Apex Predators (2021) poster

Apex Predators (2021)


aka Jaws of Los Angeles; Los Angeles Shark Attack

USA. 2021.


Director/Screenplay/Digital Effects – Dustin Ferguson, Photography – Chuck Cirino, Additional Photography – Jarad Allen, Sophia Cacciola, Michael J. Epstein & Dustin Ferguson, Music – Matthew Festle, Tim Hurley & Zachary Walter, Special Effects/Shark Design – Alexys Paonessa. Production Company – HB Films/SoCal Cinema Studios.


Raymond Vinsik Williams (Kirk Williamson), Mel Novak (Robert Clouse Williamson), Thom Mulligan (Dr Jake Westwin), Mia Scozzafave (Rebecca Romaine), Sheri Davis (Sheri), Scott Butler (Officer Burns), Brinke Stevens (Dr Charlene Brinkman), Vida Ghaffari (Dr Elaine Ripley), Franquita Oliver (Franquita), Alana Evans (Super Model/Herself), Maria Olsen (Momma Maria), Dawna Lee Heising (Super Model Alana Evans), Peter Stickles (DJ Carter B), Shawn C. Phillips (Dude), Ken May (Duder), Selena D. & Julie Ann Philputt (Hot Beach Babes), Jonathon Nation (Sleazy Photographer)


Killer sharks are making their way up the California coastline attacking people on the beaches at Long Beach and Oceanside.

The Gonzo Killer Shark film has been with us throughout much of the 2010s, becoming a whole genre almost unto itself with the surprise bad movie hit Sharknado (2013), which led to a series of sequels and imitators. (For a more detailed listing see Killer Shark Movies). The Gonzo Killer Shark film started with some amusement and most of The Asylum’s efforts and those of others have been consistently appealing in their deliberate ridiculousness. However, as the fad has dragged on, the cheaper end of the market has produced some truly shitty and terrible films.

Apex Predators falls among these shitty and terrible films. It is cheaply and pitifully made on all counts. There is a good deal of padding with scenes that have been shot underwater and of people walking or running down the beach. Typical of low-low-budget films, there is crappy audio recording. Frequently the film gives the impression of director Dustin Ferguson having shot scenes with assorted actors and then tried to figure out a way to connect them up – Raymond Vinsik Williams and his professing love for Mia Scozzafave while his ex Franquita Oliver gets jealous; Shawn C. Phillips and Ken May as two stoners on the beach; a photographer and some of the skankiest looking models ever gathered together – one of whom (Dawna Lee Heising) looks like a plastic surgery accident; a radio dj; and Mel Novak as a geriatric businessman who looks like a corpse that someone propped up in the corner and got him to say lines.

The film seems filled with bad performances. Or more to the point, it is a film dealing with a cast who frequently give the impression of being non-professionals and having no acting background. There is the odd one who is – 1980s Scream Queen Brinke Stevens as a scientist and Maria Olsen who has racked up a reasonable number of B movie credits, although both have minor roles – but most are not.

The film has no real plot to it – it just consists of various people in assorted situations with some connection to the beach or its near vicinity. The sharks are said to be attacking their way up the coastline – we lots of underwater footage of them swimming (which one suspects has been shot by somebody else). People go into the water and then disappear beneath the surf. And yet for all that this is a film so cheap that we never actually see any shark attacks. At most, we get a couple of wide angle shots of a fin in the water and all the rest is implied. It is the novelty of a killer shark film that is too cheap to actually provide any sharks – not even the digital ones that most other filmmakers opt for.

The ending is the most ridiculous part of the film. Scientist Thom Mulligan comes up with a plan to defeat the sharks that involves Raymond Vinsik Williams diving into the surf holding what looks like two hamburger patties in his hands. This supposedly defeats the sharks. Williams then wakes up the next morning with everything over only to exit the apartment and see the city being attacked by a shark so big it fills the sky.

Dustin Ferguson has produced a prolific output of low-budget horror films with the likes of Terror at Black Tree Forest (2010), The Legacy of Boggy Creek (2011), Silly Scaries (2011), Black Tree Forest III (2012), Escape to Black Tree Forest (2012), Silly Scaries 2 (2012), Slumber Party Slasherthon (2012), Die Sister Die (2013), Doll Killer (2013), Cheerleader Camp: To the Death (2014), Gloved Murderess (2014), Invitation to Die (2014), Occult Holocaust (2014), Demon Dolls (2015), Meathook Massacre (2015), Silent Night, Bloody Night 2: Revival (2015), Camp Blood 4 (2016), Camp Blood 5 (2016), Blood Claws (2016), The Dummy 2 (2016), Night of the Clown (2016), Tales for the Campfire (2016), The 12 Slays of Christmas (2016), Amityville: Evil Never Dies (2017), Meathook Massacre II (2017), Nemesis 5: The New Model (2017), Penny Pinchers: The Kings of No-Budget Horror (2017), Tales for the Campfire 2 (2017), Wrong Side of the Tracks (2017), Conjuring Curse (2018), House of Pain (2018), Runaway Nightmare (2018), Aliens in L.A. (2019), Axegrinder (2019), Direct to Video: Straight to Video Horror of the 90s (2019), Meathook Massacre: The Final Chapter (2019), Moon of the Blood Beast (2019), Penny Pinchers 2: Scenes from the Underground (2019), RoboWoman (2019), Angry Asian Murder Hornets (2020), Arachnado (2020), Axed to Pieces (2020), The Beast Beneath (2020), Celluloid Slaughter (2020), Clowns of Halloween (2020), 5G Zombies (2020), Hollyweird (2020), I Drip Blood on Your Grave (2020), The Last Roommate (2020), Tales from the Campfire 3 (2020), Tales from the Grave: The Movie (2020), Amityville in the Hood (2021), Bubba’s Dead: The Final Massacre (2021), Doll Killer 2 (2021), Ebola Rex (2021), Ebola Rex vs Murder Hornets (2021), Hell of the Screaming Undead (2021), Rattlers 2 (2021) and Zombie VIII: Urban Decay (2021),

(Winner in this site’s Top 10 Films of 2021 list).

Trailer here

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