Monday, September 25, 2017

Glutton for Punishment: DICKSHARK

by JB
To completely replicate the experience of the film Dickshark, you're gonna want to read this column verrrrrrrrrrry slowly.

The filmmaker behind the film Dickshark owes me an apology. Please don't think it's an apology for wasting my time, though he did. I am now retired from my day job, and I have a surplus of time, believe me. He also doesn't have to apologize for taking my money because I didn't pay for the disc. Adam Riske bought it for me at the recent Flashback Weekend Horror Convention in a charming ritual we've been calling “I’ll Watch Anything.” I buy him a DVD, and he later writes a column about it. He buys me a DVD, and I later write a column. Yet I feel the filmmaker still owes me an apology because in asking me to devote my attention to his Dickshark, he has stolen a piece of my soul.
The Plot In Brief: A young man needs some bolstering of his ego, so he starts using a penis enlargement cream. He is in the middle of an assignation with his beloved lady in a hotel room, and he mentions that the cream has had an unfortunate side effect: it has made his penis pliant and moldable, like modeling clay.

He then decides to mold his malleable member into some sort of shape—perhaps to entertain the woman. He molds his penis into the shape of a shark. (Who wouldn’t? Sharks are cool! Perhaps in the reality of the film, it’s Shark Week!) Unfortunately, this somehow renders the clay-like penis in question useless for lovemaking purposes (although, as anyone who has visited their local city aquarium can attest, penises are already shaped like sharks, and vice-versa.)
The guy retreats to the bathroom, where the newly created “dickshark” bites off his finger. Ouch! The woman, fearing further violence, shoots at the dickshark—leading the man to utter the immortal line, “When you shoot my dick, you shoot me.” The woman then severs the dickshark and flushes it down the toilet. This causes all sorts of problems because the dickshark is not yet dead—YOU CAN’T DROWN A DICKSHARK—IT’S HALF SHARK. It gets loose in the sewer system and ends up in a lake, where the dickshark begins to attack a series of young women.

The remainder of the film consists of long, amateurish scenes where one of two things happens: first, a woman is attacked by the dickshark; then, Scientist Dick (Writer-Director-Star Bill Zebub) interviews the victim of the dickshark and, for some inexplicable reason, massages her breasts (for Science!) The attack scenes are interminable, and feature a foam rubber shark where the foam rubber has not been allowed to cure correctly, so it has big bubbles and pockmarks and spores; you can also tell where the filmmakers fixed it with some sort of epoxy. The interview scenes are even longer. The film then goes back and forth like that.
The director of Dickshark is Bill Zebub (Ho-ho.) Zebub films almost everything in slow motion, which pads out the running time to a stultifying two-and-a half hours. You read that correctly. Let that sink in for a minute: Dickshark is two-and-a half hours long. I think this is a problem because anyone buying or renting Dickshark on a lark (as in, “This'll be fun! We'll get stoned and watch Dickshark!”) is not expecting a 148-minute film. It IS long. It FEELS long. (This should be the tagline on the poster for Dickshark.)

I couldn’t help but wonder why some of the things in slow motion are in slow motion. For example, there's a scene in the film where Scientist Dick announces that he needs to go to the bathroom, and he leaves the frame. What follows is a four-minute scene in slow motion of the other character standing around on a blanket in a forest preserve, waiting for him to return. NOTHING ELSE happens on screen—the scene would be dull enough in real time, but in slow motion it’s torture. This is an inexplicable decision on the part of writer-director-star Zebub.

There are also shots in this film of candles burning in slow motion. I can hear my generous readers asking, “is this to create an uncanny feeling, or to establish a mood?” No. No it is not. Candles burning in slow motion look like candles burning in real time. The only mood established is that I am in the mood to do some candle shopping online.
Near the end of Dickshark, the film’s secondary villain recites an improvised monologue in a public place. He sits in a public park with what looks like a Go-Pro camera, filming himself. This is a seemingly unbroken four-and-a-half minute monologue about the “science” of penises. This phallic soliloquy is then followed by more than two minutes of waterfall footage… also in slow motion! Dickshark features so much goddamned slow motion that I began to think that I had suffered a stroke while watching it.

The film is scored—and I use that term loosely—with music performed by heavy metal bands that sound like they're auditioning to be Iron Maiden tribute bands. This combination of metal music and constant slow motion begins to play with one’s brain… and not in a good way. At some points the screeching guitar work and the agonized vocals start to sound like a demon from Hell, loudly objecting to what's on the screen.

IMDb lists the film as a comedy. This does not mean that Dickshark is funny.

When someone points out the fact that you have made a terrible and annoying horror film called Dickshark, you may be tempted to respond, “Well, it's just a goof; it's just a bunch of us fooling around one weekend. Plus, what did you expect from a movie named Dickshark?”

Say it with me, kiddies: “I expected a great, funny movie about a dickshark.” What follows are some examples of the humor in the film:

Two characters meet in a forest preserve (characters in this film are always meeting in forest preserves; don’t they have homes?) One of them brings sandwiches. They each take one bite, and then spit it out because it's bad. The woman says, “I said I wanted a peanut butter sandwich,” and he replies, “I thought you said ‘peanut and butter sandwich.’” Ho-ho.
The film’s secondary villain is named Colin, and Scientist Dick keeps calling him “colon.” See, he gets the name wrong on purpose, keeps calling Colin “Colon” because you know, colon? Ho-ho.

Finally, there is a scene where Scientist Dick and Colon (sorry, Colin!) are talking on cell phones, and Scientist Dick asks if Colin can track him using GPS. Then, referencing a half-naked, murdered woman who's lying on the ground, Scientist Dick suggests that, if he put the phone in her panties, maybe Colin could track her using “GPPS”—because, you know, PEE-PEE. Ho-ho. The majority of this film feels and sounds like something written by a horny 13-year old boy and his perverted uncle on probation.

I feel ashamed. I pity the father of every single one of the “actresses” who are in this film—I imagine these young women going home for Christmas and saying, “Dad, I got a gig. I'm in the movie Dickshark, and I let the director fondle my breasts for a long time on camera in a forest preserve… and then a crappy giant shark raped me! I guess you can say I’m in show business now! Dad? DAD? …Mom, call 911!”
What we have here is a schizophrenic mix of amateurish scenes in the woods and amateur scenes in a hotel room, all in slow motion with a poorly made puppet shark. Checking IMDb, I noticed that Bill Zebub has directed 47 movies (including Jesus Christ, Serial Rapist; Antfarm Dickhole; and Nightmare on Elmo’s Street). For those of you keeping score, that's 31 movies more than Stanley Kubrick.

Apologize, Bill Zebub.

This just in: Dickshark is being released on Blu-ray disc on October 17th. The title is being changed to Frankenshark and the movie will be 60 minutes shorter. It looks like Adam Riske just gifted me with a valuable collector's item: the Director's Cut of Dickshark!


  1. Clearly, i should become a b-movie director.

    That being said, 148 minutes is way too long for that kind of crap. I’ll watch anything too, but i have my limits. Thet shorter version though, that sound interesting

    Keep that director’s cut, you’ll resell it on ebay in a few years and get yourself something nice, like a soul to replace the one you just lost

  2. This made me laugh. A lot. 148 minutes. You might have been the premiere!

    1. Reel Horror write-up on its way next week. I barely made it through the trailer. There's a bit at the end where they're singing "Reel Horror" in the tune of "Goldfinger."

  3. Sounds like Riske did you a solid. The stories you'll be able to tell your grandchildren!

    Really funny article. It was worth it that you sat through it, just so you could write this.

    IMDB says 3 hours, 20 mins? What could possibly be in that extra hour?

    1. They might be reporting total disc time including bonus materials? I know there are thirty minutes of appalling outtakes...

  4. This is one of the most ridiculous reviews I think I've ever read. I couldn't stop laughing and JB, I'm sorry you had to watch this. Your dedication is incredible!