Sharks Can Be So Cruel

Cruel Jaws

Just because you have the proper noun Jaws in your movie title doesn’t make it part of the Jaws (1975) family. Nor does reusing dialogue, plot and swiping footage from the Jaws series (as well as Great White/1981 and Deep Blood/1989) qualify as an actual movie. More like cut ‘n paste plagiarism. The only thing cool about Cruel Jaws (1995/aka, Jaws 5: Cruel Jaws and The Beast), which is guilty by a jury of its peers of the above crimes against humanity, is its title. Everything else is just regurgitated bait.

Cruel Jaws

A territorial 35-foot great white shark, thought to be the by-product of military fussing, is attacking and eating the flavorful folks in Hampton Bay, an affordable (at the time) small Florida coastal town. There’s an upcoming Regatta (a sporting event consisting of a series of boat or yacht races) party, and the marauding shark could chomp into their profits. The local sheriff and a teen shark expert (“Sharks swim, eat and make baby sharks…”, a line directly lifted from Jaws) go on the hunt for the “readily available on a moment’s notice” monster. The plan is to kill it. There’s the cruel part.

Cruel Jaws

To bring an emotional element into the mix, they feature a little girl in a wheel chair. “Daddy — give that shark a punch in the nose for me…” That is SO cute. Then there’s a rich kid on a yacht with his friends, armed with guns and gasoline. May the yacht rest in peace. Elsewhere, one of the main characters looks exactly like pro wrestling legend Hulk Hogan, so a fair guess would be he’d use a folding metal chair to take down the mouthy monster in a no-holds barred shark cage match. You could have a zebra fish as the referee. Heh.

Cruel Jaws

All that and the best scene comes when the shark, taking the bait (raw rump roast) dangling from a helicopter, ends up eating the civil aircraft and its occupants — as dessert. Sharks need roughage in their diet.

Cruel Jaws

Cruel J seems to mark his territory around a sunken military ship, presumably where he was born and set free upon the boat’s demise. So this is where the squeaky clean teens and Hulk Hogan go to plant dynamite. (Sure hope the ref isn’t watching.) The ship, though, is loaded with valuables that local criminals try to retrieve. CJ cares not for thieves.

Cruel Jaws

As painfully bad as Cruel Jaws is, you should probably watch it (on YouTube™ for free) and turn it into a drinking game. Do a shot every time you see a stolen scene/dialogue from Jaws; You’ll be passed out cold long before the part where a barking seal interrupts a crooked local amusement park owner’s hot-air balloon speech and knocks him into the dolphin tank. (They don’t show it, but the dolphins likely tore the guy in half and feasted on his land guts. I’m pretty sure of it.)

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