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DIRECTED BY: Marc Fehse
FEATURING: Eva Habermann, Thomas Morris, Barbara Nedeljakova
PLOT: Receding Arctic icebergs release a horrible, long-buried threat: Nazi super-soldiers and their flying sharks.
COMMENTS: When you make a film like Sky Sharks, you have one honor-bound duty, and one obligation. Marc Fehse—writer, director, producer, editor, costume designer, and possibly the on-site hotdog vendor—fulfills his duty. There are sky sharks. They are sleekly designed, cybernetically enhanced, and perhaps too cute (in that heartless, dead-eyed, borderline prehistoric kind of way) for their purposes. Having fulfilled his duty, the question then becomes: does Mr Fehse provide the obligatory narrative framework to support, however barely, this flock of sharks?
Angelique and Diabla Richter are the daughters of superannuated German scientist and American technologist, Dr. Klaus Richter. Under the auspices of the “Investigation of Ancient War Engine” division of Richter’s pharma-bio-mechatronic consortium, Angelique and Diabla are tasked with investigating the wreckage of Finnish plane that crashed mysteriously over the Arctic. Diabla, a field agent who hates the cold, pursues this lead along with a concurrent discovery by Richter’s Arctic laboratory team: the discovery of massive German submarine.
It is around this point that the film’s difficulties become obvious. We don’t expect too much from actors roped into a project titled “Sky Sharks” that features Nazi immortality serum and zombiesque stormtroopers flying mechanically and genetically enhanced sharks. But one does have standards, and the narrative threads feel knotted here. I’ll charitably interpret this as enthusiasm on the part of the filmmaker: Fehse has crammed just every Nazi motif, occult scheme (including the infamous “Bell” weapon), and even some Vietnam nonsense in the hopes of… In the hopes of…
That may remain a mystery. Not wishing to be a Debbie Downer, I’ll go back to the opening requisite: the sky sharks. I would have loved more of them. I want some miniatures to put around my study. The first thing that comes to mind with just the title is “Sharknado + Nazis = Sky Sharks“; this may be true, I have not seen Sharknado. But tucked here amongst the Z-grade movie violence, nudity, both combined—twice over—and, of course, flying sharks (which can cloak, too, just so you know), Fehse takes some political pot shots at his fatherland. Nazi shark riders use Krupp steel cables during a particularly gris-silly plane scene; and the hemming, hedging, and hawing of the German government representative in the “World Leaders Unite to do Something!” montage is bang-on for that country’s waffling for the past decade.
Having seen his Nazis, sharks, and breasts covered in (fresh) blood, and have no doubt that for so long as Marc Fehse can live to beg, borrow, or steal, he will make another film. It will be with jaundiced eye, but I shall give that film, whatever it turns out to be, a fair hearing. To the rest of you, well, perhaps some ancient Nazi weapons are best left buried in the ice.
WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:
“Perhaps due to its dependence on fundraising from fans, Sky Sharks feels like a film made by committee – and not a very well disciplined committee at that.” -Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film (contemporaneous)