THE LAST SHARK
Directed by Enzo G. Castellari
Written by Ramón Bravo, Vincenzo Mannino, Marc Princi & Ugo Tucci
Music by Guido De Angelis & Maurizio De Angelis
Cast: James Franciscus, Vic Morrow, Micaela Pignatelli, Joshua Sinclair, Giancarlo Prete, Stefania Girolami Goodwin & Romano Puppo
1981/84 mins/Color/Dolby Digital Mono
1.85:1 anamorphic/English/Italy/PAL Region 2
Review of the Studio S DVD
An enormous and angry shark terrorizes a coastal town. After several attacks, and the Mayor doing nothing to stop it, police chief Peter Benton (Franciscus) and shark hunter Ron Hamer (Morrow) sail in pursuit to kill the murderous creature.
It was Film Ventures International (FVI) that got the North American rights to this Italian movie, re-titling it GREAT WHITE and giving it a major advertising campaign and a wide release into theaters. Soon enough, Universal sued them because the film is a rip-off from JAWS. Hence why it has never been given a legitimate video or television release in North America. Basically, the film is a copy of the first two JAWS films with elements clearly stolen from them. In the US the film was also known as THE LAST JAWS.
Here's an interesting piece on the film published in the Boston Globe in April 1982. Because of its "substantial similarity" to Universal Pictures' JAWS, a federal court in Hollywood ruled April 6 that GREAT WHITE should be barred from release. Last Wednesday, the distributor, Film Ventures International, and Universal reached an out-of-court settlement for an undisclosed amount of cash that allowed GREAT WHITE to open.
There are too many similarities between the two films - a shark, an ocean, a selfish politician, a veteran fisherman with an Irish accent and a massive marketing campaign. This is probably sharksploitation at its best... or worst.
Lots of stock footage of great white sharks are used through the film and most of the time it is either too dark or don't match what is happening in the film making the whole thing a pain to watch. As for the actual shark, it looks surprisingly good and rather hungry. The film features an amazing cast but most of them appear to be lost due to the terrible script. Apart from Franciscus (who we've seen earlier in BEYOND THE PLANET OF THE APES and THE CAT O' NINE TAILS), most of the cast reappeared a few years later in Castellari's BRONX WARRIORS series.
The film is presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and it is anamorphic. The image is terribly washed out and of poor quality. The English dubbed track is presented in Dolby Digital Mono. As expected its nothing spectacular. We get filmographies on Franciscus, Morrow and Castellari, a slides show of lobbycards, facs and trivia on the great white shark. Finally there's trailers for others Studio S releases such as TENTACLES, RATS, RE-ANIMATOR, MANIAC, VIGILANTE, INGLORIOUS BASTARDS, BATTLEFORCE, THE KEY and TWO EVIL EYES. The film is separated in 8 chapters, features animated menus with music and comes in a keep case without a booklet or inlay card.
(Original title: L'ultimo squalo)
This Film Features:
Review by Kim Dubuisson. All Right Reserved. 2009. ©