The Movie Pool sinks its pearly whites into the cheesy goodness of the Bait 3D Blu-ray!
This review covers the 3D/2D Blu-ray and DVD 2-pack. The video clips below feature violent content and are not suitable for children.
A tsunami hits an small seaside town in Australia, leaving a group of people trapped inside a submerged grocery store with two great white sharks.
Directed by: Kimble Rendall
Bait 3D, an Australian made horror thriller, is a silly, bloody mess. It's also a ton of fun, if you are in the right frame of mind. This isn't Jaws by any means. It isn't even Deep Blue Sea, although it does have the same cheesy tone and never takes itself too seriously.
The film follows a young couple (who had gone their separate ways after a tragedy) who are thrown together when the underground grocery store they are in floods from a killer tsunami. Making matters worse, they are trapped in the submerged store with a crook, a crazy man, and two great white sharks. Yeah, I hate it when that happens.
If you can get past the preposterous premise, you will actually enjoy this film. It does not make it easy, though; cheesy acting, bad special effects, and huge gaps in logic get in the way, but thankfully a decent joke comes along or someone gets munched by a shark, and you are back on track. The opening scene, which involves the aforementioned tragedy that gets the story rolling, includes one of the most overacted lines in Hollywood this year. It can best be described as half Darth Vader "Noooooo!" scene from Revenge of the Sith and half Captain Kirk "Khan!" scene from Star Trek II, for a mashup that's laughably awesome.
Besides the shark-munching greatness, the film's flaws are actually funny, and youll laugh at them even though you shouldn't. Never mind that the "underground" grocery store is silly and makes no sense. Everyone knows an old person or someone in a wheelchair won't be able to climb down a set of stairs to shop for groceries, but you must find a way to flood the store, right?
At one point, while the tsunami survivors take shelter atop the grocery store shelves, a character pulls out a gun to threaten another character, when they could have easily shot the shark every time it swam by slowly. But where's the fun in that? Had the film taken itself seriously, these flaws would have ticked me off, but in this silly ride, it only justifies more fun, so I don't mind.
You likely won't recognize most of the actors, with the exception of Julian McMahon (Fantastic Four), and sometimes, the lack of experience shows. OK, some guy from Twilight is in it, but since Twilight sucks, he doesn't count. Even though the budget on this was lower than most Hollywood blockbusters, it managed to entertain me just as much, if not more. The 3D effects are hit and miss, mostly because the CGI needed better rendering. All of that, however, doesn't matter in the overall experience. For a movie that takes place almost entirely in a grocery store (and its parking garage), I was pleasantly surprised and entertained. The scene involving the construction of a "shark proof" suit is so unintentionally funny, it is worth the cost of buying or renting this film alone. I won't spoil it, but at one point, you will scream "Why is he pulling the hose back?" Trust me.
VIDEO AND AUDIO
Despite the low budget, Bait 3D looks fantastic on both the Blu-ray and DVD discs included in the movie's 2-pack. In fact, the image is so good, it actually makes the added 3D CGI effects look badly layered on. The Blu-ray includes 2D and 3D versions, and in each, the obvious 3D effects are CGI -rendered, but don't look lifelike enough. The sharks look fine underwater, but once ithey come out of the water, the eye is not fooled. Still, the 3D effects are good, and you will flinch with some of the shots. It isn't quite on the level of Avatar, but if your expectations aren't high, you will enjoy it well enough.
There is only one audio option on the Blu-ray, a 7.1 Dolby TrueHD mix, and it sounds great. The music (which shamelessly rips off Jaws at times) is nicely separated from the sound effects for a full, layered audio experience. The DVD only offers an English 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack. It sounds good as well, with only a little less OOOMMPH in the bass.
There is only one special feature included on both the Blu-ray and the DVD, a storyboard gallery of just about every scene from the film. It is fairly interesting, but only perhaps to serious film students.
THE BOTTOM LINE: BUY IT OR REDBOX IT?
Ratings (1-10 scale)
Overall grade: 6.25
It may not be a classic film, but Bait 3D my well become one of those Saturday night drive in cult classics, based solely on the fact that is is far more entertaining than it should be. It is violent, and the multiple shark attack scenes will send more than one bloody stump flying. If you like Shark Week, but wish it was gorier, funnier, had more Australians, and was in 3D, your prayers have been answered. You'll love Bait 3D. It is worth a rent, but if you have a 3D TV and need something fun to showcase for a late night viewing, pick this up for a cheesy good time.
Release date: September 18, 2012
Running time: 93 minutes
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (Blu-ray), Dolby Digital 5.1 (DVD)
Subtitles: English for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Spanish
Special Features: Storyboard gallery
Victor is a Dallas-based freelance writer. The former association executive recently served as a Community Voices columnist for The Dallas Morning News and as editor of the North Texas High School Sports Report. His writing credits include SportsIllustrated.com, Yahoo News, Rivals.com, and a number of publications and websites.Website: www.VictorMedina.com