A bunch of bull sh***

Bull Shark

2022

Dir. Brent Bentman

80min

Bull Shark is a study in wildly divergent quality within the same project. The film is well shot and the main cast is up to the task. On the other hand, the script is terrible, as are the effects. It makes you wonder what they could’ve accomplished had they the budget for professional rewrites, better effects and even near competency for the bit parts (such as the wildly overacting fisherman).

The plot is lifted directly from Jaws. They swap out Nantucket for a north Texas lake and the sheriff for a game warden and a great white for a bull shark but otherwise it’s the same story with the same message. A mayor concerned about protecting tourism incomes refuses to close the beaches despite a young girl being killed by a shark. The shark then kills more people and leads to a main protagonist vs. shark final battle. Sure, the details are all different, but it’s just a low budget Jaws in Texas where at least one thing, shark movies, are not bigger.

Bull Shark shares with all shark films a silliness inherent to the genre. The bull sharks in question simply cannot do the things the sharks in the movie do. The first person is killed and eaten by a newborn bull shark pup. While I’m sure a bite from a 2.5ft baby bull shark could be quite unpleasant, it’s hard to imagine it being able to kill an adult human. Nor could it eat multiple people over the course of the film. Sharks just don’t eat as much as they are purported to do in these movies.

So far as micro-budget shark films go, you could do a lot worse than Bull Shark. It’s not really a good film, but is somewhat watchable due to camera competency and a couple strong performances. Can’t really recommend it but if you’ve lost the remote and can’t get to the TV because your cats are sitting on you, it could be a lot worse. 

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