VICTORY OVER VHS OBLIVION! ... Sort of. My retired rental cassette looks and sounds Criterion quality compared to Legacy Entertainment's "value priced" and quite possibly mako-mauled DVD. Nevertheless, after 133 WEEKS on the lam, CineSchlock-O-Rama's Most Wanted reluctantly celebrates the capture of Mako: The Jaws of Death.
Cribbing from his own Stanley -- a flick about an angry indian in cahoots with a rattlesnake, which come to think of it, was itself a steal from the rat-revenge hit Willard -- Floridian auteur William Grefe dreams up yet another bizarro Dr. Dolittle (Richard Jaeckel) who pals around with S-H-A-R-K-S that readily chew on anyone who burns his bacon.
By the end of the picture, turns out, that's a pretty long list! Why? Well, in Key West, when they're not boozing it up at pre-hurricane soirees, it seems they rather enjoy doing mean-nasty things to these would-be maneaters. Something Jaeckel's stone-faced Sonny (Oh, the irony!) simply can't abide due to his accidental induction into the "Shark Clan" whilst ankling away from certain death in the Philippines. (Don't ask.) That and because things get personal when a crooked marine biologist comes courting Sonny's extended fin'd family -- Sammy, Matilda and their unborn brood.
But between fearsome feeding frenzies, Jaeckel jabbers with his "friends" via the trap door of his shore-side bachelor pad, tussles with CineSchlocker fave 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 coattailing 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 'em like this anymore.
No breasts. 13 corpses. Gratuitous flashback sequence. Hurricane-hampered land and sea chase. Dumpster diving. Bang sticking. Gratuitous shark shaman. Vaudevillian standup routine (with flubbed gag.) Charlie questions Sonny's sexuality: "I wouldn't be surprised if them baby sharks don't all come out looking like him!"
4 of 5 stars
Rent It (Due to DVD quality) Video: 0 Audio: .5 Extras: 0 Replay: 1
1976, 85 mins, Fullframe, DD mono, No extras. Regarding the cover art: What's the over/under on Legacy receiving a cease and desist order from the JAWS folks?