Shark Week: Day 2

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Shark Week: Day 2

After discovering that The Discovery Channel’s Megalodon: The Monster Shark That Lives was a complete work of fiction, just say it is speculative fiction and let us know when going to and coming from commercial breaks we just don’t like you trying to trick us, and that is no way to kick off your biggest week of the year I didn’t think I could be more disappointed.  I was wrong, and here is eight hours of my life I will never get back.

Mako: The Jaws of Death (1976)

  • Directed: William Grefe
  • Produced: Bob Bagley, William GrefĂ©, Doro V. Hreljanovic, Paul A. Joseph, Robert Plumb
  • Screenplay: Robert W. Morgan
  • Story: William Grefe
  • Starring: Richard Jaeckel, Jennifer Bishop and Buffy Dee
  • Cinematography: Julio C. Chavez
  • Editing: Julio C. Chavez, Ronald Sinclair
  • Studio: Mako Associates, Universal Majestic Inc.
  • Distributed: Cannon Films
  • Release date(s): July 1976
    • VHS: January 1987
    • DVD: May 2005
  • Running time: 91 min
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English

Is that a tranny?The film is about a man who accidentally learns that he has a connection with sharks.  He eventually rebukes society and sets out to protect sharks from people.

Sonny Stein, who is played by Richard Jaeckel, learns that he has a connection with Mako sharks, and is given a medallion by a shaman.  Becoming alienated from society, he develops an ability to telepathically communicate with sharks.  He then sets out to destroy anybody who harms sharks.  People enter Mmm, Sexy! into his strange world to exploit his abilities, and he uses animals to get revenge on anybody he considers a threat.

According to numerous interviews with director William Grefe, star Richard Jaeckel only flubbed one single line of dialogue throughout the shooting of the whole picture.

But between fearsome feeding frenzies, Jaeckel jabbers with his "friends" via the trap door of his shore-side bachelor pad, tussles with Harold "Odd Job" Sakata and moons over Jennifer Bishop's bikini-clad water mambo in a jumbo-sized aquarium behind the bar at the Rustic Inn. Take THAT Cirque du Soleil!

Besides harboring nary the slightest bit of shame about coat tailing a certain other '70s sensation, this strange precursor to militant environmentalism was filmed entirely without cages or robotics, which you guessed it, means lots and lots of sharks were harmed during the making of this feature.  Yep, they really don't make them like this anymore.

Deep Blood (1990)

  • Directed: Raffaele Donato, Joe D'Amato (uncredited)
  • Produced: Joe D'Amato
  • Written: George Nelson Ott
  • Starring: Frank Baroni, Allen Cort, Keith Kelsch, James Camp
  • Cinematography: Joe D'Amato
  • Distributed: Filmirage
  • Release date(s): 1989
    • DVD - Czech Republic 2009
  • Running time: 90 min.
  • Country: Italy
  • Language: English

Deep Blood (also known as Squali and Sangue negli abissi - Blood in the Abyss) is a 1989 Italian shark attack film directed by Raffaele Donato and Joe D'Amato and written by George Nelson Ott.  It was edited by Kathleen Stratton, and contained original music by Carlo Maria Cordio.  The film was made in Italy by Filmirage SRL and Variety Film Production.

An ancient Indian spirit terrorizes a beach town in the form of a bloodthirsty shark in Joe D'Amato's Jaws rip-off, Deep Blood.  Seems that a Native American elder once warned a group of youngsters about this great evil in the sea, and years later, the friends are forced to face their fears when one of them is killed by a shark in a series of attacks along their coastline.  It's up to the remaining few to make sure that this monster is killed -- even if it means heading out to sea to do it.

Shark attacks are realized by quick cuts of documentary footage with actors thrashing about in the water, occasionally with a bit of what appears to be orange-ish paint thrown into the water.  Not a minute of original shark footage exists in this celluloid waste dump.

Far better than Cruel Jaws and nicer looking than The Last Shark this teen friendly take on the Jaws theme is probably the best of a bad bunch of Italian sharksploitation movies.  This is largely recommended for fans of Italian bargain basement knock-offs of American films and while not by any means a classic it is certainly a better example of this short lived exploitation subgenre.

Raging Sharks (2005)

  • Directed: Danny Lerner
  • Produced: Danny Lerner, David Varod, Les Weldon
  • Written: Les Weldon
  • Starring: Corin Nemec, Vanessa Angel, Corbin Bernsen, Todd Jensen
  • Music: Stephen Edwards, Tom Erba
  • Cinematography: Emil Topuzov
  • Editing: Michele Gisser
  • Studio: Nu Image Films, Tosca Pictures
  • Distributed: Nu Image Films
  • Running time: 92 min.
  • Country: United States, Bulgaria
  • Language: English

Raging Sharks is a 2005 low-budget direct-to-DVD science fiction/horror film.  Raging Sharks is the sixth shark movie that was released by Nu Image Films.  The back of the DVD case calls the undersea laboratory Oceania although it is called Oshona in the film.  The film uses a substantial amount of stock footage.  The film has been described as a low-budget version of The Abyss, but with the addition of killer sharks tearing people apart.  It has also been described as a poor man’s combination of early Steven Spielberg films. said that the film is a lot like Deep Blue Sea and The Abyss, minus the camp value and special effects.

In the opening, a collision between two alien spaceships occurs.  The collision unleashes a capsule which heads toward Earth.  The capsule collides with a small ship, causing an explosion.  The capsule lands near an undersea research lab, the Oshona.  The capsule, full of red crystals, attracts sharks.  The sharks eat the crystals which cause them to become vicious killers, eating anyone and attacking anything that comes near them.  Now, the researchers of the Oshona are stuck underneath the Bermuda Triangle.  The Navy attempts to rescue them, but many people die in the process.

A Horror.Net review said that the film is a good use of live stock footage, computer effects, and fake shark heads-and gallons of blood.  Alison Nastasi, of Horror Squad, said that the film has several hilariously bad moments that B movie shark fanatics will enjoy.

A Coast Guard plane supposedly lands near the ocean labs support ship in the middle of the Bermuda triangle. However, the stock footage of the plane clearly shows coast and villages in the background.  Several times in the movie stock footage of an Orca (killer whale) is substituted for shark attacks.

Bait (2012)

  • Directed: Kimble Rendall
  • Produced: Gary Hamilton, Todd Fellman, Peter Barber
  • Written: Russell Mulcahy, John Kim
  • Starring: Phoebe Tonkin, Xavier Samuel, Julian McMahon, Sharni Vinson, Cariba Heine, Alex Russell, Lincoln Lewis, Alice Parkinson, Dan Wyllie, Rhys Watkins
  • Music: Joe Ng, Alex Oh
  • Cinematography: Ross Emery
  • Editing: Rodrigo Balart
  • Studio: Darclight Films
  • Release date(s): September 2012
  • Running time: 93 minutes
  • Country: Australia, Singapore
  • Language: English

Bait had its premiere at the Venice Film Festival where it was shown out of competition on 1 September 2012.  The film was released theatrically on 20 September 2012 Australia and on 29 November 2012 in Singapore.  The film was released on DVD in Australia on January 16, 2013 without the "3D" subtitle as Bait; it was only released in 3D on Blu-ray.

Supermarket shoppers battle man-eating sharks when a tsunami plunges a coastal resort under water, and the perfect predator gets a whole new stalking ground.  Queensland, Australia: The weather is perfect, the water is blue, and the vacationers at a luxury resort file into an underground supermarket to stock up for another day in paradise.  Just then, an armed madman bursts in with an itchy trigger finger and a desperate gleam in his eye. Little do the frightened hostages realize, he will soon be the least of their worries; the waters around Queensland are rising fast, and before long the store will be completely submerged.  When that happens, the aisles will be filled with hungry tiger sharks in search of a fresh meal.  Now, in order to avoid becoming the Catch of the Day, the desperate shoppers must band together, and show the sharks who's really at the top of the food chain.

The film received mixed-negative reception, with Rotten Tomatoes reporting a 42% "Rotten" rating from 26 reviews. Margaret Pomeranz acclaimed the film, saying it would appeal to a specific genre audience, while David Stratton dismissed the film for not investing the audience in its characters.  Others, such as Jake Wilson of The Age, saw it as a film that is somewhat enjoyable on the basis of being an "awful" film.

Despite only earning approximately $775,000 in its home country of Australia, Bait 3D was a sizable success overseas, making over $20 million China alone.  It also made $2 Million in Italy.  As a result of its international success, Darclight Films announced that the film will receive a sequel and summed it up thus:

"It's just another perfect day in the City of Angels.  That is, until a three mile long, 100-foot tsunami completely obliterates Los Angeles, not only destroying it, but effectively wiping it from the map.  However, for five students in a private school, on detention and missing out on a class trip, they turn out to be the lucky ones...or are they? Because before the day is through they will have to battle a tidal wave, the elements, each other, aftershocks, and worst of all, a 15-foot Great White Shark that has decided to make the school they are trapped in its new hunting ground.  With the water constantly rising, fraying tempers, nowhere for them to go, and one of nature's perfect sea creatures actively pursuing them, they are about to be taught a lesson in survival."

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