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    10 Shark Movies That Are So Bad, They're Actually Pretty Good

    They're not as iconic as Jaws, but they've still got some charm!

    Ever since Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic Jaws first made us scared to go back in the water, sharks have been a staple of summer horror cinema. No other creature has quite captured the imagination of viewers in the same way. There's just something compelling about the way films portray sharks as unstoppable, relentless killing machines, even though we know this is not actually the case in real life.

    While there have been many big blockbuster shark movies such as Deep Blue Sea or The Meg, these have also inspired numerous lower-budget films that are creative and fun. Filmmakers are constantly trying to reinvent this iconic horror creature in more outlandish and original ways. Sharks are no longer limited to ocean settings, and amazing backstories are told to explain the wild and crazy scenarios the predators find themselves in. If you are looking for a bit of fun escapism, you could do worse than check out one of the tales of monster madness on this list.

    Here are ten ridiculous and imaginative films that every shark fan should have seen.

    10. Shark Exorcist (2015)

    shark in the water with glowing eyes
    Stratosphere Entertainment / Via

    This obviously low-budget film has terrible special effects and the acting isn’t great, but if you can look past that, it is a fun ride and an interesting premise.

    An evil nun decides to take revenge on the world after being outed as a child killer. She commands a demon to possess a great white shark, which inhabits a small lake in a fishing village. The yellow-eyed fish goes on to attack and possess various characters in the movie until the titular exorcism takes place.

    The main story is told alongside a few other side plots, such as a ghost hunting team that tries to psychically contact the shark’s victims and some sorority pledges who are forced to swim in the lake as part of their initiation. If you like films that are so bad they are funny then this is one to check out!

    9. Avalanche Sharks (2014)

    Shark and man in snow
    Syfy / Via

    This Syfy movie features a group of teenagers heading to a ski resort to party for spring break. While they are skiing and having bikini hot tub parties, they start being attacked by massive sharks swimming through the snow.

    The backstory reveals a vengeful Native American Chief who created supernatural totems that released killer snow sharks to protect the mountain after his tribe was killed by mining settlers. Unfortunately, the dynamite used in the opening scene to dislodge snow to prevent avalanches landed close to the totems and dislodged them, releasing the sharks.

    The film has some beautiful scenery and cool skiing and snowboarding shots. The girls are weirdly happy to spend most of their time in bikinis, even in the snow!

    The sharks are cheesy CGI and the attacks are suitably gory. The "Crazy Ralph" character, Duffy, is also good fun to watch as he proclaims death on all the teens. The story is amusingly unreliably narrated by an injured snowboarder, whose imagination constantly calls him out on inaccuracies and plot holes.

    8. Virus Shark (2021)

    a computer screen showing a shark swimming underwater
    SRS Cinema / Via

    In this highly topical film, the world has been hit by a new pandemic, spread by a shark bite. A team of scientists are sent to a top-secret underwater research facility and are tasked with finding a cure for the outbreak from 800m below the ocean.

    The team captures some infected sharks to examine, and also investigate the hideous mutated victims of the virus. The low-budget effects are absolutely hilarious, and the characters make the film feel a bit like a documentary crossed with John Carpenter’s The Thing: deadpan and over-the-top at the same time.

    The film takes an interesting turn when parts of the infected corpses start dropping off and attacking people independently, turning the victims into rabid zombies. The corrupt lead scientist then tries to keep the antidote for himself to exploit for money and power. It is exciting and great fun to watch; who knows how incredible it could have been with a higher budget!

    7. Sky Sharks (2020)

    robot shark flying through sky
    Capelight Pictures / Dark Sky Films

    This crazy film, originally funded by a Kickstarter campaign, features horror legend Tony Todd, American Horror Story’s Naomi Grossman, and a awesome low-budget special effects by the always amazing Tom Savini. A team of geologists uncover an old Nazi laboratory buried in the Antarctic where they had been developing genetically modified weaponised flying great white sharks, ridden by zombie super-humans.

    The concept is better than the budget would allow for, but the creative mix of practical and CGI effects and the great cast make this well worth a watch. Especially noteworthy is the incredible opening sequence, where the sharks and their undead riders take down a passenger jet in a gory bloodbath.

    The flashbacks to World War II are done well, with believable sets and costumes. The battles are exciting, and the overall effect is an entertaining viewing if you don’t take the whole concept too seriously!

    6. Ghost Shark (2013)

    Ghost shark
    SyFy / Via

    This SyFy classic is an enjoyable film with some good characters, inventive special effects, and an original story.

    When a great white shark is violently attacked by a fisherman for stealing his catch, the injured fish swims to a nearby cave where it dies, before being resurrected as a ghost shark due to the cave's paranormal properties.

    The ghost shark proceeds to get revenge on the horrible pair and the boat captain, before heading off to wreak havoc anywhere where there is water. This includes a pool party, a car wash, a slip-n-slide, and a particularly gruesome encounter in a glass of water. The daughters of the captain investigate, and a lighthouse keeper and a museum curator provide exposition on the origins of the cave.

    The film is a great mix between teenage drama, grisly shark attacks, and a supernatural story about the secret history of the town. It is an interesting twist to the usual shark story when the characters are in as much danger in a puddle as they are swimming in the ocean!

    5. Sand Sharks (2012)

    Sand shark
    American World Pictures / Via

    This genuinely enjoyable film borrows heavily from both Tremors and Jaws. Jimmy Greenberg and his father the mayor plan "The Sand Man Festival" to try and bring some tourists to the beach town of White Sands. However, Sherriff John and his sister, Deputy Brenda, close the beach when people start getting attacked by sharks.

    Doctor Sandy Powers is brought in to examine the victims and try and work out what kind of shark is killing everyone. Crazy old man shark killer Angus claims that the sharks are in the sand and he will catch them for a bounty. It is never explained how the sharks can swim in the sand, only that Angus has "seen them before."

    The party goes ahead, and the sharks start causing chaos, devouring the panicking teenagers. Jimmy, Doctor Powers, the sherriff, and Angus must work together to stop the sharks and save the town.

    The special effects of the reptilian-looking sharks are good, and there are some genuinely scary moments. The characters are funny and engaging, and their relationships are interesting, including the dark history of the last time sharks attacked the town and a touching and ingenious climax.

    4. Piranha Sharks (2016)

    Piranha Sharks
    Angry Armadillo, Inc / Via

    This Christmas horror comedy tells the tale of a scientist who has genetically engineered tiny sharks to be used as military weapons. Unfortunately, the nano sharks enter his bloodstream when he cuts himself, and kill him.

    In a desperate attempt to recoup their losses, a marketing team is brought in to rebrand slightly larger versions of the sharks as exotic pets, called "Piranha Sharks." Things go wrong when the fish owners begin to tip them out of their aquariums into the water supply. It’s then up to a team of inept pest exterminators to save the day.

    The film is great fun, the concept is original, and the relationships between the characters are interesting to watch. Especially entertaining is Hercules icon Kevin Sorbo, relishing his role as sleazy Mayor Scott Burman, trying not to let the shark issue spoil his political campaign.

    The special effects are good and the moment when the carnage really hits is exciting and gory. The film climaxes with a race against time to find a way to stop the sharks before the Government carries out a nuclear strike on New York to "fix" the problem.

    3. 2-Headed Shark Attack (2015)

    2 headed shark
    The Asylum / Via

    The first of the multi-headed shark attack franchise is arguably the best, with an original premise, and pretty good actors and effects, although the sequels are worth checking out for the inclusion of Danny Trejo and the sight of a six-headed shark walking on the beach on its heads!

    The story follows the Sea King educational boat, run by Professor Franklin Babish (Charlie O'Connell) and his wife, Anne (a gorgeous-looking Carmen Electra) and has a crew of teenage students. The boat crashes into a dead shark before the blood attracts the two-headed shark. The beast cracks the hull and prompts Franklin and the students to escape to a nearby atoll while the boat is repaired. Events then start to go horrendously wrong when the boat sinks and the atoll starts to collapse.

    Student Kate is the obvious final girl, intelligent and brave, volunteering to weld the hull. She also has an amazing scene where she is trying to lure the shark to a gasoline barrel and ends up caught between its two heads, stabbing it with a stake as it thrashes around.

    The CGI rendering of the shark is quite effective, and the close-up attack shots are all shown in a crazy panic, which has the dual effect of enhancing the feeling of the attack and not letting us look too closely at the low-budget shark model!

    2. Sharktopus (2010)


    This brilliantly original movie is unashamedly low budget, but it is so much fun that this only serves to work in its favour. The concept is wild, the acting is over-the-top, and the effects of the shark are amazing but unrealistic, allowing it to have an outlandish personality as it is not in any way pretending to be an actual shark. The film spawned two sequels where Sharktopus faces off against other hybrid monsters, each sillier than the last.

    Created for the SyFy channel by legendary B movie producer Roger Corman, the film stars TV veteran Eric Roberts as a geneticist who is commissioned by the US Navy to create a genetically spliced superweapon. The half-shark, half-octopus is controlled by an electromagnetic device attached to its head. However, it breaks free and heads to Mexico to cause mayhem.

    The climax is especially entertaining when the creature starts walking on land on its tentacles, climbing all over the resort in a particularly chaotic scene.

    The film has a very catchy theme tune and a beautiful setting. It is well worth watching so long as you aren’t expecting anything too serious!

    1. Sharknado (2013)

    SyFy / Via

    There could only really be one contender for the top spot in this list. The wildly successful franchise starring Beverly Hills 90210’s Ian Ziering as Fin Shepard and American Pie’s Tara Reid as his wife April, spawned five sequels and had an amazing array of guest stars, including David Hasselhoff, Gary Busey, Bo Derek, Lou Ferrigno, Dolph Lundgren, Tony Hawk, and even Dog the Bounty Hunter!

    The original film has the most "normal" of the storylines, with a freak cyclone throwing Great White sharks all over Los Angeles, and beach-side bar owner Fin and his friends on a mission to rescue his estranged wife and children and stop the sharks from destroying the city. The sequels include travels through time and space, the main character being reanimated as a cyborg, an apocalypse, and sharks fighting dinosaurs!

    The actors clearly relish their roles and they play their parts seriously, making the spectacle of watching them a bizarre experience. The special effects are great and there are some amazing shark attack scenes, including the iconic vision of Fin fighting his way out of a shark’s belly with a chainsaw. These films are addictive and it is so much fun trying to spot all the in-jokes. They are definitely the best of the B-movie shark films!

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