I guess it was just too good to be true. Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, with the object of one of my teen crushes right there in the middle of the action. Man, I had been looking forward to this movie so much, especially after seeing the cheesy greatness of Mega Piranha. Sadly, I must report that Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus just doesn't deliver the goods. Rather than letting us sit back and revel in the prehistorically gigantic havoc wreaked by our two title characters, some nimrod went and used up most of the time with a poorly written, downright stupid storyline.
As the story is told to us, a Megaladon and a giant octopus chose to stay and fight when all the rest of their species were fleeing the effects of the Ice Age (as if the Ice Age just suddenly happened overnight rather than over the course of a few million years). There they stayed, frozen in ice, until some stupid government project accidentally unleashed them on the world. The next thing you know, both military and civilian vessels are being attacked all over the world. The US military throws its collective hands up in the air after failing to kill the giant shark with a few naval guns, while the Japanese are apparently content to put all of its government trust in some junior scientist who comes to America to join forces with a university professor and his former student. Normally, as we all know, the Japanese would find some little boy in short pants and put him in charge of a whole task force, so I don't know what they were thinking here. Anyway, our trio of scientific geniuses comes up with a plan to lure the creatures into San Francisco Bay and Tokyo Bay. You can guess how well that works out.
The absolute highlight of this entire movie involves Mega Shark and a commercial jet (Michael Jordan has nothing on Mega Shark). It's all downhill after that scene - and, unfortunately, that scene takes place fairly early in the movie. Except for a grumpy Lorenzo Lamas, this whole film is basically an exhibition of bad acting. I was a Debbie Gibson fan long after it was no longer a cool thing to be, but Deborah is less than convincing here as a renegade marine biologist and - as much as it pains me to say it - she has not aged all that well. She's still a better actor than her co-star Vic Chao, though. The romantic subplot that develops between their two characters has to be the most tepid and lifeless romance in the history of cinema.
Even though this is the most disappointing of all the Asylum monster movies I've seen, Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus has the distinction of being the first Asylum production to be given a theatrical release. According to IMDB, it only opened on one screen in the UK, but I guess that's enough to count as an official theatrical release. I can also report that, having done Mega Shark wrong with this movie's inane plot, Asylum brought him back to fight a giant crocodile in the much more entertaining Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus.