Sunday, 19 April 2015

Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo: Review of Sharkasaurus (Short) (2015)

Sharkasaurus (2015)
Director: Spencer Estabrooks
Starring: Micheal Shepherd, Julie Orton, and Jason Long
Running Time: 9 min

  I was really up in the air this week about which panels that I wanted to check out on Saturday at the Calgary Expo but this one was the toughest.  Go see the "Walking Dead" panel or go see the screening of "Sharkasaurus" and with a little help from my friends on twitter, I hope I made the best decision.

 Paleontologist Dr. J. Jones has her assistant set up her seismic scanner to search out for dinosaur bones in the remote outskirts of Drumheller, Alberta.  Unfortunately, just has the machine starts running, her arch-nemesis and creationist, Rev. Matthews and his team come to stop all things science.  As they argue, there is a rumbling on the ground and out of nowhere a Sharkasaurus bursts out of the ground and eats one of Dr. J Joness' assistants.  Terrified, these immortal enemies now must band together in an unholy alliance to fight, survive and stop this Sharkasaurus!

  I loved Sharkasaurus and my only complaint is that it was a short and not a feature.  Writer/Director Spencer Estabrooks puts together an incredibly fun film in a similar vein as "Sharknado" or any of the Syfy creature features.  This film knows what it is and Estabrooks harnesses and exploits that B-movie style to make it very humorous and scary for the audience.
  Although, from what I heard during the panel discussion afterwards, that the actual Sharkasaurus creature was done on short order but it was still looked amazing.  It is a very classic looking monster with an obvious taste for flesh.  Mostly the creature is seen popping up and attacking it's victims but there is a brilliant and amusing shot of the fin sticking out of the dry Drumheller landscape that is kind of unforgettable.
  Also, there is a even a bit of Canadian star power in the film that is sure to give people a chuckle.  I don't want to give anything away but is role is small but again, it's that little extra bit that makes this film so enjoyable to watch.

  After the film there was a great panel discussion with the director and some of the cast and crew.  They talked about some of the issues that came up while shooting, like the heat and and a noisy ice cream truck.  Also, Estabrooks talked about the future of the creature and maybe turning it into a graphic novel to build a fan base before looking for funding for a feature, which is a good idea because it would give him more control over his story.
  Also, they had some cool behind the scenes footage of the film that was interesting and gave you some insight on how working with a good team can make a production go really well and be very rewarding.   

Panda vs Sharkasaurus
    As funny as it sounds, I think Sharkasaurus is one of the real highlights of the Calgary Expo experience for me.  Although it is a B-movie, about a sharkasuarus, it showcased how much incredible local talent there is here in Calgary and how much fun and creative this city can be.  I hope that Estabrooks goes further with this creature and turns it into a graphic novel, which will then turn into a feature because this has so many fantastic possible going forward.  If you get a chance, check it out on Telus Storyhive or order it from their Facebook page.  This is one Sharkasuarus, you don't want to miss.

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