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On Monday night, immediately following 3-Headed Shark Attack, SyFy premiered one more shark movie as a part of Shark Week. That movie was entitled Zombie Shark and it was everything that you could possibly hope for.

Zombie Shark takes place on one of those depressing island resorts that always seem to pop up in films like this. The sky is permanently overcast. The sand is kind of gray. There aren‘«÷t many people on the beach and the ones who are there are busy drinking beer and daring each other to swim in shark-infested waters. This depressing beach is undoubtedly the result of the film‘«÷s low-budget. But, whether intentional or not, the effect is to create a pervasive atmosphere of existential doom. This film takes place in a dark world where the beach was an unhappy place even before the sharks and zombies showed up.

Four friends head out to that beach for what they hope will be a fun weekend. Amber (Cassie Steele) and Sophie (Sloane Coe) are sisters. Bridgitte (Becky Andrews) is their bikini-clad friend who, later in the film, gets to say, ‘«£I‘«÷m not going to die for those people!‘«ō (For what it‘«÷s worth, I was in 100% agreement with Bridgitte. If someone is stupid enough to get in the water during a shark attack, he deserves whatever happens to him.) And then there‘«÷s Jenner (Ross Britz), who is Amber‘«÷s boyfriend. When the four of them come across a dead shark on the beach, Jenner makes the mistake of getting too close. Suddenly, the shark comes back to life and eats Jenner! Unfortunately, Jenner had the keys to the boat in his pocket so now, the three survivors are stranded on the island.

It turns out, of course, that it‘«÷s all the fault of science. Dr. Palmer (Laura Cayouette) created a zombiefication virus and infected one shark. Now that zombie shark is infecting other sharks! And those sharks are attacking people! The people who aren‘«÷t digested are transformed into zombies!

Luckily, military badass Maxwell Cage (Jason London) is sent to the island. Working with the rife-toting Amber and Sophie, Maxwell tries to find a way to curb the zombie outbreak. Meanwhile, resort owner Lester (Roger J. Timber) tries to rally the few remaining uninfected humans to fight the zombies.

Soon, the water is full of sharks, the beach is full of zombies, and blood is everywhere.

I totally loved Zombie Shark. To a certain extent, it reminded me of the classic Italian zombie film, The Erotic Nights of the Living Dead. Like that film, Zombie Shark started out as your typical resort movie, complete with elements of broad comedy and hints of relationship drama. And then suddenly, out of almost nowhere, it turned into a portrait of a grim and bloody zombie apocalypse.

The cast did a surprisingly good job, bringing as much credibility as they could to a film about a bunch of people being menaced by zombie sharks. Jason London and Laura Cayouette (remember her as Leonardo DiCaprio‘«÷s odd sister in Django Unchained?) are both memorable as representatives of the establishment. Cassie Steele and Sloane Coe were totally believable as sisters and brought so much commitment to their roles that the film‘«÷s ending was unexpectedly poignant.

(Cassie Steele, of course, might be best known for playing Manny Santos during the best seasons of Degrassi.)

With the exception of Sharknado 3 (which will be premiering tonight), Zombie Shark was the final original shark film to premiere as a part of SyFy shark week.

It was also one of the best.