Dave Randolph-Mayhem Davis as Blaise and Mackenzie Rosman as Ava...

Dave Randolph-Mayhem Davis as Blaise and Mackenzie Rosman as Ava in "Ghost Shark," a Syfy original movie. Credit: Syfy

TV MOVIE "Ghost Shark"

WHEN | WHERE Premieres Thursday at 9 on Syfy, after 7 p.m.'s "Sharknado" encore

WHY TO WATCH It's horrible great!

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Obnoxious fisher-people on a boat torment a shark with a crossbow, hot sauce and a grenade. But the poor thing doesn't just die: It turns into a ghost. It gets 'em back!

And "Ghost Shark" hasn't run the opening titles yet.

"Ghosts are real -- as real as the lies this town was built on," growls the crazy lighthouse keeper played by Richard Moll, who has matured superbly from his '80s days as the nutty bailiff on "Night Court," fully maintaining his nutso mojo. "As real as the price we're gonna pay for those sins," he warns, in director/co-scripter Griff Furst's awfully awesome staging and script.

The thrills in this haunted town come fast and furious, too fast to keep (body) count. Since the shark is a ghost, it can wreak bloody murder anywhere there's water. Not just at the beach but also a teen pool party: "We got a bunch of mutilated bodies in our yard!" At the sorority (bikini) car wash. Fire hydrants. And the water cooler. Household plumbing? Yes! There, too!

MY SAY Panache-packing Furst is clearly a filmic master in the making. With "Swamp Shark" and "Arachnoquake" behind him, he's now got "Ragin' Cajun Redneck Gators" in postproduction. (He also played the late original sheriff in the Cinemax treat "Banshee.") The son of actor Stephen Furst -- "Flounder in Animal House"! -- Griff is just 31 and already on a roll.

"Ghost Shark" stacks up all the havoc you could possibly imagine, before you can think of it. Actually, right after it comes to mind, which is even better. Like suspense king Alfred Hitchcock, Furst appreciates the value of anticipation. He knows his trashy tropes and twists them with precise comic timing. He gives us talk-back utopia.

There's cheese (i.e., all Syfy flicks) and then there's cheese -- Velveeta vs. Brie. But guess what? "Ghost Shark" is both! How victims die, which body parts are left and where, the perfectly predictable dialogue and straight-faced performances, even a historical nod to Roanoke -- we're just not worthy of this much smartly executed satisfaction.

BOTTOM LINE "Sharknado" was just a concept. "Ghost Shark" is a sustained delight.


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