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9 monster shark movies that made a splash long before The Meg

Contributed by
Aug 10, 2018

While it may not have truly been safe to venture into the fathomless depths of the ocean since Steven Spielberg's Jaws terrorized holiday bathers in the 1975 blockbuster, filmmakers have been delivering even more lethal underwater killing machines on screen in the decades following the sensation.

With Jason Statham's The Meg swimming into theaters today with the harrowing tale of a 60-foot prehistoric shark munching on humans venturing into its oceanic domain, it's the perfect occasion to slip on our water wings and reflect back on other monster shark flicks that showed their flesh-rending teeth in varying degrees.

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Splash on into this slippery list of TV and feature films that showcased ancient sharks and humongous shark-like leviathans long before The Meg cruised onto our radar. From the small-screen adaptation of Peter Benchley's White Shark and the similarly named Megalodon to the genetic giants in Deep Blue Sea and the campy creature of Devil Fish, dive into our potent pool of nine monster shark movies to prime you for the briny banquet to come.

Raging Sharks [2005]

It's Jaws meets The Abyss in a bottom-feeding B-movie that entertains with a wacky plot involving alien crystals and pissed-off sharks. The preposterous storyline centers on an extraterrestrial capsule that crash-lands in the Bermuda Triangle, which releases a reactive alien substance that makes ordinary man-eating sharks go bonkers and attack an oceanic observatory station, a submarine, day sailors, beach goers, and anyone else close enough to snack on. Oh, and L.A. Law's Corbin Bernsen stars in it, too!

Monster Shark [1984]

The great Italian horror director Lamberto Bava (Demons, Macabre) created this early '80s fish tale of a genetically-enhanced shark measuring 40-feet long and endowed with several long tentacles just in case a wicked mouthful of jagged teeth isn't enough. An obvious Jaws ripoff, this Euro production, aka Devil Fish, boasts some sweet Moroder-style synthesizers and a crazy creature conjured straight out of a future Sharktopus TV movie. With a mutant beast lurking right below the surface, leaping blindly into the water to escape it might not be the smartest of plans.

Megalodon [2004]

You just can't keep an ancient super-predator down! Supernatural's Mark A. Sheppard stars in this big bad fish saga where an advanced deep sea oil-drilling platform called Colossus punctures the sea floor and accidentally unleashes a 60-foot prehistoric shark. Hey, if you were a giant primeval fish rudely awoken after slumbering since the last Ice Age, you'd be one grumpy Carcharodon megalodon, too. Released in foreign territories as Sharkzilla. Catchy!

Up From the Depths [1979]

Journey back to the Swingin' Seventies for this nostalgic grind house drive-in flick that stars a massive prehistoric fish terrorizing some innocent Hawaiian vacationers. Directed with a sensationalized style by Charles B. Griffith, this is an obvious Jaws ripoff using an undersea earthquake as the device to awaken the hungry creature from its million-year slumber. Remade in 2010 as Dinoshark by the King of Schlock himself, Roger Corman.

Creature [1998]

Creature is an adpatation of Jaws author Peter Benchley's 1994 sci-fi horror novel, White Shark, and was transformed into a two-night TV mini-series that aired on ABC. Starring Craig T. Nelson and Kim Cattrall, the film explores the notion of an aquatic biological weapon on a remote military facility where horrific experiments have unleashed a mutant shark monster embedded with the DNA of a great white, a human, and a dolphin. Notable for its exceptional cast and fantastic practical effects by the great Stan Winston and his SFX studio.

Shark Hunter [2001]

Sporting 200 pounds of prehistoric teeth and tipping the scales at over 20 tons, Megalodon is a certified 60-foot-long killing machine. Extinct for more than two million years? Nah! This selection in our swarm of ginormous shark movies features a crack crew of divers in a giant experimental sub named the Argus, armed with harpoon-tipped torpedoes and a bad vengeful attitude. Directed by Matt Codd, one of the concept artists for Riddick, Planet of the Apes, Teminator: Salvation, and Guardians of the Galaxy.

Deep Blue Sea [1999]

One of director Renny Harlin's better films, Deep Blue Sea packs some salty surprises in a story about a secret advanced-tech research lab using genetically-modified sharks to increase brain mass in an attempt to cure to Alzheimer's Disease. The CGI and animatronic monsters are bloated, badass, and brilliant as they resent their captivity and ultimately attempt an escape through violent means. Did somebody order the fish?

Shark Attack 3: Megalodon [2002]

The third entry in director David Worth's Shark Attack series was a decent direct-to-video horror comedy featuring Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow star John Barrowman in a collision between a villainous mega-corporation and an unsuspecting public being eaten by an ancient angry fish. Oh, and it features "that X-rated line" ad-libbed by Barrowman and left in the movie for shock value.

Dinoshark [2010]

One of the first in a line of crazy-but-fun monster shark B-movies to air on SYFY, Dinoshark is directed by Kevin O'Neill and produced by the legendary Roger Corman. Blame that dang global warming on this particular plot as a melting Arctic glacier spits out a baby pliosaur that grows to a battleship-sized beast that preys upon tourists in the vacation hot spot of Puerto Vallarta. Essentially a remake of the 1979 low-budget horror flick Up From The Depths, Dinoshark was watched by two million viewers hooked by its zany effects and old-fashioned monster movie hilarity.

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