Pop the popcorn and roast the chestnuts, my friends. It’s Christmas in July and Shark Week is upon us! In keeping with the season, the ScaryMatter team is having our annual shark movie marathon (for better or worse). And my love of the shitty ones is back in full bloom! This year I’m starting with one of the more original ones – Santa Jaws! All I had to see was the title and the fact that the shark wears a Santa hat. I didn’t know that I needed a Christmas shark movie in my life – until now.
Santa Jaws is about a kid named Cody who loves to draw comics. He drew one for the holidays called “Santa Jaws”. After his school principal finds a not-so-flattering picture that Cody drew of him, his parents ground him. This means missing a Christmas party at his favorite comic book store. So of course, it’s the end of the world and he’s pissed at his parents.
Angry Cody decides to add things to Santa Jaws. While he’s drawing, he wishes he could be alone for Christmas. He uses a pen that his grandfather gave him. The pen turns out to be magic and brings Santa Jaws to life. The shark goes on a killing spree fueled by anything related to Christmas. Sadly for Cody, that includes his family. (Be careful what you wish for, kids!)
Cody and a few other kids realize the shark’s kills revolve around Christmas. They decide to try and use that to kill him. The movie was directed by Misty Talley (Shark Island) and written by Jake Kiernan (his only film as of this writing). As with most shark movies, the script could use some work, but it wasn’t as bad as I anticipated. The kids in the movie do a good job in their roles and are pretty convincing.
SyFy is famous for terrible shark movies. It’s like they pick things from a hat and mix them with a shark. But Santa Jaws is actually pretty good. It’s not going to win any awards, but it’s better than a lot that I’ve seen. And I thought the plotline was one of the more original of the shark movies. Although a lot of Syfy’s movies feel like they were meant to be bad, I don’t get that feeling from this one.
The plotline of a bunch of kids banding together to kill something evil isn’t new, and of course, they figure out how to stop it. Since Cody wrote Santa Jaws it makes it easier to take. It’s a ridiculous premise, but the movie owns it and makes it work. The CGI isn’t great, but the shark isn’t completely visible for most of the movie, which helps. And what they did show made me chuckle every time. I appreciated the little Christmas-y touches throughout the movie, especially the ones on the shark that she used to her advantage (I heard that the shark is a girl, so I’m going with it). It’s funny but it keeps the Christmas theme going. All you Christmas haters out there will appreciate the Home Alone aspect of the movie and the shark’s Christmas-fueled killing spree.
If you’re a fan of bad low-budget shark movies or bad Christmas-themed ones, this movie may need to be part of your rotation.