Flying sharks, genetically mutated undead from seventy years ago, revived soldiers, nudity, spectacular gore, and frogs: screams cult potential.
I’m going to keep this one brief: Sky Sharks is remarkable. After a brief introduction to the passengers of a classy jet, zombies cut their way in and board from the backs of flying, weaponized sharks, and conduct a riotous and gory bloodbath, partially in slow motion and all of it in sharp color. This is the first fifteen minutes, and the film gets steadily more outlandish from there.
It’s set in the present day (or a slightly futuristic version), but yes, there are Nazis in Sky Sharks, in the form of zombies, mad scientists, and generals-in-flashback. I know I said not long ago that there are many films about Nazi zombies, but – surprise, surprise – this is one of the gems you might be looking for, especially if you enjoy comic violence and don’t mind nudity.
Dr. Klaus Richter (Thomas Morris, Schindler’s List) is a key figure in Sky Sharks, who we see at age 30 and 50 in Germany, and age 115, running a present-day tech company. His daughters Angelique (Barbara Nedeljakova, Hostel) and Diabla (Eva Habermann, Lexx) help him lead the defense against his wartime legacy, somehow brought back into action from an arctic laboratory. Don’t you just love it!
Sky Sharks is a German film, reducing its country’s historic bad guys to caricature monsters, rather than making any satirical points though. The flashbacks to World War II are beautifully made with some believable sets, uniforms, and dialogue; and there are some stylish segments made to look like presentations of strategy from that war. But then add the genetically mutated, undead super-humans and history starts to stretch; not in a ridiculous way though: I was laughing and yelling at the screen all the way through.
Director Marc Fehse, whose previous experience is largely as actor or producer (this is his first feature film as director) has done a marvelous job with Sky Sharks. He may have kept his Kickstarter investors patiently waiting since filming finished three years ago, but the wait was thoroughly worthwhile. The effects are glossy, the battle and attack scenes are exciting and varied, and none of it looks cheap but rather fun from start to finish. With Lynn Lowry, Tony Todd, Asami, Mick Garris, and Naomi Grossman all playing minor parts, Sky Sharks is surely screaming cult potential.
What really made the film in my opinion was Nicolas Alvarez’s music. Europop and thumping electronica formed an almost continuous soundtrack, especially lifting the violent scenes to a fast pace, and turning the film into more “action” than “horror”. It’s no surprise that much of his experience to date has been with music for games: a good deal of the story and the undead soldiers themselves would be right at home in a Halo-style video game, especially if coupled with music like this.
Sky Sharks is a perfect blend of gory horror, comedy action, and historic gung-ho: perfect for anyone who enjoyed both Iron Sky and Overlord. What an amazing way to open FrightFest’s Digital Edition, 2020.
Alix has been writing for Ready Steady Cut since November 2017. They cover a wide variety, including genre festivals, and especially appreciates wit and representation on screen.