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You know how these stories go: There's this coastal town relying
entirely on tourism, but then a shark attacks and kills a few people. Now
one of these scientists (Gregg Hood) and the owner of the local aquarium
(Richard Dew) - who looks a lot like Hulk Hogan by the way - want to close
the beach, but the local bigshot hotel owner (George Barnes jr), who is of
course financed by the mafia and has plans to legally take over the
aquarium and turn it into another hotel, will have nothing of that because
the annual regatta is just around the corner. Of course, the regatta turns
into a massacre ...
There is also a Romeo
and Juliet-like lovestory between Hulk Hogan's son (Scott
Silveria) and the baddie's daughter (Natasha Etzer), and Hulk Hogan also
has a wheelchair-bound daughter (Kirsten Urso), while the baddie's son
(Carter Collins), runner-up in a Kurt Russell lookalike competition, is
the town's main bully.
After the regatta massacre, everyone goes out
sharkhunting, and Kurt Russell's party's boat ends in a shark-induced
explosion, the local chief of police's (David Luther) helicopter is fished
out of the air by the shark, and the mafia-sponsored sharkhunting boat is
also sunk by shark related causes.
Only Hulk Hogan's boat prevails,
because the scientist - who has by the way lost his girlfriend (Norma
J.Nesheim) to the shark - figures out where the shark, by the way the
result of a failed army experiment, must live, and then he and his friends
blow the shark's home to Kingdom Come while the shark's in ...
shockers, including Jaws, have never amazed me, mainly because
their killer is restricted to the sea and is thus easy to avoid. To
circumvent that restriction, elaborate plans are made up to get as many
people as possible out to the sea to make a threat out of an easily
avoidable menace, thus the audience is burdened with the same subplot
(which wasn't even new in Jaws) over and over again, and with
2-dimensional characters that become more and more boring each time
Cruel Jaws is a late entry into the shark shocker genre,
produced at a time when the plot had long outstayed its welcome, so that
the plot no longer works at all is not really director Bruno Mattei's
fault - or at least not his fault alone, he could at least have thought of
a more effective ending and could have put a little more effort in
All of this is mainly to say, this is not a very good
movie by any standards. Some fun can be derived at least from the fact
that most of the shark footage was lifted from older shark films like Jaws,
Jaws 2, Joe D'Amato's Deep Blood and Enzo G.Castellari's The
Last Shark - which makes the animal look terribly uneven and
hilariously different from shot to shot.