By Steve Helling
Here’s what you need to know about the film Mega-Shark vs. Giant Octopus: Two enormous sea creatures endanger the Pacific coast as they battle each other. The shark can leap out of the water and attack airplanes, while the octopus seems partial to destroying oil rigs. California’s only hope? A heroic submarine crew that includes Deborah Gibson and Lorenzo Lamas.
Here’s the surprise: The trailer for the campy sci-fi flick film has become a viral hit, scoring nearly a million hits on MTV.com in two days and racking up an additional 300,000 hits on YouTube. The movie hits the Cannes Film Festival this weekend and is enjoying brisk pre-orders before its direct-to-DVD release on May 19.
The buzz shocks former teen pop star Gibson, who laughingly admits that this is not exactly an Oscar contender. “This movie isn’t going to put me on the acting map,” she tells PEOPLE. “But it was so ridiculously fun. There’s some absurd stuff going on, but I felt like my character had some good scenes. Besides, I got to be the badass girl who saved the planet.”x
Not that she knew what she was doing. Although she has successfully tackled both comedic and serious roles on Broadway, acting in a an action-adventure film was out of Gibson’s comfort zone. “The director would be like, ‘okay, the shark just attacked the submarine from the left, so everyone jump to the right.’ So I’d do it and he’d tell me I looked like I was having a seizure.”
Still, Gibson has no embarrassment about the film. “If you realize that it’s a fun science fiction movie, you’ll get it,” she says. “It’s not a film where you ask a bunch of questions; you just enjoy it for what it is.”
And what happens if Mega-Shark vs. Giant Octopus becomes a monster hit?
“We leave the door open for a sequel,” Gibson says. “How about a giant lobster? That would be terrifying. They’re really scary.”