I Saw A Film!

Italian Jaws! with Vic Morrow as the requisite “Quint” character and James Franciscus the father of a cute daughter involved with the wind-surfers. We spend a lot of time studying the remains of the one surfboard bitten in half, scene after scene showing off the teethmarks. Then we look at pictures of sharks while Morrow lectures a room full of folks in some kind of odd accent. Finally, a good 25 minutes into the film we get to see our first hottie running in slow motion in a bikini down a beach (don’t worry she’s in no shark danger)! Much of the film uses a laughable rubber fish (in one scene it even stacks rocks to block a cave some divers swim into), and the surface head that pops up behind unwitting folks in the water is a nearly static prop. Most of the impact tricks are just a boat and a dummy being catapulted up out of the water insinuating the shark enjoys launching boats and such well into the air. Otherwise the shark is inserted feeding footage and other nature clips.

The folks here try to block the shark from getting to the beach, but their mistake is in thinking they’re dealing with a shark, instead of a giant movie monster that deliberately wants to get through the ocean fence and knock every last wind-surfer off his board.

Finally, the answer is to try to fish for the shark from a helicopter and it immediately works! The shark seems to understand that the chopper is a source of food instantly. And when the shark grabs the town’s mayor, who for some reason wants to do the shark killing himself, his legs break away (autaspasize is the term when spiders do this) well outside the toothy mouth. Hilarious. Of course, just like in the popular shark app for your phone, the shark can leap up out of the water and attack helicopters. At least, if you’re good at using your imagination. Not everything is clearly demonstrated in the film.

The big finale has the shark tow a group of idiots out on a chunk of a pier. I swear they sneak in some Godzilla roars as the big puppet chomps on the wood, or just surfaces and hangs around with its head bobbing out of water. Franciscus tries some Land of the Lost “toothpick” tactics with 2x4s, before really getting upset and shouting “Damn you!”.

It’s free on Prime (USA)

One thought on “The Last Shark (1981)

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