Bait 3D: Sharknado Before Sharknado Was a Thing

In 2013, Sharknado, a SyFy Network movie, became a cult sensation. For six years, bad-movie lovers anticipated a new addition to the schlocky franchise. But one year before Sharknado, the Aussie-produced Bait 3D swam into theaters with a similar premise. A sudden tsunami submerges a grocery store, leaving its shoppers to fend off some Great White Sharks. Too bad audiences weren’t interested. Maybe it was a case of a good thing too soon. Or perhaps Bait 3D was missing something. Sharknado was so bad, it was good. Was Bait 3D just a bad movie?


One year ago, lifeguard Josh, hung over from his bachelor party, lets friend and future brother-in-law, Rory, take his shift. But when a shark attacks the beach, Rory is killed, sending Josh into a tailspin of guilt. Now a directionless Josh stocks shelves at a grocery store. During one of his shifts, his ex-fiance, Tina, inadvertently shows up shopping with a new boyfriend in tow. But the awkward reunion is short-lived. A sudden tsunami sweeps through the beachside community, flooding the grocery store. Things only get worse for the survivors when they discover that the flooding waters deposited two unwanted guests in the store – Great White sharks.

Bait 3D Suffers From Poor CGI Effects and Strained 3D Antics

Few modern killer shark movies will rely solely on animatronic sharks. But just for the record, Jaws still has the best shark effects of all time. The reality is that killer shark movies will rely almost exclusively on CGI effects. And those effects will always be a bit spotty. Even good shark movies, like The Shallows, and the occasional big-budget The Meg, will have hit-and-miss moments. Not surprisingly then, Bait 3D trolls audiences with some pretty shabby CGI shark moments. When director Kimble Rendall keeps the sharks under water, occasionally using animatronic effects, Bait 3D hits the right kind of silly tension. Still when Rendall requires his sharks to make a full appearance the effects are just one step above what you’d find in Syfy Channel movie.

Bait 3D trolls audiences with some pretty shabby CGI shark moments.

Like most 3D movies, Bait 3D works too hard to find ways to employ the technology. As a result, several moments feel contrived rather than genuine, organic scares. Moreover, the technology just doesn’t make the jump from movie theater to home theater. On the big screen, Bait 3D likely offered some fun jumps; much of that impact is lost in the living room. If the effects are shabby at least the shark attacks are silly enough to register some guffaws and howls. Whether Rendall intended Bait 3D to be a serious thriller, it’s tough to not laugh when a half of poorly CGI-rendered body is left hanging after a shark bites it in half. Fortunately, there’s enough of these laugh-out loud moments to counter the movie’s storytelling problems.

A Total of Six Different Writers Received Some Credit for this Movie

Despite Bait 3D’s silly shark carnage, there does seem to be some indication that Rendall and writers Russell Mulcahy and John Kim had more serious ideas. On a side note, four other writers share additional writing credits. While Deep Blue Sea fully embraced its B-movie roots, Bait 3D has aspirations of being a more serious movie. Rendall et al spend far much too much time with multiple character arcs in which you’re unlikely to care. Much of the story and characters feel patterned after the disaster flicks that permeated the 1970’s. If you’ve even seen a movie in your life then you should have no problems picking out who lives and dies. Why Bait 3D needed four writers on top of Mulcahy and Kim for this re-hashed plot is a mystery.

Unless you’ve watched a lot of Aussie television, you won’t likely recognize anyone. And you’re certainly not going to care much about them.

Notwithstanding the generic cut-out story and characters, real actors do in fact star in this movie. Horror fans will recognize Sharni Vinson from You’re Next. Not surprisingly , Vinson stands out from her co-stars – she’s far better than the material with which she’s working. Aside from Vinson, Julian McMahon (Nip/Tuck, Monster Party) classes things up a little while collecting a paycheque. Everyone else is just shark bait. Unless you’ve watched a lot of Aussie television, you won’t likely recognize anyone. And you’re certainly not going to care much about them. Will terminally dull former lifeguard Josh overcome his guilt and reunite with his ex-fiance? Does it matter? Bait 3D is utterly predicable and not even Vinson can inject some chemistry into their water-logged relationship.

Bait 3D Generic But Packs Just Enough Dumb Fun To Be the Right Kind of Bad Movie

Bait 3D is a somewhat difficult movie to peg down. On the one hand, you know you’re watching a bad movie almost straight out of the gate. Whether it’s the paint-by-numbers character drama or the laughably bad shark effects, Rendall can’t seem to decide on what kind of movie he’s making. Yet it’s also this lack of self-awareness that makes Bait 3D funny, intentional or otherwise. Throw in some ridiculously over-the-top death scenes and the fact that the movie is rarely boring and you have something verging on ‘guilty pleasure’. On a killer shark movie scale ranging from Jersey Shore: Shark Attack to Deep Blue Sea, Bait 3D falls somewhere just above Deep Blue Sea 2.


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I am a Criminology professor in Canada but I've always had a passion for horror films. Over the years I've slowly begun incorporating my interest in the horror genre into my research. After years of saying I wanted to write more about horror I have finally decided to create my own blog where I can share some of my passion and insights into the films I love.

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