Yes, “Shark Exorcist” is a real movie… kind of… and it’s a doozy. Now Satan has jaws, and you’re gonna need a bigger cross.
With a whopping 1.3 out of 10 rating on IMDb, Shark Exorcist (2015) is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen (and I have seen a lot). That is not an exaggeration. Can’t wait to tell you all about it (it’s like smelling something awful and then telling your kid sister, “Hey, you gotta smell this!”).
It has practically no budget, the plot doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, the acting is worse than Troll 2, the camera work is shaky and shoddy, there does not appear to have been any editing, and the score is Casio-quality.
The special effects are only special in the way they used to use “special” to describe the mentally challenged. And even though the director, Donald Farmer, has been making movies like Cannibal Hookers (1987) for over 30 years, his craft does not seem to have improved at all; in fact, against all odds, it has somehow managed to get worse.
That said, Shark Exorcist is also one of my favorite movies. Yeah, I’m one of those guys.
There’s a YouTube channel out there called “Search for the Worst” that does a much better job of lambasting it than I would ever be able to. If you have a chance, you should check it out – it has more production value than the movie it’s making fun of, and it’s absolutely hilarious.
This schlocksterpiece starts with a satanic nun (Christy Moritz, who is barefoot for some reason) walking through a graveyard.
She then heads down to Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans to do a quick monologue about how the world will soon taste her vengeance.
As she approaches the water, we hear a radio broadcast about her having killed a bunch of people. A young woman (Alaine Huntington) confronts her and is quickly dispatched with a nasty-looking knife. The nun then summons the devil in the form of a shark and sacrifices the girl. She pronounces the devil’s name “Lord Sat’n”.
The CGI shark looks so awful that a college student would probably not have passed if they handed it in as their final project.
We are then treated to the title screen and a literal amalgamation of the soundtracks from Jaws and The Exorcist; think DA DUM, DA DUM, Tubular Bells.
We meet a group of three girls, Emily (Channing Dodson), Lauren (Madison Carney), and Ali, who are headed to the lake on an overcast day to catch some rays. Their stilted dialogue is high school drama quality, but all three of them are of the attractive variety, especially Ali (Angela Kerecz), who has that softcore porn star vibe.
“Casting” is where Donald Farmer tends to shine as a filmmaker.
While swimming in the lake, Ali is attacked by the demonic shark. You don’t actually see an attack, just a cutaway to the hokey-looking creature, then Ali pretending to be tugged under for a couple of seconds before inexplicably being pulled onto the steps of the shore.
That’s right. There are stonework steps surrounding the lake. It’s one of the strangest and creepiest shorelines I’ve ever seen.
Hey, the director picked a unique location, so besides the babes, at the very least, there’s that.
Ali’s “wound” consists of ketchup squirted onto her leg to resemble a lemon shape which is supposed to (I guess) look like a shark bite.
She is then taken to the hospital, sort of.
In the next scene, we see what looks like someone walking through a hospital and filming without permission. Ed Wood would be proud.
Ali’s friends are amazed at the quickness of her recovery (and the fact she’s been taking a lot of baths lately), and soon we learn that the “bite” she took from the possessed shark has allowed the demon to enter her.
She seduces a local yokel (real-life husband Bobby Kerecz) and enters the water with him, at first flirting, then disappearing for a cutaway to the dreaded brown CG shark with the glowing eyes (which looks way better on the poster than in the movie).
The scene then changes to the latest victim’s twin brother, who is a priest (he crosses himself every now and then to drive that point home), Father Michael, receiving a letter about his brother’s death. He decides to go investigate for some reason. Hey, they had to get a priest in the vicinity somehow.
But then the movie gets weird… and so does my life. Onto the screen walks the most attractive redhead I’ve ever seen.
Sidenote: I was so smitten that I eventually asked her if I could write a short story about her called “The God Pill” about a loser who falls in love with and kidnaps a scream queen only to have her turn the tables on him (it is available in the new issue #3 of Strange World, brought to you by the horror freaks at Midnight! Magazine – also featuring model Jessa Flux from Shark Exorcist 2). Incidentally, she said yes.
The square-jawed Ms. Jonah is a former semi-professional wrestler who has appeared in dozens of low-budget horror movies since 2008.
In Shark Exorcist, she plays a character named Nancy Chase, the host of a paranormal show called Ghost Whackers. Ms. Chase has come to the waters of the lake to do a story on the so-called “Spirit of the Water” that she believes may be responsible for the series of attacks that have been taking place.
As her cameraman (who is awkwardly caught on camera himself in a bit of fourth wall breaking) shoots her doing her latest episode, her rival (Kirstin Vanhooser) arrives to give her a ration of shit for running a fake, ghost-chasing scam of a show.
In another scene out of the Ed Wood playbook, a woman in a negligee writhes around in a graveyard during a séance being conducted by three women, one of whom is the actress who was stabbed by the nun earlier, just with different colored hair (because that’s the sort of casting decision you make when you have no budget).
The scene makes no sense, does nothing to further the plot or impart any useful knowledge, and has nothing to do with the rest of the movie. Trust me; I’ve seen it a dozen times. It appears to have been thrown in as an afterthought, probably to increase the running time.
But if you think that’s bad, the next scene will make you plant your face in your palm so hard you’ll get a nosebleed.
Ali, who is now occasionally sporting shark-like teeth, goes to a local playground and meets a girl who is either supposed to be mentally handicapped or a child (it’s hard to tell) who is playing with a couple of rubber sharks (one of which Donald Farmer tried to sell on Facebook for $20 as a screen used prop).
She then brings the girl to a backyard pool and tries to seduce her into the water. Just before eating the girl, she wakes up – it was all a dream… a stupid, utterly pointless, several minutes of your life you will never get back dream which also has nothing to do with the rest of the film.
By this point, most people would have stopped watching.
But I trudged forward just to get another look at the redhead.
I was rewarded for my fortitude by Ms. Jonah kneeling before the water for a segment of Ghost Whackers only to be possessed by the demon while writhing on the ground and saying, “Come inside me.”
(That probably should have been “Come into me,” but I’m not complaining.)
Cut to Ali eating another random victim, followed by the Ghost Whackers chick puking split pea soup onto her rival. We then follow fellow schlock horror maestro James Balsamo (Hollywood Werewolf, From Dusk Till Bong) on a ridiculous 30-second jog around the lake till he comes across the remains of Ali’s latest victim and pukes before exclaiming, “Oh God. She’s still kinda hot. I’d still do her.”
Never one to leave out a tired trope, Farmer then has three sorority sisters go to the lake, where two of them are forced to perform an initiation by standing in the allegedly shark-infested water before the shark eats the mean sorority sister that made them do it as they shriek in terror in about a foot deep of water.
Ali’s friend Emily is visited by the priest, who explains to her that he thinks Ali is possessed by the shark/demon.
They go to search for her, and the scene changes to a carnival where Ali is looking for her next victim. Ali’s other friend Lauren is also there checking out the attractions with her boyfriend, who dumps her in front of the haunted house ride before sauntering off to a secluded area where Ali promptly starts chomping on him.
The priest and Emily catch up to Ali and capture her, taking her to a wooded area and tying her to a tree, where they perform a half-assed exorcism.
Ali is saved, but at what cost? It appears the old cliché of the priest sacrificing himself (which was used in both The Exorcist and Amityville 2: The Possession, among others) brings the story to a conclusion.
Oh, but if only that were true.
Sadly, this is but the first of five (count them, FIVE) fucking endings.
We are then mercilessly subjected to several more scenes of an attractive bodybuilder who also wants to catch some rays down by the lake on an overcast day. Only this time, there is a stalker (none other than Donald Farmer himself) lurking in the nearby woods.
As she lays down to catch whatever rays might force themselves through the clouds and dozes off, Farmer sneaks up and starts taking photos of her with his phone, inching closer and closer, reaching within inches of her body before he disappears, right as she wakes up… only for her to be stabbed by the satanic nun who is looking for another sacrifice! Hail Facepalm!
Then we get a bit of a Friday the 13th rip-off as the girl the nun stabbed in the opening sequence emerges from the water and grabs her, presumably to drag her into the jaws of the shark.
The next ending reunites Emily with Lauren, and poor Lauren discovers the shark demon has now possessed yet another victim. And she’s next on the menu. Someone shoot me.
Then there is an inexplicable sequence that is long, drawn out, boring, and even more pointless than anything we’ve been subjected to prior.
A teen girl visits a gift shop and starts fondling the plush shark toys before getting hypnotized by some fish at the mall aquarium, caressing herself with a rubber shark toy, then gargling orange goop.
We’ve never seen this girl before, and God willing, we’ll never see her again.
That’s it. Roll credits.
At least that would be it, except why not have Roni Jonah do an after-credits scene — just so we can see her spit out some pea soup one more time? Sure. Thanks, movie.
I don’t know what the hell’s wrong with me, but I actually took one of my kids to the filming location with the stone steps on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain and recreated the opening scene.
There’s something perversely satisfying about being able to say I’ve been to the location of the worst shark movie ever made.
Stephen King himself tweeted, “SHARK EXORCIST is a real movie,” to the delight of Donald Farmer, who raved about King being aware of the existence of his film (as if that were a good thing).
There is a sequel slated for this year, once again featuring Roni Jonah and starring Jessa Flux, who also appears in a couple of other Farmer projects, including Cannibal Hookers 2019, and Bigfoot Exorcist.
One wonders where old Don will stop with his Exorcist mashups: Loch Ness Exorcist? Space Exorcist? Exorcist on a Hot Tin Roof? The possibilities are endless.
Until then, cherish Shark Exorcist for what it is.
By the law of averages, someone has to be the worst. Mr. Farmer has proudly chosen to fill that role. That in itself is something truly special.