As a starting point for this treatise, I would like to argue that the best films, or at least the films that I consider to be the best (you may, for all I know, be one of those weirdoes who liked Cloud Atlas or Citizen Kane or other awful nonsense like that) contain one of two elements: killer sharks or the living dead. Basically, if a film has one of the above in it, then I know it's going to be good.
It makes sense, therefore, that if you could find some kind of way of combining the two, the resultant film would be some kind of cinematic God particle discovery, an event that changes the way we look at film forever. A wiping clean of the slates, a Year Zero, a Men In Black-style red flash that wipes our minds clean of everything that has gone before.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Ghost Shark.
Ghost Shark is brought to you by the estimable Syfy channel, the people who gave the world Sharknado, in which a large water spout tornado lifts a large group of great white sharks and deposits them in downtown Los Angeles, and the imminent Avalanche Shark, in which a spring break ski resort is ruined, as indeed it would be, by the advent of a species of man-eating shark that lives and hunts in the snow. But, in terms of implausibility, it aces both of the above with verve and wit. It begins with a small party of boozy, unpleasant fishermen and fisherwomen seeing their evening's prize catch snaffled from the line by a great white shark. Enraged, they fire shotguns, pistols and crossbow bolts into the beast and then, as it is dying, torment it by emptying hot sauce into its wounds. Make no mistake, this opening is every bit as harrowing as the waterboarding scenes in Zero Dark Thirty or Dustin Hoffman's dental nerve ordeal in Marathon Man. Eventually, the carked-it carcharodon drifts down to the ocean floor and into a magical cave, where he becomes GHOST SHARK.
Now normally, you could argue that the ghost of a shark would be less scary than an actual living shark, being, as one would expect, a diaphanous floating vision of a shark, unsettling enough on its own terms but unable to intervene in human affairs in a traditional shark way by biting limbs off or being scary for tourists in South Africa. Thankfully, the makers of Ghost Shark sidestep this tricky dilemma by allowing the Ghost Shark to attack people like a regular shark would, and not explaining how.
But there's more! Not only can Ghost Shark attack anywhere in the ocean - which he soon does, seeing off those nasty hunts-people who gored him and then pelted him with habanero - he can also attack anywhere where there happens to be water. ANYWHERE where there is water. If it's wet, Ghost Shark can materialise in it and go about his savage business. And this is where Ghost Shark moves beyond the realms of the brilliant into the truly important.
At first, Ghost Shark is grimly predictable in his choice of attack locations. He attacks someone in a swimming pool - yawn! - and then attacks someone in the bath - obvious! But as the film unfolds and you start to become aware that you are watching something special unfurl in front of you like an orchid opening to accept the rays of the morning sun, the locations become loopier and loopier. Clearly, Ghost Shark is, somewhere in his elasmobranch brain, becoming aware of the infinite possibilities of being Ghost Shark. And so he (for some reason, I assume Ghost Shark to be a he) starts to have fun with his victims. A girl at an entirely gratuitous bikini carwash. A child in a paddling pool. A young hoodlum playing at a spraying fire hydrant is neatly cleft in twain. And, best of all, a man is attacked by Ghost Shark INSIDE HIS OWN MOUTH having just taken a gulp of mineral water from the office dispenser.
I'm aware that I am giving away a few spoilers here, so I will quickly reassure you that these are just a tiny amuse-bouche when it comes to the wonders of Ghost Shark, and then urge you to seek it out as soon as humanly possible, sniff it out as a shark might sniff a tiny amount of blood in a vast ocean, and feast on it. It has the lot - vengeance, redemption, betrayal, death, rebirth, sex, crime, punishment, envy, gluttony, politics, race issues, class issues, maritime history, karmic balance and the supernatural. Ghost Shark swims among us at last, and the water is all the more warm and inviting for it.
Oh, and Ghost Shark is transparent and glows neon blue. Forgot to mention that.