After what feels like a lifetime we’ve reached part 10 of the Dickshark review. I’m happy to say that I’m desperately hoping this is going to the penultimate episode.
If you haven’t read the previous instalments then they start here. May god have mercy upon your soul.
Before we pick up where left off – with Colin’s tragic evening of dry-humping cemetery statuary before drowning himself, and his video last will & testament, where he lamented his tiny, impotent genitalia (more of a last won’t) – let’s talk about expectations.
If you pay £70 to go to a stadium and see a big-name band then your expectations are high. If you pay £5 to see a local band in a pub then your expectations are low. These mismatched expectation levels are why you can often have a better night at the latter gig than the former. If the band are half good, full of enthusiasm and delighted to have an audience then you feel involved, have a great time and overlook their lack of hit singles, smoke machine and laser light show.
It’s the same with films. Take Man bites dog – when you set out to watch a subtitled, black & white film, made for zero budget by three Belgian film students, who cast their friends and family in the leads, your expectations are pretty low. Then, 95 minutes later, when you’ve watched a film that is funny and tragic, thoughtful and depraved, compelling and terrifying, you don’t give a fig about the lack of CGI or A-list actors.
Dickshark is an exercise in squandering the good will that your low expectations grant it.
I could forgive it everything – the terrible special effects, the barely-deserves-to-be-called-such acting, the lack of character development, the plot-holes – if there was just a sense that there was a fun film in there somewhere. Nobody other than Bill, the groping, gurning director, seems to be having any fun with this film. It hangs on a ridiculous monster, yet doesn’t even have the wit to keep the dialogue sharp and snappy, with tongue in cheek. It can’t even recognise that a one joke film needs, by its nature, to be edited to perfection and leave before the joke has worn too thin.
And, on that thought, let’s resume where we left off…at the two hour mark, where somebody has inserted several minutes of footage of a waterfall.
This scene – which I’m assuming was intended as a toilet break for those who can’t work a pause button – eventually gives way to Bill, back with Jill.
The one piece of information that this scene has to give us, namely that Bill found nothing incriminating at Colin’s house (this relies on a very specific definition of ‘incriminating’…if somebody had found my video confessing to tiny genitalia, impotence and mutant penis/shark eating I’d consider myself well and truly criminated) is dispensed with in seconds. Leaving the rest of the scene free for Bill to tongue-wrestle, maul and disrobe Jill.
As Bill settles into providing Jill with some cunnilingus (which given that it ties up Bill’s mouth, stops her seeing his face and keeps his personal hygiene as far from her nose as possible would surely be any woman’s preferred form of sexual encounter with Bill) his phone rings and Bill comes off that job and…
And I’m not really sure what. There are 4 options:
- Bill is happy to provide Jill with oral relief during off-games-week, and he’d been at it for 12 hours or so, or
- Bill is literally eating Jill, or
- There’s a cut scene where Bill eats a bucket of spicy wings, or a hog-dog smothered in ketchup, or
- It was decided that, so far, this had been a completely bloodless affair, so Bill smeared fake blood all over his face to compensate.
I honestly wouldn’t like to speculate which of these is more likely. Fortunately, Dickshark doesn’t seem to care either, as it’s not even mentioned. What is mentioned is that the call is from Bill’s dad, who he hasn’t seen for 20 years.
Bill ends up having a beer with someone who I guess is supposed to be his dad, despite looking a good 10 years younger than Bill himself.
Obviously after a 20 year separation a father will have many things to say to his son, so Bill’s dad tells him that he’s now brewing his own beer – using methane instead of carbon dioxide – and then accuses Bill of secretly mutating the dickshark. Not even a “your mum sends her love” or “are you sure you can’t remember where you left my precision screwdriver set?”
Bill denies the charge, um operatically. Literally singing, “No! No! No!”
I don’t know what the symptoms of methane-beer overdose are, but this seems to be one of them.
When Bill’s drunken ramblings lead him to mention his interest in the metaphysical his dad snaps, “Of course you’re interested in the metaphysical, your mother was a succubus!”
If anything that makes it doubly puzzling that she didn’t send her love.
Anyway, it turns out that Bill’s dad looks younger than Bill because he drank one of Bill’s potions (that had been left in a beer bottle) and it froze him at the age he was then. Now, obviously, this is just a throw-away line to size-step that Bill didn’t have any friends who looked older/more haggard than himself to play the role of his father, but it would have been a better film. The inventor of age halting potion would hold in his hands the key to immortality, untold riches and accolades galore, but would he worry about the effects it might have on population, on economics, on the whole dynamic of society? Would he wrestle over drinking it himself? Would the thought of the world he might birth with his discovery claw at his very soul? Perhaps he’d seen an old man, suffering from Alzheimer’s and know that he could end that pain forever, but then see a group of neo-Nazi youths beating somebody up and come to believe that the pains of old age are a price worth paying to avoid eternal foolishness of youth?
But, also, what kind of fucking moron finds and open beer bottle, filled with an unidentified liquid, and thinks, “I’m going to drink that”?
On an unrelated note, Bill’s dad’s obviously hopeful that somebody from the RSC is watching Dickshark and will mark him as a great undiscovered Shakespearean actor. So he’s written a couple of his own soliloquies, which come across exactly as well as finding a past its sell-by date oyster in your Big Mac.
“Hear my sorrows, before you subject others to the conditions of your making. I appear young, but I am old. It is difficult for me to hold discourse with people who are seemingly my own age. Years of propaganda in schools have made it pointless to have conversations with the young.”
That’s champion, Mr Bill, but doesn’t really provide an adequate reply to your son’s revelation that his ultimate goal is to create a fire-breathing land-shark.
Once again, a reminder that I’m not making this shit up.
Apparently having run out of RSC audition cue-cards Old Bill then goes on to lament modern educational culture and its reluctance to fail anyone. He talks passionately about the accuracy of standardised testing in predicting ability and success, which are being changed to accommodate less able students.
See, even if you mention fire-breathing fucking sharks conversations with your dad always end up the same way.
Having put the educational world to rights he fishes a candle out of his pocket and hands it to his son, instructing him, “Light this, in your special way!”
Oh thank god we’ve cut. To this…
I know how you feel, little fella, I too know fear. We’ve only 15 minutes of run-time left. Please, god, don’t let it include Bill’s special way of lighting candles.