SHARK WEEK-MAKO: JAWS OF DEATH

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In MAKO: JAWS OF DEATH the always reliable Richard Jaeckel has a magic medallion that allows him to communicate with sharks. Basically, it’s STANLEY with sharks but still a pretty cool, low budget regional drive in picture from the seventies. Grefe always struck me as a man’s man director who did the best with what he had. Here’s a TV promo:

 

what a director should look like

what a director should look like

I couldn’t find the trailer for MAKO: JAWS OF DEATH but I did find this one for the not very awesome but fun MONSTER SHARK. Nearly twenty five years ago I remember hitting video stores all over Austin looking for this one but now all I have is the MST3K version.

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SHARK WEEK-DEEP BLOOD

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Wow, it took me a while to track down a copy of this odd Joe D’Amato shark movie but I finally got one made from yet another Japanese laser disc. It’s a fairly goofy effort, not nearly as lively as GREAT WHITE but it did end up as part of CRUEL JAWS as well. The plot has a group of young boys who while roasting weenies on the beach are warned by a hobo/Indian about an angry sea god. As these things go they take a blood oath to fight sea monsters. Years later as teenagers, a series of shark attacks plague  their beach community and they are forced to face their past and honor the blood oath from the magical hobo/Indian. Basically it’s a variation of any of the Stephen King books where a group of kids have something bad happen then take an Indian related blood oath that they remember years later. There are sub-plots ( because a shark movie demands them) about the town bully, their mean parents, dead moms, failure to meat parental expectations and all that stuff King pads his books with.

Most of the shark footage is the same National Geographic footage that seems to pop up everywhere but there’s also a fake shark head. If you just watch the superior CRUEL JAWS you’ll get all the good stuff. The print I saw was pretty dark and looked better in CRUEL JAWS including the ending where they blow up the shark god’s shipwreck hideaway ( The USS Cleveland in CRUEL JAWS). Years back a supposed still of this flick popped up in a book called SPAGHETTI NIGHTMARES but it’s actually from GREAT WHITE.

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SHARK WEEK-HAMMERHEAD: SHARK FRENZY

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Here’s one that had a lot going for it: Jeffrey Combs, William Forsythe, an assload of Russians, cool sets and a nice retro-shark man design and yet it didn’t come together. I gotta blame the script. There’s so many missed opportunities and it’s a shame. It really could’ve been a great nostalgic drive in movie along the lines of  THE MAD DOCTOR BLOOD ISLAND. A scientist (Combs) goes batshit trying to cure his son’s cancer but instead turns him into a hammerhead man that he then tries to mate with human women. How awesome is that? But the execution just doesn’t grab it by the balls and squeeze. We never get much more than quick glances at Sharkman and a lot of time is spent with the apparently endless supply of henchmen running around the island. There’s even a clumsy bit with a carnivorous plant that fails as well as numerous chances for nudity that are dropped. It really seems pre-edited for the Scifi channel despite some blood here and there. The mating of woman and Sharkman just is lame when it could’ve been gloriously perverse. Hunter Tylo plays the chick and despite having spent money on tits doesn’t seem to feel she’s obligated to whip them out. She doesn’t even wear a bikini which would seem to be required for this kind of picture. When it comes time for here to mate with the Sharkman, she’s wearing what looks to be jockey shorts and a bra. How is that helpful?

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SHARK WEEK- HAI ALARM AUF MALLORCA

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Holy Shit, I don’t know how I missed this one. A megalodon movie made by Germans, how the hell did that happen? I was expecting something along the lines of SHARK ATTACK 3, SPRING BREAK SHARK ATTACK or WESTWEGO SHARK FRENZY but was surprised by how much I liked this goofy Kraut picture. It stars Ralf Moeller as cool breeze helicopter pilot/widower Sven Hansen. Previously Sven’s wife was eaten by a shark but he and his daughter stayed behind in Mallorca for some reason. This Moeller is a beefy, square jawed guy who quite frankly should be in every movie. It has two car chases, a bizarre guy cooking poolside who is surrounded by babes and demands the creation of the German Barbecuing Association and even a TERMINATOR joke. The cgi shark is actually well done for this kind of thing. There’s also a song which seems to be called “Do the 69” by a German Britney Spears type chick. How could you not be caught up the climatic jet ski competition? Very enjoyable flick if you’re looking for goofy fun.  If you tend to think movies like this are “so stupid” then you should probably watch something else. UPDATE: the singer was Jeanette Biedermann

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SHARK WEEK-CRUEL JAWS

 

 

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The overwhelming positive response(actually one comment not really even about Shark Week but a high for this blog) to SHARK WEEK means that it will continue! That’s right friends, more Shark Cinema.  So let’s get back in the water with the Bruno Mattei collage of a film CRUEL JAWS.  Mattei is such a cinematic genius he really didn’t even need much original footage to make one of the greatest films ever. That’s right, not just greatest shark film ever, but the greatest film ever(made from bits of the JAWS series, GREAT WHITE and DEEP BLOOD. and a morsel of the Peter Benchley novel WHITE SHARK a.k.a CREATURE). I suppose we also need to add some of the score from STAR WARS and probably some more John Williams. So how did he accomplish this feat? Not sure but it looks like he took the winner of the Hulk Hogan lookalike contest from a bait shop in Panama City Florida, added a guy who sorta looks Patrick Swayze,  recruited everybody who ever did a local used car lot commercial and then described to them what he remembered from the one time he saw JAWS before turning the camera on and having a go at it. 

Hulk Hoganish plays Dag, a former whaler who now owns an low budget dolphin show aquarium. In the recent past he lost his wife and his daughter was crippled. But she’s got spirit and loves dolphins. Sadly, an evil developer is gonna kick Dag off the property for not paying rent and sell the property to the mob. The killer shark arrives to make things worse. A Peter Scolari lookalike plays the Hooper role and there’s another sub-plot about Dag’s son dating the evil developer’s daughter. The Patrick Swayzeish guy is the developer’s mulleted son and wind surfing champion. The regatta scene from GREAT WHITE reappears, as well as the cave scene, the helicopter scene and perhaps most inexplicably, the cheerleading scene. Chunks of dialog from JAWS are re-imagined, as well as the exploding boat from JAWS 2 and the Dennis Quaid catching his brother making out scene from JAWS  III. Regrettably, no one does Louis Gossett Jr.’s Calvin Broussard. It turns out the killer tiger shark was a military experiment that escaped from the USS CLEVELAND. Yes, it’s just that awesome. It’s hard not to like a movie that combines the awesomeness of so many movies and just doesn’t give a fuck.

"Hear that? It's thunder in Paradise"

"Hear that? It's thunder in Paradise"

 

"I wish my legs worked so I could leave"

"I wish my legs worked so I could leave"

Hey Look kids, it's Bruno Mattei"

Hey Look kids, it's Bruno Mattei"

 

Dude, lose the chick and lets rub dicks"

Dude, lose the chick and let's rub dicks"

 

"Hey, did they ever find Morrow's head?"

"Hey, did they ever find Morrow's head?"

 

Pole grabbing Castellari style

Pole grabbing Castellari style

and re-imagined by Mattei

and re-imagined by Mattei

SHARK WEEK- FAST AS A SHARK -ACCEPT

Go Udo!

SHARK WEEK- CYCLONE a.k.a. TERROR STORM

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That’s right friends, the devastatingly unpopular  SHARK WEEK continues. How unpopular? Michael Vick, Cheney, Obama’s Health Care, that Jon 8 babies guy, Rhianna’s pimp ( although I’m not really sure who she is)… well you get the idea. To make it worse, it’s another Rene Cardona Jr. excursion, the non-epic CYCLONE. 

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CYCLONE

So the version I got from Netflix is titled TERROR STORM which is pretty misleading as the storm is only a cameo. Being a Rene Cardona Jr. flick the storm takes its sweet time to terrorize. Once again we get lots of Andres Garcia, this time as a handsome fisherman, and Hugo “What, Me Worry” Stiglitz as the pilot. Hey do you guys remember that butler from HART TO HART? He was the guy that said “My boss, Mr.Hart he drowned his wife after rough man sex with Christopher Walken” and so on. Well, he plays either Gwildor from MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE or possibly a rich guy werewolf.

 

"We're all gonna die!"

"We're all gonna die!"

 

"Of course, Wagner was a great bottom man."

"Of course, Wagner was a great bottom man."

 Cardona Sr. made SURVIVE! about the soccer players eating each other in the Andes so Cardona Jr. decided to remake it but set it on a boat. Once again, some sharks show up at the end to try to redeem the movie and make it exciting.As with the alleged shark movie I reviewed two days ago and can’t remember the name of, he takes a live shark and sticks bloody shredded clothes in its mouth then films it swimming away. The highlight of this flick is the “dog burrito minus the tortilla” scene where an adorable pooch named “Christmas” meets a hungry Mexican.

 

"No Tecate, only Bud Light and dog."

"No Tecate, only Bud Light and dog."

By the time the sharks eat a bunch of people you just don’t care. I’m not even sure who survived. Still, it’s not as long as the other Cardona Jr. flick that sorta had sharks in it.

SHARK WEEK-FUNNY DEATH MACHINES

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If you need to make a cartoon based on a man eating fish and to capitalize on the success of a blockbuster movie where a giant shark eats a little boy (R.I.P. Alex Kintner) then what you do is make the shark sound like Curly.

SHARK WEEK-GREAT WHITE

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A lot has been written about GREAT WHITE but I was also gonna take a look at CRUEL JAWS so a glance at GREAT WHITE seemed appropriate. I saw it in the week it was released and then again on vhs in the early nineties. About five or six years back I finally got a decent enough copy off Japanese laser disc.  It’s still one of my favorite JAWS ripoffs just because it’s such a great example of the Italian rip off. At this point my favorite character has to be Wells, the shady politican, who just can’t hang on to the helicopter and has a wonderful mustache. Don’t all these Italian villains seem to have weak tit sons who try to man up for their dads? The Vic Morrow character is mostly fascinating for his bizarre accent choice which seems to start vaguely Greco-Russian before settling into a meandering Scottish impersonation. I love the fact that they really got their money’s worth out of that shark head. I’m still not sure what Franciscus’ Peter Benton novelist character is or does or why he’s so important to the regatta. Does anybody know what the hell is up with the Bob Dylan impersonator at the beach? I would like to see director Enzo Castellari explain in broken English the shark sealing the cave shut with boulders. The flick needed some nudity, well a lot of nudity.  Still, it’s pretty fun and seems to be the result of some Italians having a rough idea of JAWS and just winging it.

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SHARK WEEK-TINTORERA

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Consider this a cautionary tale about a regular Joe who just wanted to see a sharksploitation movie but instead was subjected to a Mexican remake of JULES AND JIM mixed with a long Cancun lensed Speedo commercial. I know what you’re thinking, “but Bwana isn’t it based on the bestseller by Ramon Bravo?”   Sure,it is. But did they capture any of the nail biting suspense of that page turner which I’ve never read and am beginning to question the existence of? No or nada. First it’s two hours long. Two hours of guys talking about shit, spearing countless fish and sailing. It does have a fairly hilarious near rape, more like “surprise sex” on top of a truck full of oranges. It starts as rape but the girls are completely willing and laughing the whole time so it’s more of a gray area. There’s a cabin man who looks like Rusty from MAD TV. There’s lots of man ass and man speedo ass. Fiona Lewis gets eaten by a shark but no one sees it happen and so it makes no impact. Fucking Hugo Stiglitz wanders around being mopey with  his playboy rival turned friend Andres Garcia. They then eat up a lot of time being care free and wearing speedos. Basically they are in love with one another but not willing to go full gay. So they hook up with Susan George so they can rub dicks without the guilt. Here’s the deal with Susan George: Hot for a British chick, but real fucking average in America. You never even see her in a good naked shot. Then the movie burns film with their menagetois until FINALLY a shark eats Garcia’s Miguel, which is the highlite. There’s hardly any shark action at all until the very end when the dreaded Tintorera shows up because he was contractually obligated. There’s just no justification for this movie’s existence. You can’t call it a JAWS ripoff because it doesn’t have the ambition. It’s more about speedos, hammocks and mixed drinks. I dare you to watch it.

 

That speedo really cups your balls nicely, Miguel"

That speedo really cups your balls nicely, Miguel"

 

"Shine your shoes, guv'ner?"

"Shine your shoes, guv'ner?"

 

Tintotera does what he can, but it's too late

Tintotera does what he can, but it's too late