When making movies for the voracious appetite (sorry) of the streaming universe, it’s all about the Cormanesque approach: make ’em fast n’ make ’em cheap and always have a great pitch. In this case: replace the giant sand worms from Tremors (1990) with sharks. Oh, and the casting is important as well: so you book the daughters of Hulk Hogan and Greg Evigan, Brooke and Vanessa, to star alongside your ersatz-Kevin Bacon with the always likable Corin Nemec (who also starred in the Mark L. Lester-produced Dragon Wasps and Rise of the Dinosaurs; he was to also star in Poseidon Rex, but was injured-on set and replaced by the equally reliable Brian Krause).
Lester turned the director’s reins to the prolific Mark Atkins who, in his dual capacities as a cinematographer and director, has made every manner of mockbuster for Asylum Studios, along with an array of SyFy Channel potboilers title prefixed and suffixed with alien, android, dragon, Jurassic, and shark. Sitting in the co-producer’s chair alongside Mark L. Lester is Dana Dubvosky who’s produced most of the films in the Lester canons we’ve watched this week (and she’s written two of them: Stealing Candy and Groupie). Sand Sharks also serves as the producing debut for actor Eric Scott Woods (he’s the Sheriff Brody of these proceeding) who’s produced over eighty films for the Hallmark, Lifetime, and SyFy Channel shingles.
And how do the sharks end up swimming in the sand: cue the underwater earthquake that cracks open a deep ocean crater that unleashes a prehistoric predator. Add your faux-Amity Island with the sleep island community of White Sands, Corin Nemec as the spoil con-man son of the Mayor, mix with attractive spring breakers and generous helpings of CGI sharks (jumping out of the sand like dolphins on a blissful summer day, natch) and shake . . . and you’ve got yourself movie that, if not for Mark L. Lester’s name on the box, you’d probably pass it by. (If this was part of a weekly Drive-In Asylum Saturday Night watch party hosted by Bill Van Ryn, I shudder to think what “theme drink” co-host Sam Panico would cook up in the kitchen. I am sure banana liqueur, vodka, and boobie-shaped ice cube trays will be part of the “Sand Sharkamania Slice” recipe.)
But don’t pass this Cormanesque, 1950’s sci-fi throwback: it’s a Mark L. Lester movie and there’s always fun to be had in a Mark L. Lester movie.
Oh, and just so you know: Corin fully recovered from his boating accident on the Belize set of Poseidon Rex and currently has five films in various states of production. You can catch him on the recently released Lifetime Channel productions The Wrong Stepmother and The Wrong Stepfather. And yes, we watched them both because David DeCoteau directed them. And you know our love for Mark L. Lester is only matched by our love for David DeCoteau in these sticks of Allegheny County.