Tropical Shark = Hawaiian Crunch
“There are no sharks in the Hawaiian archipelago!,” screams a tropical hotel resort manager as his guests are being systematically eaten by a shark.
But it’s not just any shark — this tourist trapper is a prehistoric shark, theorized to be let loose by an underwater earthquake. So believes the sea biologist, who later provides Up From The Depths’ (1979) funniest moment. Besides all the other ones, that is.
Boaters, swimmers, divers and dumbasses are being attacked by said prehistoric predator, which isn’t much bigger than Jaws’ cousin’s neighbor’s BFF. One second you’re there, the next, nothing but red, foamy bubbles. After a broad daylight attack, everybody leaves the water and runs back and forth on the beach, screaming and knocking over stuff. Then night falls. And the tourists are still screaming and running back and forth, knocking down stuff.
A reward for the monster is offered: a case of island rum. And to sweeten the pot (as if it was needed), the hotel manager throws in $1,000 bucks and a stay in the presidential suite. Well, dang — somebody hand me a spear!
The shark makes blurry cameos and his meals are about as graphic as watching somebody sloppily eating tomato soup. The aforementioned hilarity includes three drunk guys on a boat prepping a blow torch to go after the shark. (Flames under water — why didn’t I think of that?) They end up turning their pleasure craft into a roaring campfire.
But the best LOL moment comes when the sea biologist barely makes it back aboard the boat after being attacked by the shark. In order to lure the beast out into the open, they tie a line around him, who just died from his injuries, and toss him into the drink. Then they tow his body back and forth in front of the hotel in front of the still screaming guests. What some people won’t do for rum.
Plastic explosives are found, words were said, shark goes boom, all without actually seeing barely more than a dorsal fin and an occasional toothy smile. (Hawaiian sharks, like the islanders, are so pleasant.)
If you’re looking for one of the worst Jaws (1978) knock-offs ever made, you just found it.