I’ve been in shark crazed waters for awhile, so sometimes it’s good when someone offers you a life preserver. Paul Andolina also likes these movies and even though I can’t usually deal with today’s overly silly shark films, he still finds the good in them. I’m so glad here’s here to tell you all about another one. If you like his stuff, check out his site Wrestling with Film.
I discovered Avalanche Sharks two years ago during a summer full of madness and anxiety. Honestly, it couldn’t have come at better time. It was just what I needed.
Avalanche Sharks centers around a ski resort during spring break and a strange ghostly shark that is swimming through the snow and eating the spring breakers. It’s an utterly bonkers premise and I didn’t think it was going to work. An evil spirit named Skookum is disturbed by an avalanche which awakes him. His chosen form is a ghostly shark that eats people. That’s the basic elements of the film and although it feels like just an excuse for shark mayhem in the snow, it also has a decent plot about a soldier whose brother and his friend go missing on the slopes. He spends the movie harassing the search and rescue guy, a former Olympian who is a real jack ass, because he just won’t look for the missing folks. There’s a sheriff and his wife, a marine biologist, who had an encounter with Skookum as a child but she doesn’t remember much about the incident. A harbinger of doom is also present, a kooky old guy, who rides around the mountain on his dog driven sled. Now I have to bring up that there are actually two cuts of this film, the cut that is on DVD is an extended version with some scenes of a kid in a hospital, having hallucinations of a scantily clad nurse who he tells the tale of the sharks to, there are also scenes explaining the story of extraterrestrial sharks that character tells his friends, as well as a sequence of sharks on Mars. I feel they aren’t entirely necessary and the cut I watched on Netflix two years ago feels a bit more tight and neat. I’ve watched the DVD a few times as well and these scenes don’t bother me as much anymore but I really wish it had both cuts on it. Also the end credits feature the song Ymlaen by the Welsh band Clinigol. I think the song is about equal marriage but I’m not really certain. All I know is that it is catchy as heck. The unextended cut is available to watch for free with ads on Vudu and is honestly the way to go if you want to watch the film. I hope this gets at least one person to check out the madness that is Avalanche Sharks.