Film Review: Sharks of the Corn

Sharks of the Corn PosterWith a title like Sharks of the Corn, one might think it to be a light-hearted attempt at satire of a genre similar to the popular Sharknado films. While that might have been a better goal, the filmmakers of Sharks of the Corn intended this to be an “honest-to-goodness” horror film. While the poster utilizes the “Stephen King” font, this film tries to prove it’s so bad it’s good but instead ends up tasting like chum.

As the film opens, we are reminded it is based on true events and are treated to a long credit sequence of cornfields that ends with a closeup of stalks of corn where we get our first glance at a shark… in the corn. Or is it a vinyl puppet? More on that later.

As any couple would do, we find a man and woman relaxing near the end of a cornfield. At this point, the corn is very sparse and only a few feet tall and the woman mentions the field owners are using a new growth hormone or something. Deciding to play hide and seek, the woman dashes off into the field, leaving pieces of her clothes along the way as she hides. She comes across a scarecrow with a shark mask which startles her but she keeps going. Suddenly she is attacked and the corn has miraculously grown denser and taller. A scream like a dinosaur bellows out of the field.

Meanwhile, a man named Teddy (Steve Guynn) is praying to the sharks while wearing a shark mask. Was it him in the corn? We will have to wait to find out. He exits his room while wearing his mask and solicits a prostitute and tells her about sharks. He kills her, using the remnants of a shark mouth to disfigure her. Later, we see another view of the cornfield with men trying to find out what happened to the “strip and go seek” couple who died there.

Two mafia members confront a man to buy an item from him. They give him the money but he double-crosses him and takes off with the item, a baby shark in a glass jar, and the money, which has a GPS tracker in it. Teddy drives by the crime scene and on a hunch, the police pull him over and find his back seat is full of dismembered body parts so he is promptly arrested and taken to interrogation.

While in custody, he tells the police chief about his love for sharks and that he is known as the Great White Ripper. Over the course of the film to date, there have also been several references to Bigfoot/Sasquatch and the police chief asks if Teddy believes in the legend. Teddy offers to take the police chief to more bodies and the two head off to a cornfield.

The rest of the film plays out as you would expect it, with a not-so-big “reveal” and a surprise hero that makes sense given all the times it was mentioned throughout the film. I had to stop and start the movie several times just to get through it and will save you from “spoiling” the ending in full, even though most people won’t even get to the ending of the film before turning it off.

What is sad, to me, is that the filmmakers took this film seriously. They really wanted to make a horror film. This would have been interesting if it was a 48 Hour Film Festival film, which has a maximum length of 7 minutes. Instead, the continuity errors with the cornfield being barely there, to very dense, to tall, back to short, and then later to wilting, is distracting. Or would be distracting if the other elements of the film weren’t so bad. One of the police officers has a uniform that just says “Cop” on the breast pocket, and in one scene that takes place in a helicopter, the pilot has headphones on and a handheld microphone taped to the side to look like an actual helicopter headset.

And let’s not get into the vinyl shark puppets.

This is one of those movies that you have to see just to say you have seen it, but unlike things like the Star Wars Holiday Special, nobody will care. This film could have been campy and fun, but instead sinks within the first 5 minutes.

Sharks of the Corn can be rented on Vimeo if you really are bored.

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