Movie Name: The Last Shark
Studio: Film Ventures International
Release Date(s): April 2, 1981 (Italy)/March 5, 1982 (US)
MPAA Rating: PG
A killer has staked itself out off the coast of Port Harbor. A great white shark has become a maneater, and Port Harbor is its feeding grounds. When it becomes obvious that the shark isn’t going away, the town of Port Harbor realize it must be killed and Peter Benton (James Franciscus) and fisherman Ron Hamer (Vic Morrow) set out to stop the shark…but the plans of a TV producer could put people in danger.
Directed by Enzo G. Castellari, The Last Shark (L’ultimo squalo) is an Italian horror film also goes by the name of Great White. In some parts of the world The Last Shark was marketed as a direct sequel to Jaws leading to a lawsuit from Universal. The movie was heavily panned upon its release though it did fare well in the theaters and has gained a cult following over the years.
The Last Shark is bad. As bad as some of the Jaws sequels (including Jaws: The Revenge), The Last Shark is probably worse…but it does cross into “so-bad-it-is-good” territory and it is therefore very watchable.
The story is a blatant rip-off of both Jaws and Jaws 2. The story has more of the horror aspects of Jaws 2 and a windsailing race (replacing the boaters). It takes the shark hunt of Jaws and even has Vic Morrow playing almost an identical role to Robert Shaw in Jaws. It is lazy and an obvious money grab.
Morrow is probably the only decent actor in the movie, but he should have been ashamed to take this movie despite the money. I suppose if you were a struggling actor, The Last Shark could have been a boon, but if any actors read the script they would have known it wasn’t going to propel an actor to fame. The cast is bland and apparently has no sense of balance since they all keep falling in the water…
The movie has a lot of laughable effects. The original Jaws originally intended to show the shark much, much more but realized that with bad effects they shouldn’t. The Last Shark opted just to show the shark regardless how bad it looked. It just constantly is jumping and growling.
The Last Shark is a bad movie. It is a bad movie that you can enjoy. It is readily available online and should be sought out. It will make you believe that an animatronic shark can fly.