Since its debut on MTV.com earlier this week, the trailer for the schlocky direct-to-DVD film “Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus” has swept the Web, even becoming a top Google search trend. With relatively low-budget values and over-the-top acting, it’s an unlikely candidate for an Internet sensation, but that’s exactly what it’s become. And no one’s more surprised than the human star of the film, ’80s pop icon [url id=”http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/gibson_debbie/artist.jhtml”]Deborah Gibson[/url].
“I am shocked,” Gibson exclaimed to MTV News. “I was looking at the video numbers, and the trailer has been watched hundreds of thousands of times. I’m like, ‘Oh my God!’ ”
Known primarily for her recording career — which includes hits like “Lost in Your Eyes,” “Foolish Beat” and “Only Words” — Gibson is also an accomplished Broadway performer and has sparingly dipped her toes in the Hollywood pool. But according to the singer, her past movie experience couldn’t really prepare her for the aquatic monster mash.
“When you’re doing an [indie] film like that, you feel like, ‘I’m doing this little fun, under-the-radar thing,” she said. “You never know what’s going to pop.”
The whimsical nature of the film attracted Gibson to the project. “I remember when I got the script, I just thought, ‘This is so much fun. I cannot say no to this,’ ” she recalled. “Which I think is probably what other people sense too. Obviously, the title alone makes people say, ‘What?!’ And then put my name with that title, and it’s an absolute bizarre combo.”
While set in contemporary times, “Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus” draws on an earlier era for inspiration: the outlandish sci-fi films of the 1950s. Gibson says that golden period — which produced movies like “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms,” “Attack of the Crab Monsters” and “Radar Men From the Moon” — heavily influenced the film. It also set the tone of the film from the first day of shooting.
“Every day, you’d just show up and you couldn’t take anything too seriously,” she said. “It was funny, because one of the last acting things I did was ‘Cabaret’ on Broadway, which was really serious and a real ‘actor’s actor’-type show. So you try as hard as you can to incorporate as much good technique as possible, but again, it was literally like, ‘OK, the sun was great on the whale, so, moving on.’ ”
So with one “Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus” under her belt, could we see a return of the giant sea creatures? According to Gibson, you just might.
“I haven’t seen the final edit, but we did do a version that leaves the door open for a potential sequel,” Gibson revealed. “Because God knows what else is in the ocean. I thought maybe a seahorse? Maybe a 500-foot lobster would be good. But yes, there is the potential for a sequel, and I would absolutely love it.”
“Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus” hits DVD stores Tuesday.
Will the vampires grab more trophies than the slumdog? What was the year’s ultimate onscreen WTF moment? It’s up to you to decide the winners of the 2009 MTV Movie Awards. Vote now, and tune in on May 31 at 9 p.m. ET, when the big show airs live from the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, California.
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