TV during the summer pretty much sucks. Shark Week, however, does not suck. If you've spent the past week glued to the Discovery Channel's tales of shark attacks and airborn Great Whites, you're not alone; according to yesterday's ratings, the 22nd annual Shark Week has averaged a solid 2.6 million viewers each night. Tracy Morgan once told Kenneth on "30 Rock" to "live every week like it's Shark Week." That's some gnarly, carpe diem wisdom to remember as the summer transitions into the back-to-school stress of the fall. Before our favorite annual televised celebration of oceanic predators turns into shark fin soup, we've decided to take a look at the 20 most intimidating in movies, television, and books. Unfortunately none of these pop culture beasts of the deep have "frickin' laser beams attached to their frickin' heads," but they're still ferocious in their own right. Grab yourself a chumsicle and dive in head first after the jump.
20. The Mega Shark in "Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus"
Didn't see it? Take a number. Here's the basic gist of this low budget, straight-to-DVD shark-pocalypse now. A prehistoric shark and octopus are freed from the Alaskan glacier they've been frozen in for millions of years. Hungry and agitated, the shark jumps into the air and takes a chunk out of a commerical airliner, causing all sorts of general hysteria. To make things worse, the creatures vehemently hate each other. A bunch of nerdy oceanographers decide to lure the two monster in the San Franicso Bay. Of course, they proceed to fight to the death with an epic battle royale, bashing and smashing some of the Bay Area's most famous landmarks. Picque your interest? Watch the trailer here.
19. Syfy’s "Sharktopus"
Sure, it hasn't come out yet, but that doesn't mean it doesn't show promise. Set your DVRs for September 25, 2010. That's the date SYFY will debut it's thriller about a half-octopus, half-shark mutant marine beast that's programed by the U.S. Navy to battle Somali pirate ships.
18. The sharks guarding the entrance to the cave in "Thunderball"
Only a debonaire double-0 frogman like James Bond had the smarts and cajones to sneak past the bloodthirsty sentries to Thunderball's lair. Did we mention this is the Bond with the underwater sex scene?
17. Sebastian Shark (James Woods) in "Shark"
This Los Angeles defense attorney-turned-public prosecutor is a shark in the courtroom who lives by a "cutthroat manifesto: Rule No. 1: Trial is war. Second place is death. Rule No. 2: Truth is relative. Pick one that works. Rule No. 3: In a jury trial, there are only 12 opinions that matter."
16. Overbite from "Transformers"
The only so-called Robot-in-Disguise to double as both a shark monster and a "double-barreled tidal wave maker," Overbite was a Transformer who earned a fierce reputation as an "Undersea Terminator."
15. The sharks in "Open Water"
Sharks have a feeding frenzy with this couple who's been stranded at sea.
14. Maccus in "Pirates of the Caribbean"
Captain Davy Jones' first mate on the "Black Pearl" is essentially a hammerhead shark on two legs with a gross case of barnacle acne.
13. The shark in the pool in "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective"
"That's not snowflake."
12. Dharma Shark in "Lost"
We have no idea whether or not the shark with a Dharma logo is symbolic or ultimately important in "Lost"'s wacky, flash-sideways universe, but we do know Sawyer and Michael fought off an attacking shark in an early season of the show.
11. Shark Boy the "Professional Wrestler"
Dean Roll's character in the Total Nonstop Action wrestling rings was modeled from the Shark Boy comic book character. In 2005, Shark Boy sued Miramax for trademark infringement when the studio released Robert Rodriguez's "The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D." The case was settled out of court. More importantly, you might recognize him from MTV's "True Life: I'm a Pro Wrestler."
10. Victor Krum in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"
In order to breath underwater for an hour at the The Triwizard Tournament, Viktor Krum from Durmstrang cooks up some magic and... POW: He transfigures his head into a shark. In the movie, the shark scene caused audience to shriek in unison, even though he doesn't win.
9. Don Lino in "Shark Tale"
Played by Robert De Niro, this animated marine mobster is the Vito Corleone of a great white mafia.
8. The sharks in Ernest Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea"
Spoiler alert: The sharks ruin old Santiago's fishing trip.
7. Anchor, Bruce, and Chum in "Finding Nemo"
"Fish are friends, not food."
6. The three genetically engineered Mako sharks from "Deap Blue Sea"
"Haven't you seen my movies? 'Juice' That was a good one! 'Deep Blue Sea' They ate me! A motherf*cking shark ate me! Drink up, b*tch!"
5. The Exploding Shark from "Batman: The Movie" (1966)
Long before Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan metamorphosed the Batman comic book franchise into the billion-dollar tent-pole behemoth it is today, Bruce Wayne was fighting combustible sea creatures.
4. "Street Sharks"
If you grew up watching cartoons in the mid-'90s, you'll recall "Street Sharks" as the most "jawsome" "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" spin-off (although the clan preferred hamburgers over pizza). Ripster (a Great White shark), Jab (a Hammerhead shark), Streex (a Tiger Shark), and Big Slammu (a whale shark) kicked some serious fin against Dr. Piranoid and his school of genetically-engineered villains. Despite an awesome line of Matell action figures, the franchise only lasted about a year.
3. Land Shark on "Saturday Night Live"
Chevy Chase's "Land Shark" hilarious parody of "Jaws" hysteria debuted in 1975 during the first season of "Saturday Night Live." Whether he pretended to be a door-to-door salesman or a dolphin, Land Shark struck fear into his helpless victims. He's also the only fictional shark on our list to have his own beer brand.
2. The shark in "Happy Days"
Unlike "Shark Week," everything after this over-hyped television event just seemed to jumped the shark.
1. Jaws in "Jaws"
The most intimidating fictional shark of all time doubles as our favorite animatronic ride at Universal Studios. You really are going to need a bigger boat.
Editor's Post Script: It didn't make the list, but how awesome were Shark Bites gummies when we were kids, by the way?