Sunday, January 22, 2012

VHS Memories XIII: Under the sea!

In the wake of Jaws, naturally there were many, many, many cash-ins, rip-offs and of course three actual sequels.  Jaws knock-offs are one of my favorite sub-genres so let's begin with a Jaws sequel that feels like a knock-off.

This is one of the worst sequels of all time, a hilariously awful piece of dung that begs us to believe that a shark would follow someone across an ocean just to eat them.

A pretty terrible 1978 knock-off with an octopus instead of a shark and several name stars who clearly were in dire need of some cash.

This is a Larry Buchanan movie about the Loch Ness Monster.  For those of you who have never heard of the man and never seen his movies, you are lucky as he is maybe the worst director of all time.  This particular outing has a lot of padding, a lot of bad acting and very little monster action.  When we do see the monster, it looks really awful.  That's about it.

I actually sort of like this Cirio Santiago riff on Creature from the Black Lagoon which concerns a fish-man menacing a resort.  The monster effects are decent and the pacing is not too awful.

 An early Bill Rebane film.  Rebane is a Wisconsin filmmaker who made a bunch of low budget horror and sci-fi movies in the seventies and eighties, most notably MST3K fodder Giant Spider Invasion.  This one is actually one of his better flicks though given the rest of his catalog, that isn't saying much.

This piece of crap is from Lamberto Bava, son of the late Mario Bava.  Fans of MST3K will know this one best, a cheese-fest about a bunch of idiots who try to stop a giant shark-octopus hybrid that's eating people off the coast of Florida.  Beer is guzzled, rednecks are chomped and unintentional laughs abound.

This is a weird one, a 1976 flick about a guy who can communicate with sharks and uses them to off people who mistreat other sharks.  I confess to not having seen this one, but there is someone who has.

Ugh, this is one of the dullest excuses for a monster movie I have ever had the misfortune of viewing.  Set at a beach resort, it's mainly a bunch of stupid comedy crap with maybe forty seconds of monster footage for the entire movie.  It's a real must-miss.

We finish with this, a direct rip-off of Jaws (as well as Jaws 2) from Italy that was so blatant that Universal sued the crap out of the filmmakers, prompting the company that distributed it (the legendarily cheesy Film Ventures International) to pull it and the movie has been unavailable legally in the U.S. since. James Franciscus and Vic Morrow star as the Brody and Quint substitutes respectively and to be honest, this film is actually pretty damn good.

Enzo Castellari directs with his usual skill and the shark head prop they use is surprisingly good considering the budget.  The overall film is a little stiff but the shark stuff is fun (especially when you get to play "find the stock footage"), as is Morrow who could generally be counted on for a good over the top performance.  As far as bad shark movies go, this one is definitely one of the better ones.

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About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.