Saturday, July 11, 2009


WHAT THE MONSTER TAUGHT ME: Wait At Least One Hour To Go Swimming After Eating Vic Morrow With Spicy Eye-Talian Accent.


The Italian Howard-ah Stern-ah, the Corsican Harry Shearer, the Sicilian Billy Zabka, the Missourian James Franciscus, the 1980 Ferrari Squalo, Citizen Greaseball, the 100-Yard Flee The Fucking Shark Dash, Bernie: Chopper Fisherman, Peter Benchley kicking himself, and one inglorious bastard of a shark.

More details here.


Some town somewhere near some water somewhere has a beach, nosy teens, and a big problem. A great white shark has chosen this somewhere as his personal unlimited buffet table and starts chomping on the sloppily dressed locals, overly ambitious fishermen, and maybe a windsurfer or two. But it’s not until someone’s daughter gets her lovely gam bitten off does anyone do anything. That someone is Peter (James Franciscus), a marine biologist or cop or travel writer who takes this particular appendage-devouring personal. He and grizzled sea captain Hamer (Vic Morrow) take to the seas to hunt down this monster, but getting in their way are thrill-seeking teenagers, the local media hot for a shark-death story, and slimy politician Mayor Wells (Joshua Sinclair) who uses the tragedies to boost his approval rating. Meanwhile, the portly shark is enjoying his feast of fools and scaring the Bejesus out of everyone with his horrific shark roar. Yes, I guess sharks can roar. Wackiness ensues as the media attempts to dramatize the shark hunt by luring the beast to a pier with stringy pastrami, fishing it out of the water with a helicopter, and bringing in a legendary hunter who promptly gets swallowed quicker than M&M’s at my birthday party. After all efforts fail miserably, Hamer decides the only way to stop the shark is to bait him with dynamite and maybe a little mustard. So as the final showdown approaches, Peter ducks Dr. Zaius and Hamer prays that John Landis doesn’t show up and both men slowly realize that not only will they need a bigger boat, they’ll need a better movie.


Bad movie lovers cannot ask for more than what The Last Shark certainly delivers. Bad dialogue and dubbing. Check. Stupid accents. Check. Gloriously awful cheapo effects with a helping of gore. Check-check. Enzo G. Castellari, Italian schlockmeister and director of the correctly-spelled Inglorious Bastards. CHECK! This complete and total Jaws rip-off almost feels like a modern remake complete with dim-witted motivations, idiotic twists on the original storyline, and a complete lack of depth, ocean or otherwise. But it doesn’t matter because the movie is a complete hoot, and it’s unfortunate that only a crappy bootleg copy of the movie is available. Due to the similarities between this and Jaws in which legal action was taken, the movie was never released officially in the U.S. (as of this writing, of course. We can always hope). But the poor rundown VHS-quality only adds charm, like watching a Sunday afternoon creature feature from a low-power UHF station. The movie chugs along at a breezy pace, has a few laugh-out loud death scenes, mismatched use of stock footage and fake shark, and Vic Morrow struggling between an Irish brogue and a Mario impersonation. But given that and the close to ninety minutes of chuckling I enjoyed during the viewing, I am very grateful that this will be The Last Shark movie I’ll be watching for a while.

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