The Last Shark
A great white shark is making a menu out of the residents out of a the coastal town hosting vacationing summer crowds arriving in droves to pee in the ocean.
Sound familiar? Sure it does; you’re gonna say Jaws (1975). Good for you – have a cookie. But before you choke on it, consider this – that’s actually the plot of The Last Shark (aka, L’ultimo squalo and Great White, an Italian Jaws note-for-note knock-off made in 1981. So close was the movie’s premise, the filmmakers were rightfully sued for plagiarism and got the carbon copy banned from being released.
But thanks to the Internet and illegally booted copies, The Last Shark is available for your chewing pleasure. And what a pleasure it is, seeing just how bad the Italians could screw up a movie about a people-eating shark.
Port Harbor’s local windsurfers are this week’s buffet and something or other has to be done about it. Enter Author Peter Benton (clearly fashioned after Jaws author Peter Benchley) and professional shark hunter Ron Hammer (awesome name) to smack some dorsal fin. Not so fast, fellas – the headline hungry governor William Wells rejects the idea that a shark with an equal hunger is theorized to chow its way through the upcoming windsurfing regatta. To cancel said festive event would be to swallow his gubernatorial campaign whole. Another classic Republican maneuver.
The shark, lured by steaks and spare ribs (not making that up), takes the bait and goes in for seconds, which is spectacularly served up on a raft full of ocean-going screamers about to pollute the water. There’s dynamite, human entrées, face-punching, helicopters, and best of all, the last shark vertically popping up and kinda hanging there as if standing on Flipper’s shoulders.
You owe it to yourself to watch The Last Shark, if anything to remind oneself why Jaws is the first and last word in swimmer sushi.