What are the worst shark movies of all time? It’s a question that we recently pondered after watching a shark-movie marathon that included a Spielberg classic right alongside a film so bad that we thought the network was trolling us.
In this guide, we will highlight those terrible movies, giving you an insight into a film genre that seems to have many more misses than hits.
Put those pitchforks away and hear us out! We get it—Jaws is a great movie. It defined a genre, helped to establish one of Hollywood’s best directors, and is still as watchable as it always was nearly 50 years later.
But in the eyes of Peter Benchley, who wrote the novel on which the film is based and also co-wrote the screenplay, it was a disaster. Benchley regretted writing the book and the script until the day he died.
Usually, creators grow to despise their most beloved works. It’s normal. Radiohead famously hates their song Creep, even though everyone else loves it. Philip K. Dick initially hated the idea of his book, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, being turned into a film, even though that book was iconic and the film was Bladerunner.
But Benchley’s attitude isn’t the result of him being overly familiar with his own work and growing tired of talking about it.
He hated it because it perpetuated the stereotype of sharks as manhunting killers. As he discussed before his death in 2006: “What I now know, which wasn’t known when I wrote Jaws, is that there is no such thing as a rogue shark which develops a taste for human flesh. No one appreciates how vulnerable they are to destruction.’’
To understand where he is coming from, it’s important to remember that humans kill millions of sharks every year and are driving many species into extinction, even though sharks only kill a handful of humans.
Shark nets are deployed on beaches across Australia to provide the beachgoers with some protection, even though they are horribly inefficient and kill way more turtles, dolphins, and other innocent creatures than they kill sharks.
Jaws was an epic film, there’s no denying that, but it has also pushed the idea that sharks are deadly and need to be stopped. It has arguably led to the death of hundreds of millions of innocent sharks, dolphins, and other marine animals.
For that reason, it makes it onto our list of the worst shark movies.
2-Headed Shark Attack
2-Headed Shark Attack features Carmen Electra in a starring role, where she goes face-to-face against an actual 2-headed shark.
They say that two heads are better than one, but that doesn’t quite ring true here and it just makes the film even more ridiculous than it would otherwise be. To make matters worse, there were a couple of sequels to this terrible shark movie, including 5-Headed Shark Attack and 6-Headed Shark Attack.
As you might have guessed, these films feature a 5-headed and a 6-headed shark respectively.
All Shark Attack films deserve their place on any list of the worst shark movies, but we’re sticking with the 2-headed option for the sake of brevity.
The Room showed us that not all bad films are unwatchable, and some of them can be iconic. It triggered a wave of terrible films that were either intentionally bad or so absurd that they just didn’t care.
Sharknado seemingly began as one such film, and it arguably succeeded, going on to become an iconic shark movie that millions enjoy. Super Shark is at the opposite end of that spectrum.
The creators almost certainly knew that they were making a bad film, and they played to that, but it doesn’t make it any better.
With a 2.5/10 IMDB rating, Super Shark failed to win over any fans, except maybe for a few stoners looking for the most absurd film they could find on their preferred streaming service.
The bizarre plot of this film barely warrants describing, but to give you an idea of just how insane it is, take a look at the opening lines of the synopsis:
“An offshore drilling accident releases a giant primordial shark. When the shark flies and walks on land threatening to turn a bikini contest into a bloodbath…”
Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus
Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus revolves around the two titular monsters, who are released from a giant iceberg and begin to terrorize the coasts of the United States and Japan in a tag-team match of sheer hilarity and ridiculousness.
One of the issues with this film is that the actors seem to take it more seriously than the plot would suggest. It seems confused as to whether it’s supposed to be a serious shark movie or a complete joke, and that ruins the fun.
Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus is one of the most bizarre shark movies we have ever seen, made all the weirder by the fact that the shark is supposed to be a Megalodon, but seems to be some kind of superhero shark that can leap huge distances and do pretty much anything it wants.
It’s easily one of the worst shark movies out there and that is reflected in the shockingly low 2.5/10 IMDB rating.
It’s hard to hear the name Ghost Shark and not picture movie executives sitting around a table wondering how they can make shark movies scarier and more original.
What if the shark was a ghost?
As you might have guessed, the end result is laughably bad, making for one of the worst shark movies of all time. Its IMDB rating is a low 3.3/10, putting it firmly in the “terrible movie” category, but ranking it higher than “classics” like Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus and 2-Headed Shark Attack.
Jaws: The Revenge
Jaws made millions of people terrified of sharks and the damage that they could do. Jaws: The Revenge gave us more justification for being scared of filmmakers and the ridiculous ideas they get in their heads.
The 1987 shark movie currently has a score of 3.0/10 on IMDB. It features Michael Caine who once said that he had “never seen” the film but “by all accounts it is terrible”.
It won a Razzie award for the Worst Visual Effects and was nominated for several others.
What are the Best Shark Movies?
Need something to cleanse your palette after all that terrible fare? Fortunately, there are some diamonds nestled in the steaming pile of manure, including The Shallows, which features Blake Lively in a standout role; The Meg, which has all the hallmarks of a terrible movie but grips you and holds your attention throughout, and Deep Blue Sea, which is a classic.