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L'Ultimo Squalo

The Last Shark
Great White / The Last Jaws

Italy 1981
produced by
Edward L. Montoro, Ugo Tucci (executive) for Horizon Film, UTI, Montoro Productions
directed by Enzo G. Castellari
starring James Franciscus, Vic Morrow, Micaela Pignatelli, Joshua Sinclair, Giancarlo Prete (as Timothy Brent), Stefania Girolami Goodwin, Gian Marco Lari, Chuck Kaufman, Gail Moore, Massimo Vanni (as Max Vanders), Romano Puppo
written by Marc Princi, music by Guido De Angelis, Maurizio de Angelis

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The surf's up in some little Florida coastal town, but unfortunately soon a surfer disappears & his board turns up, totally ripped apart. Local writer Peter Benton (James Franciscus) & local sharkhunter Ron (Vic Morrow) investigate this & soon come to the conclusion this must be the workings of a shark (hence the title), a big one, & they strongly suggest to mayor Wells (Joshua Sinclair) to cancel the regatta he plans to hold in a few days time, but since the man is campaigning for his re-election & the regatta is a central part of his campaign, he refuses, but has a shark-fence built to seal off the bay from the sea, just in case.

Of course, the shark is unimpressed by the fence & breaks clear through, & (naturally) during the regatta, he makes himself known to the public, eating up whoever didn't manage to get out of the water quickly enough ...

Now it's up to Captain Ron, Peter & his wife Gloria (Stefania Girolami) to catch the shark, but he proves to be a valiant opponent, & at one time, when Ron & Peter go diving in order to place some explosives on the beast, he instead shuts them into an underwater cave (clever beast, that shark) - Ron & Peter do get free though.

Unfortunately at the same time a quartet of kids, Peter's daughter Jenny (Micaela Pignatelli) among them, have soem crazy ideas about going shark-hunting themselves, which only ends in tragedy when the shark gnaws off one of Jenny's legs.

Mayor Wells now takes it personal, & he goes sharkhunting himself, by helicopter, but not only does he fall out of the helicopter & end up as sharksnack, but the shark even brings down the helicopter.

When Peter & Ron make yet another attempt to take out the shark, Ron goes overboard witht he only explosives belt they have got ...

Meanwhile media-man Bob (Giancarlo Prete) has hired sharkhunter Briley (Romano Puppo) to get rid off the beast - right in front of his cameras (boy, what a scoop), but while Briley is still discussing some details of his expedition, the shark takes a good pull on the platrorm he & a few others are standing on & drags them out inot hte oppen see, then trying to off them one by one ... but by now, Peter comes back into the game, saves everybody on the platform, finds the corpse of Ron (?) just in time, throws it into the shark's mouth & blows up his explosives belt just in time to blow the shark sky high.

 

When given a reasonable amount of freedom, director Enzo G.Castellari could prove himself to be a quite capable director of action pictures who would put quite some personality into his movies. Unfortunately here, Castellari did not have any amount of freedom, the film is little more than a blatant rip-off of Steven Spielberg's lame animal horror trash Jaws (allegedly, L'Ultimo Squalo was legally prevented from getting wider release in the USA because it was too similar to Jaws). So this film, much like its source material, is just animal horror by the numbers, with nothing to really recommend it.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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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
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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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