Ellis: I had done “The Final Destination”  in 3D which ended up doing really good. Those attached to the “Shark Night” project wanted to make this film in 3D as well. I had been attached to the project for some time prior to the film being made. I was the only person out there that had done a full live action 3D movie. They brought me in to meet with the producers and I pitched to them what my vision for the film was. They immediately attached me to the film and from there they started to pitch the film for funding with my name attached to it.

MG: What can we expect from the film?
DRE: There is a lot of comedy and fun in this film. It’s not a horror but it is a scary. The film is rated PG-13 however we really pushed the envelope with what we could get away with. The film plays like an R rated movie but we just don’t cuss or have boobs in it. We don’t really need that to make a scary movie. I don’t think boobs are that scary. Maybe some are. (Laughs) During our test screenings we made people jump and scared them but they also had a lot of fun with the movie. We spent time developing the characters and we have a great young cast. I like finding young actors and giving them a shot such as Chris Evans who I had in “Cellular”. I think everyone in this film are going to be big stars in their own right and I was very lucky to get them before they broke out.

MG: We have spoke to the whole cast and they have been telling us that you are one of the best directors to work with and you have this unique approach to directing; can you tell us about that approach?
DRE: Well I pay them to say that [laughs].  No seriously, when I cast actors I cast people who have the ability to adopt the part and who can get into the role. I like to then give them free reign in designing that character from what they want to wear and what props they may want to use. Making a movie is not brain surgery so my sets are a lot of fun to work on. I come very prepared and we have fun while getting our work done. At the end of a movie it’s sad because we made a new family and you have to leave that. Keeping everything light is key. Appreciating everyone working on the film for what they contribute and not yelling and or screaming is important as well because at times we were shooting in miserable conditions but by keeping it fun everyone stepped up to the plate and did a great job.

MG: How much of the film features animatronic sharks and how much was CGI?
DRE:  It’s probably 40% animatronics and 60% CGI. We used the animatronic sharks when they had to interact with people. When a scene was really difficult we used the CGI sharks.  The CGI has really come a long way and looked great, especially since I was directed the second unit on “Deep Blue Sea”.  The technology from then to now is amazing. The sharks look great!

MG: How do you “Shark Night 3D” differs from your other 3D film “The Final Destination”?
DRE: This one was more difficult because we were shooting on the water. When you are using 3D cameras you have one camera for the left eye and one for the right. They are very bulky and underwater they are very big so it’s technically tough for the crews. I think 3D films need to be shot in 3D nd not converted in post production, as I feel you don’t get the depth. I call that ‘2 and a half D’. What they have now that we didn’t have for “The Final Destination” are 3D monitors. You get to watch everything in 3D as its being shot. Before you had to shoot then put it into a computer and watch it in a trailer later on.

MG: Can you tell us the story behind the issues with the film’s title?
DRE: The working title of the film was “Shark Night 3D”. We were always hoping that we would come up with something that was catchier. On a weekly basis we had production meetings where I would try and get the crew to suggest different titles. Ultimately when the film was bought after we were done there was some research to change the title but in the end the film is what it is and the title was fitting.

MG: Do you prefer shooting in 3D or do you find it more difficult?
DRE: I love 3D and its depth. I think a lot of films use the really gimmicky type 3D that throws stuff into the audience. We didn’t do that. We used the 3D to put the audience inside the world of the shark and to have the sharks in the audience. The gimmicks work for some movies as 3D is an interactive experience. I think 3D is a great application and it’s going to be around for a long time. It may not be for every film but for the right film if it’s used correctly it’s an awesome experience.

Blu-ray Review “Shark Divers: Documentary Collection”

MPAA Rating: PG
Distributed by: Mill Creek Entertainment
Release Date: June 26, 2012
Running Time: 193 minutes

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

I am a sucker plain-and-simple any kind of shark documentary. “Shark Divers” delivers some decent entertainment for any shark lovers. If you are looking for some hardcore documentary, this may not be for you. But it is a fun mix and facts with entertainment factor. Mill Creek’s delivers overall a nice collection of documentaries including the following: “The Shark Divers”, “Shark Business”, “Whale Sharks: Gentle Giants” and “Giants of San Benedicto”.These are film taking advantage of the high-def underwater photography and are developed by Danny Mauro.  He has worked on over 100 programs about the marine environment, including “The Blue Realm”. So you know that these docs have a lot of love going into them.

“The Shark Divers” – Sharks are BIG business in adrenaline eco-tourism. And some thrill seekers deliberately pursue close encounters with deadly sharks – without the protection of a cage. The bigger and more dangerous the shark, the better. But have we taken this risky sport too far? “Shark Business” – Shark Business unravels some of the mysteries surrounding sharks with controversial behaviorist Dr. Erich Ritter. You’ll witness divers testing the limits of shark-human interaction outside of cages with dangerous sharks such as lemon, bull and even Great White sharks!

“Whale Sharks: Gentle Giants” – Whale Sharks: Gentle Giants introduces us to this amazing creature through scientists who are racing against time to save the species. Utilizing space-age technology from NASA and the Hubble Telescope, researchers are able to identify, catalogue and track individual sharks.

“Giants of San Benedicto” – You’ll travel to the remote Socorro Islands off Mexico’s Pacific coast and see breath-taking encounters with enormous manta rays. You’re sure to love these majestic giants as you see how they invite human contact, and encourage certain divers to ride them. The film crew also travels to the Bahamas to visit “Bubbles”, a fifteen foot Manta in the world’s largest aquarium, and witness her release back into the ocean.

The Blu-ray release itself looks nice but not stunning within its high definition transfer. Despite the fact that it was shot underwater, it still looks presentable for the format, thought not going to blow anyone away.  The audio track  included is DTS-HD MA 2.0 is like the video transfer…acceptable.  The narration sounds decent and works well with the music in the docs. If you are looking for any additional special features, besides the four documentaries, you will be disappointed.  I wouldn’t though have expected much more besides the films themselves.

Chris Olen Ray talks about directing films like “Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus” and working with The Asylum

Chris Olen Ray is known best for his work with The Asylum on films like “Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus”, 2-Headed Shark Attack and the recent “Shark Week”.  Chris took out some time to chat with Media Mikes about his work on these films and his love for the genre.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us how you became involved working with The Asylum?
Chris Olen Ray: Basically a couple of years ago I was trying to get back into the film industry and the only people to give me a job was The Asylum. I did a lot of line producing for them and the rest is history dude [laughs].

MG: Tell us about how you got involved directing “Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus”?
COR: “Mega Shark” was really cool. I heard about it when I was producing “Mega Python vs. Gatoroid”. I had down two other similar films, “Reptisaurus” and “Megaconda” and they thought it was good enough to give me a show on “Mega Shark”.

MG: Where you happy with the final cut of “Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus”?
COR: Once I edited the film, they really didn’t do much to it. I have done though some after this film, which just have been chopped to shreds [laughs].

MG: Going from a directing a Mega Shark to a 2-Headed Shark, tell us about your experience on “2-Headed Shark Attack”?
COR: “2-Headed Shark Attack” was really fun. We shot it in the Florida Keys with a great cast, Brooke Hogan, Carmen Electra and Charlie O’Connell. The problem with this film was that we were trying to do a combination of CGI with the puppets. Initially in concepts the puppets were really cool but for some those damn teeth would stay in the sharks mouth [laughs]. There was quite a lot of CGI outflow, so to bring in the puppet it helped down a bit. It also gives the actor something else to work with.

MG: You are also directing “Shark Week”, tell us about that film?
COR: That film was very hard to make. Everything that you think could go work, went wrong. I was happy and surprised we were even able to get a movie out of it. I can’t talk about what
happened but whatever you see if better than we thought we had. The concept behind this movie was such a great concept for it to turn out the way it did. I am just hoping people enjoy it.

MG: What do you enjoy most about the creature feature genre?
COR: “Shark Week” was a little more serious tone but with “2-Headed Shark” and “Mega Shark” were a lot more fun. For “Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus”, your coming in on an already popular film and just want to keep it going well.

MG: What would you say has been your most challenging project to date?
COR: “Shark Week” honestly has been the hardest for me. In the 30 years I’ve been in Los Angeles and even talking with my old man, it just so wild. It really has to be my worst experience ever for me.

MG: What do you have planned next?
COR: Recently I’ve being doing these episodes for a project called “Silicon Assassins, which stars Richard Hatch. I also got a new film I am producing for The Asylum as well and just trying to stay busy.

Blu-ray Review “Shark Week”

Directed by: Chris Olen Ray
Starring: Patrick Bergin, Yancy Butler, Josh Allen, Erin Coker
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Distributed by: Asylum Home Ent
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Running Time: 90 minutes

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

When it comes to The Asylum films, I am first one in line. I was anticipating “Shark Week” this summer timed to steal some spotlight with Discovery Channel’s 25th Anniversary of “Shark Week”, I am sure. The film manages to bring the Asylum’s usual charm but doesn’t excel much. I am a fan of Chris Olen Ray’s work, especially in the shark genre with “2 Headed Shark Attack” and “Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus” but still one falls a little flat. The CG is not the worst, I’ve seen and some parts are actually kind of kick-ass. Lastly, it also seemed like Patrick Bergin and Yancy Butler didn’t really have much to do in the film besides sit in front of computer. I call this a one-time watcher at most.

The premise is quite decent actually b It follows a group of strangers who find themselves captured at a wealthy madman’s island compound and are forced to survive a barrage of ever deadlier species of shark. The film has been quoted as “Saw” meets “Jaws”, which would have actually been awesome but the execution of that cool idea is where the film fails. When I interviewed the director, even he did not have any faith in this film saying “I am surprised we were even able to get a movie out of it…The concept behind this movie was such a great concept for it to turn out the way it did.”

I have no complaints with the the Blu-ray itself. It is a typical Asylum release and delivers a decent HD experience with both its 1080p video and its 5.1 surround sound audio track. The special features also follow the typical Asylum route and are a little light but still decent. There is a short behind-the-scenes feature called “The Making of Shark Week”. Lastly there is a gag reel included. Both features are worth checking out, even if you didn’t enjoy the film. I just wish the film was as amazing as the box cover!

Blu-ray Review “Jersey Shore Shark Attack”

Directed by: John Shepphird
Starring: Jeremy Luc, Melissa Molinaro, Jack Scalia
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed by: Anchor Bay
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Running Time: 87 minutes

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

Whenever I see the word shark in a film’s title, I come running. Personally, I have never seen a single second of MTV’s “Jersey Shore” (reporting proudly). But I don’t think I missed much plot, this film a just about a bunch of dumb Guidos running around after sharks. It definitely packs a few good laughs including a cameo from Joey Fatone but overall misses on all other accounts. The sharks are actually really poorly done and not very intimidated. Honestly though with a title like “Jersey Shore Shark Attack”, the film delivers exactly what you should expect from a title like that.

Do you really need a premise described for this film?  It’s called “Jersey Shore Shark Attack”.  It is the Fourth of July and Seaside Heights is the place to be in New Jersey! That is until an illegal coastal drilling operation causes a horde of man-eating albino bull sharks to attack the cities patrons. Guess what? It is up Jersey’s finest crew of idiot Guidos to fight off these ravenous sharks before the whole town is consumed.  The Blu-ray itself looks good with its 1080p transfer and the audio is decent as well but nothing to call home about.  The special features including an audio commentary track from executive producers Barry Bernholtz and Jeffrey Schneck, as well as producers Peter Sullivan and director John Shepphird.  Lastly there is a quick production featurette called “On Set: Jersey Shore Shark Attack”, which plays like a mini-episode of “Jersey Shore”.

Leave it up to Syfy to mash up “Jersey Shore” with albino sharks.  Also keep an eye out for actors like Paul Sorvino, William Atherton and Jack Scalia who pop in. Unless you are a hardcore SyFy creature feature fan, then I suggest you completely stay away from “Jersey Shore Shark Attack.” I just would have liked to have seen more Guidos get eaten by the sharks, personally. I still haven’t figured out which Vinnie was killed in the beginning 😉

No Safe Haven from The Asylum’s Latest Creatures “Bigfoot” and “Shark Week” Available on Blu-ray™, DVD and On Demand this August

LOS ANGELES, CA (August 14, 2012) – From the studio that brought you Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus and Zombie Apocalypse come two new action-thrillers – featuring Alice Cooper, two former teen heartthrobs, an especially tall and hairy beast and a large array of deadly species of shark – that prove that there is no escape from monsters both terrestrial and aquatic.

Two of TV’s most beloved child actors, Danny Bonaduce (The Partridge Family) and Barry Williams (The Brady Bunch) unite, assisted by Sherilyn Fenn (Rude Awakening, Boston Public), to make it through Bigfoot’s startling appearance at a music festival in North Dakota in Bigfoot.  Directed by Bruce Davison, Bigfoot is debuting on Blu-ray™, DVD and On Demand August 14 from The Asylum. And see who survives the shark-infested waters of an isolated island run by a rich madman, played by Patrick Bergin (Patriot Games) in Shark Week.  Featuring Yancy Bulter of As the World Turns and Kickass fame, Shark Week debuts on Blu-ray™, DVD and On Demand August 28.  Both projects successfully debuted on Syfy earlier this summer.  Pick up a copy of these hits on Blu-ray™ or DVD for bonus features including a behind-the-scenes featurette “The Making of Bigfoot” and “The Making of Shark Week,” respectively. The films will be available for $14.95 SRP (Blu-ray) and $14.95 SRP (DVD).

Synopsis of Bigfoot:

When Bigfoot attacks an 80s-themed music concert, a concert promoter and a hippie burnout will do anything to protect the “endangered species.”

Produced by David Michael Latt, David Rimawi and Paul Bales; directed by Bruce Davison; and written by Micho Rutare and Brian Brinkman.

Synopsis of Shark Week:

A group of complete strangers find themselves isolated by a wealthy madman on his island compound. They are forced into a horrifying gauntlet where they must survive a barrage of ever deadlier species of shark.

Produced by David Michael Lett, David Rimawi and Paul Bales; directed by Douglas-Olen Ray; and written by H. Perry Horton.

Jack Perez talks about “Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus” and “Some Guy Who Kills People”

Jack Perez is known best as the director of the cult hit “Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus”. Jack also recently directed the new horror/comedy “Some Guy Who Kills People”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Jack about his new film and the cult success of “Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus”.

Mike Gencarelli: How did the title, “Some Guy Who Kills People”, come about?
Jack Perez: I came to the project after the script was already written. Ryan Levin had come up with the title and I loved it. Some people had wanted to change it as they thought it was too strange. I really fought for it as I thought it summed up the theme of the movie.

MG: What was your biggest challenge working on this production?
JP: I think getting the film done in the time we were given. We only had 16 days to do the film and its one of those films where performance counted. I wanted to make sure I could get all of those. Time was really the biggest thing. Fortunately we had a great crew and the cast was great as well.

MG: How was it working with such a great cast?
JP: It was great! I am a big fan of Karen Black and Barry Bostwick. These were all people Iadmired. I also admired Kevin Corrigan’s work and knew him socially however we had never made a film together. This film was a chance to work with people I loved. Thankfully they were all available as that generally never happens.

MG: Were the comedic parts of the film planned or were they something that just naturally occurred?
JP: Everything was deliberate. The script was designed to have equal parts of comedy, horror and drama. That was something that made me like the script so much. Mixing these things is always appealing but difficult to find.

MG: How did John Landis become involved?
JP: I think he had gotten script early on as Ryan was looking for a director. Landis was approached and it appealed to him however around that same time he was approached to make “Burke and Hare”. That was a project he has been looking to make for a long time and it then became about finding someone to replace him which is where I came in.

MG: Did you think “Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus” would ever reach the cult status that it has? And why did you choose to go by Ace Hannah?
JP: I never did. The reason I didn’t put my name on it was because I like to have control over the edit of my work. I think it is an essential part of directing. The Asylum doesn’t work that way. I knew they would sort of make a mess of my work. I wish people could see my cut of the film as it is a much faster, funnier movie. There was a bunch of stuff added to pad the length of the movie.

MG: What do you have planned next?
JP: I just did a movie for the Syfy channel called “Blowing Vegas of the Map”. It’s kind of a goofy, super natural disaster type movie. It was really a chance to work with Barry Bostwick again. Ryan and I also want to work together again.

H. Perry Horton talks about writing “Shark Week” & “2-Headed Shark Attack” with The Asylum

Perry Horton is the writer of two recent films from The Asylum, “Shark Week” & “2-Headed Shark Attack”.  Media Mikes had a chance with Perry about how he got started working with The Asylum and about his upcoming films.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about how you got involved working with The Asylum?
H. Perry Horton: In August 2010 I started my blog, Committed, dedicated entirely to Asylum films – news and reviews, interviews and profiles et cetera, as well as my own personal pitches. Basically, it was a shameless ploy to get their attention, and somehow it worked; in January 2011 they added me to their pool of writers. Three months after that, I was working on A Haunting in Salem.

MG: What was your biggest challenge working on “2-Headed Shark Attack”?
HPH: The sheer number of characters. I inherited the concept and basic set-up from the very talented Edward DeRuiter (3 Musketeers), and in my head, a semester-at-sea couldn’t just be 8 or 10 characters, there had to be enough people to justify the program, so I added a bunch more. Too many, perhaps, for development across the board, but on the bright side, it does yield possibly the highest death count in all of shark cinema history, at 26, I think.

MG: You work with sharks again with “Shark Week” also from The Asylum, tell us about working on this project?
HPH: The Asylum came to me with the concept, a sort of Hunger Games for the shark set. I thought it was a brilliant idea, and instantly wanted to get my hands on it. As far as the process went, it was quick – very, veryquick – and as such sort of a blur in my memory. I just remember throwing myself into it, wanting to satisfy what I think of as the two sides of being a shark fan – wanting to marvel at the sheer evolutionary superiority of the creatures, the genetic adaptations and instincts that make them such exceptional predators, and wanting to see them rip shit up. There are a lot of different species in the film, and I wanted to highlight each’s nefarious advantages, give each a different perilous personality.

MG: You are quite the shark expert, what do you enjoy most about working within that genre?
HPH: I don’t know that I’d consider myself a shark expert – maybe a shark-movie aficionado – I’ve just always been simultaneously fascinated and terrified by them. When I was a kid, eight or nine, I was surf fishing with an older friend in North Carolina, back where I’m from, and he got a bite on his line, big one, and started trying to reel it in but it was giving him trouble. When he tugged hard on the line, a hammerhead breached the surface not ten feet off shore. My buddy dropped the pole right there and it disappeared into the waves. Since then, I’ve been hooked (pardon the awful pun). Sharks are the pinnacle of evolution, the absolute fulfillment of biology’s potential, they’re consumption machines, it’s all they do, and they are well-equipped for the task. I can’t think of a more primal creature on the planet. And then there’s the sea: I could be making this up, but we know more about our solar system than we do the sea. It covers 3/4th of the planet and contains such a wide variety of hazards they’re practically innumerable. You put those elements together – a singled-minded killing machine with zero natural predators and the most unexplored and hostile environment on Earth – you’re gonna come up a winner every time.

MG: Tell us about why you created Committed, a fanblog about The Asylum?
HPH: I’m a fan, first and foremost, I just love whatthey do. I’ve always been a B-movie guy, and for my money, they’re making the best ones out there. I started the blog because I couldn’t believe there wasn’t one already, and because I wanted people to share in my enthusiasm for Asylum films. For all the general crap people may sling just because of the type of films they make, how inexpensively or quickly they make them or who’s in them or whatever, there’s at least twice as much to love about every single one of their films, and I wanted to share those things. And also I really, really wanted to write for them.

MG: What is your all-time favorite film from The Asylum and why?
HPH: Anything that reads “Screenplay by H. Perry Horton.” Other than that, Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus is the film that really ignited my love for The Asylum. But I come at the question from a couple different angles. As a fan, I dig the Mega Shark movies, the found-footage stuff like Alien Origin, certainly the sex comedies like Bikini Spring Break; while as a writer I’m drawn to stuff like Paul Bales’ Nazis at the Center of the Earth and Sherlock Holmes, Geoff Meed’s I Am Omega and 6 Guns, Jose Prendes’ Haunting of Whaley House and Jared Cohn’s Born Bad – I could go on for paragraphs – but basically stuff that I’ve been not only impressed by, but humbled. So I guess the short answer is, all of them?

MG: What do you have planned next?
HPH: “Shark Week” premieres on SyFy Saturday, August 4th at 9 p.m. then bows on DVD a few weeks later on the 28th. I have a disaster film that’s in production at the moment, water-based, and an iron or two in the fire beyond that. I’m a superstitious sort of writer in that I don’t like to discuss projects before they’re in production. I’m a big believer in jinxes.

Discovery Channel adds Shark Savers as conservation partner for Shark Week’’s 25th Anniversary

Discovery Channel and Shark Savers, a shark conservation non-profit organization, are teaming up for the 25th Anniversary of the highly popular Shark Week, the network’s annual weeklong programming event devoted entirely to the ocean’s apex predators.

Shark Week, kicking off this year on August 12th at 9PM E/P, attracts millions of viewers each summer. And once they learn that a growing number of shark species are threatened with extinction, and that tens of millions are killed annually for the shark fin trade, many will feel compelled to both learn more and take action.

Through Discovery’s conservation page discovery.com/savethesharks and Shark Savers’ website www.sharksavers.org, people can join the fight for sharks by learning more about why they are so important to our planet, educating their community and taking a pledge against shark fin soup.

“Shark Week is how millions of people learn about sharks, and we will bring additional knowledge and action to that conversation”, said Michael Skoletsky, Executive Director of Shark Savers. “Sharks are critically important to our ocean ecosystem and yet are being killed by the tens of millions a year, mostly for their fins. Sharks are in trouble and they need all our help.”

One of this year’s new Shark Week programs features Shark Savers’ Board Chair, Wendy Benchley. How Jaws Changed the World examines the effect that the Jaws book and film, written by the late Peter Benchley, had on the world. Initially, the unexpected effect was to shape a highly negative public perception of Great White Sharks. Paradoxically, over time, Jaws also contributed to a new generation of shark scientists and conservationists and even some key individuals to devote their lives to shark conservation.

Brooke Runnette, Executive Producer of Shark Week, said, “While Shark Week’s primary purpose is to entertain, we also know that our audience loves sharks as much as we do, and that means making a commitment to protecting sharks. Shark Savers was chosen as one of our new shark conservation partners because they have the programs and campaigns to enable our audience to actively participate in the important task of shark conservation.”

Discovery Channel’s SHARK WEEK is cable’s longest-running programming event and will celebrate its 25th anniversary with all-new specials beginning Sunday, August 12 at 9pm ET/PT.
About Discovery Channel: Discovery Channel is dedicated to creating the highest quality non-fiction content that informs and entertains its consumers about the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. The network, which is distributed to 100.8 million U.S. homes, can be seen in 210 countries and territories, offering a signature mix of compelling, high-end production values and vivid cinematography across genres including, science and technology, exploration, adventure, history and in-depth, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the people, places and organizations that shape and share our world. For more information, please visit www.discovery.com.

About Shark Savers: Shark Savers is dedicated to saving sharks and mantas through building awareness, education, and action. Founded in 2007 by six long-time divers with a shared passion, our mission is to save the world’s dwindling shark and manta populations. Today, more than 25,000 members from 99 nations share that passion. Focusing on action and results, Shark Savers’ programs result in more protections for sharks and mantas, locally and globally. By leveraging broad professional experience and ocean expertise, Shark Savers brings this important issue to the public in many compelling forms, motivating people to stop consuming sharks and shark fin soup, working for the creation of shark sanctuaries, and empowering divers as advocates and citizen scientists for sharks. For more information: www.sharksavers.org