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Mako: The Jaws of Death

USA 1976
produced by
William Grefé, Doro Vlado Hreljanovic (executive), Paul Joseph (executive) for Universal Majestic
directed by William Grefé
starring Richard Jaeckel, Jennifer Bishop, Buffy Dee, Harold Sakata, John Davis Chandler, Ben Kronen, Paul Preston, Milton 'Butterball' Smith, Bob Gordon, Jerry Albert, George Johnson, Richard O'Barry, Luke Halpin, Dan Fitzgerald, Bob Leslie, Raff Prieto, Marcia Knight, Dete Parsons, Dick Sterling, Mal Jones, Jack Nagle, Don Sebastian, Arthur C. Gulliver jr, Courtney Brown, Herb Goldstein, Lucille Blackton
story by William Grefé, screenplay by Robert Madaris (= Robert W. Morgan), music by William Loose, Paul Ruhland

review by
Mike Haberfelner


Back in his days in the Philippines, Sonny's (Richard Jaeckel) life was saved by sharks, and he got a special medal from a shaman of a shark-worshipping tribe for it that identifies him as a friend of shark-kind. These days, he's living on an island off Key West, Forida, where he pretty much mingles with the local sharks whom he feeds through a hole in his cabin floor. He's also big on shark preservation, but goes about it mostly by brutally killing shark hunters and feeding them to his friends. And he has become fascinated by Karen (Jennifer Bishop), the underwater dancer at the local bar. One day he sees her almost getting raped by local thugs Pete (Harold Sakata) and Charlie (John Davis Chandler) and saves her from them, then shows her his island and his "friends" - and when she tells this to her husband Barney (Buffy Dee), owner of the bar she dances at, he has the good idea to get a shark from him to be included in her act - with her being protected from the creature by invisible plastic of course. Thing is, Barney's not playing fair and sends out supersonic soundwaves to drive the shark wild, much to Sonny's dismay, who tries to force Barney to return the shark - but he's told off by Karen instead, which breaks his heart as he thought she'd understand him. This of course triggers something in him, and thus he goes on a rampage, killing Pete and Charlie after he has learned they're selling sharks by the dozen as souvenirs, a scientist (Ben Kronen) who has wronged him and one of his sharks, also Barney, and he doesn't even stop at hurting Karen in a very topical way - so it's only a matter of time until shark-killing humankind sets its collective eyes on him, too ...

 

Obviously, this film was inspired by the success of last year's blockbuster Jaws, and frankly, it's only fitting that William Grefé, who has been making Florida-set and maritime-based creature features for 10 or so years, would put his own spin on shark horror - and while in terms of pure craftmanship and budget, this movie is no match for Spielberg's film, it is on the other hand a film that shows much more sympathy for the sharks themselves, and it actually uses real sharks to portray its sharks. And the result is ... well, not really a great film, but it plays a nice variation on the animal horror genre by actually (and also more accurately) making us humans the real monsters, within the genre formula, with all mainstays firmly in place - and somehow, at least for horror afficionados, this is just nice to watch for a change.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD