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When Fish Attack! Top Ten Most Memorable Ocean Attacks

A few weeks back an Orca, or "killer whale", pulled a trainer into his tank at Sea World and killed her. There have been some truly tragic underwater attacks, but it made us think of some of the most memorable ocean attacks in movie history. Here we now present some of the most memorable water attacks in sci-fi movie history.

10. Jaws vs. Scuba Tank (Jaws, 1975)

This attack set the standard for all other attacks. 99% of water to surface attacks are shot by cutting from the unsuspecting victim to the underwater creature. The final battle pit the massive shark against an exploding scuba tank and it was glorious. We could just stop here, but we'll go on.

9. Giant Squid vs. Queen Latifah (Sphere, 1998)

The film Sphere,based on a far superior novel, pit Queen Latifah against an impossible giant squid. Since we don't see the attack we can only assume the rapper lost her body's U.N.I.T.Y. to the squid. The irony is that Sam Jackson not only appears in another underwater film, but manages to survives.

8. Sperm Whales vs. Aliens (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, 1986)

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock was a critical and box-office disappointment. For the sequel, they decided to take everything we love about Star Trek and dumb it down to the point of being unrecognizable. It made $133 million worldwide and was nominated for four academy awards. Go figure. The biggest battle royale came when an alien race comes to destroy all life on the planet, but gets the smack-down after hearing a whale song. Turns out aliens are big fans of new age music.

7. Colo Claw Fish vs The Jedi (Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, 1999)

In Star Wars: Episode 1, the undersea world of Naboo featured a creature that induced revulsion and horror. But, besides Jar Jar Binks, the Jedi faced off against a massive undersea creature, a Colo Claw Fish that chased their craft through the planet's core before being eaten. This led Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn to utter the sage phrase "there's always a bigger fish" implying that Naboo is home to a population of ever increasing fish that eventually swallows the universe.

6. Kraken vs. Perseus (Clash of the Titans, 1981)

A remake of Clash of the Titans is coming soon, but it was the stop motion creation of Ray Harryhausen versus the shirtless Harry Hamlin that stole the show. It took the head of the ugliest woman in the world to defeat it. Rosie O'Donnell was too young, so they used Medusa.

5. Godzilla vs. Matthew Broderick (Godzilla, 1998)

While Godzilla has been the star of 22 movies since the sixties, he finally met his match in 1998 when Ferris Bueller tricked him into becoming a living skeet shoot. It seemed like a one-sided match, but, like Mike Tyson versus Evander Holyfield, it became a battle of brains versus manipulative cheating.

4. Navy SEALS vs. Alien Water Tentacle (The Abyss, 1989)

The Abyss is a film about a group of underwater miners and Navy Seals trapped on the bottom of the ocean floor with aliens. This one almost became a two-fer since James Cameron famously fought with Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio when she walked off the set during the shooting. But, it featured one of the first CGI actors in the form of the sentient plume of water that comes to investigate them. The Navy SEALS made short work of it by closing the door. All that special weapons training paid off at last.

3. Samuel L Jackson vs. Mutant Shark (Deep Blue Sea, 1999) 

Deep Blue Sea was a forgettable film about people stuck in an underwater lab with super-brainy mutant sharks, but there's one scene that stands out. Samuel L Jackson was giving a motivational speech, when a shark jumped out of the water and ate him. It came out of nowhere. Most polite sharks play slow cello music before chomping down. It's also the only time that someone dared to interrupt Samuel L. Jackson.

2. Tomatoes vs. Catamaran (Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!, 1978)

There are two types of people: those that think the parody monster film Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! is the funniest movie ever made, or the dumbest. I fall into the latter category, but it makes a nice bookend to Jaws. From "those-in-the-know" this is the funniest scene in the movie. I guess anyone that can make swimming away from a floating fruit funny must be the greatest actor ever.

1. Mega Shark vs. Airliner (Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, 2009)

The greatest attack in history is in one of the worst films in history. One of the most popular trailers ever posted to the Internet featured a giant prehistoric shark jumping 30,000 feet and pulling an airliner from the sky. It went viral and even spawned a popular info-graphic detailing how impossible it was. Now I can add prehistoric sharks to my list of reasons to be afraid to fly. That, and gremlins.

What do you think the greatest ocean attacks are? Let us know in the comments!


  1. Your # 1 choice is also mine. Bad doesn't get any better than this. Unless they make a sequel where the shark manages to pull down a spaceship. :o)

  2. LOL Paul, I heard the sequel to Megashark is going to be in space. ;-)

  3. When Steve Irwine tragically lost his life trying to stick his thumb up a stingrays butt.


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