The Last Shark (1981)

The quaint coastal community of Port Harbor is terrorized by a ferocious 35-foot great white shark in 1981's THE LAST SHARK! The finest of all JAWS imitations saw a mere two weeks in theaters before being pulled for its 'slight' similarities to the Universal classic, but unlike so many of the pathetic rip-offs that have surfaced over the years, THE LAST SHARK merits viewing by killer shark fans more than any other. James Franciscus and Vic Morrow headline in two noteworthy performances, even if they do closely shadow the characters played by Roy Scheider and Robert Shaw. While the plot points and major action sequences also mirror many of the events that occurred in both JAWS and JAWS 2, they are carried out with all of the same care and affection. Director Enzo G. Castellari employs a variety of techniques to bring his man-eating menace to life, including the clever use of a rubber buoy to subtly imply the shark's presence during one of its attacks. No one will accuse the film of being ultra-realistic between the cheap rubber puppets and frequent intercutting of stock footage and live-action, but Georgio Ferrari deserves a considerable amount of credit for his impressive mechanical shark that, some may say, looks better than the shark in JAWS. US copyright laws have kept THE LAST SHARK off of the market for years, but this entertaining little gem has invaded new waters through various media outlets online.

Rating: 6/10.

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  1. Will! Happy New Year! Following this up with Cruel Jaws for a trash-off