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Mako: The Jaws of Death (1976)

 -  Horror | Thriller  -  July 1976 (USA)
3.2
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Ratings: 3.2/10 from 368 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 7 critic

A man accidentally learns that he has a mystical connection with sharks, and is given a strange medallion by a shaman. Becoming more and more alienated from normal society, he develops an ability to communicate with sharks telepathically, setting out to destroy anybody who harms sharks. People enter into his strange world to exploit his weird passion, and he uses the animals to gain revenge on ... See full summary »

Director:

(as William Grefé)

Writers:

(story), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sonny Stein
Jennifer Bishop ...
Karen (as Jenifer Bishop)
Buffy Dee ...
Barney
...
Pete (as Harold 'Odd Job' Sakata)
John Davis Chandler ...
Charlie (as John Chandler)
Ben Kronen ...
Whitney
Paul Preston ...
2nd Patrolman
Milton 'Butterball' Smith ...
Butter
Bob Gordon ...
Bartender
Jerry Albert ...
Mate
...
1st Patrolman (as Ric O'Feldman)
...
3rd Patrolman
...
Deputy
Bob Leslie ...
Client
Raff Prieto ...
Attendant
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Storyline

A man accidentally learns that he has a mystical connection with sharks, and is given a strange medallion by a shaman. Becoming more and more alienated from normal society, he develops an ability to communicate with sharks telepathically, setting out to destroy anybody who harms sharks. People enter into his strange world to exploit his weird passion, and he uses the animals to gain revenge on anybody who double crosses him.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Filmed without the benefit of cages or mechanical sharks to offer protection!

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

July 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Jaws of Death  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to numerous interviews with director William Grefe, star Richard Jaeckel only flubbed one single line of dialogue throughout the shooting of the whole picture. See more »

Quotes

Karen: [Sonny suggests she swim with sharks like he does] You're not playing with a full deck!
Sonny Stein: Look, I'm not crazy if that's what you mean.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Great White: The Legacy (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The ... Shark Whisperer??
23 October 2007 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

This film proudly opens with the following announcement: "The producers wish to express their sincerest gratitude to the members of the underwater crew who risked their lives to film the shark sequences without the benefit of cages or other protective devices". Hell yeah they should be grateful! Especially because, at that point, the cameramen probably didn't yet know anything about how tepid the story lines and how ridiculous the plot of "Mako: The Jaws of Death" actually were! I'm secretly convinced that these people severely regretted the life-endangering efforts they made once they got to see the finished product. "We risked our lives for this piece of crap?!?" And they would be right, too. Anyways, let's start with a bit of good news first! Despite the title and the big virulent white teeth parading the VHS-cover, this is NOT a rip-off of Jaws at all. Writer/director William Grefé only eagerly cashed in on the popularity of sharks in horror movies, but he was ambitious enough to come up with an entirely original and personal story-idea, albeit an incredibly silly one. Sonny Stein has a great understanding with sharks and refers to them as his friends. That is to say, he feeds the sharks and protects them against greedy fishermen, and in exchange they don't eat him when he goes for a swim. The kind of relationship Willard had with rats. Through a flashback, Stein explains to a random striptease dancer how an old & anonymous shaman handed him a peculiar amulet, and since then the sharks obey him. Stein is also extremely naive and dumb, as he 'donates' sharks, supposedly for good causes, to a science lab and to a sleazy (and mega-fat) bar-owner for an original entertainment act. When both place abuse the animals, Stein immediately avenges his friends. The script is too implausible & idiotic for words, but everyone involved takes it very serious, like it's the most essentially moralistic nature-versus-humans movie ever made. However, there are one or two good sequences to enjoy, notably the one where the shark-whispering hero kills a poacher and drags him behind his own boat; his mouth attached to a hook. The budget was generally very low, so don't expect too many special effects. Heck, whenever there's supposed to a shark attack going on, you just see a couple of fuzzy images and water mixed with red paint to raise the impression the sea turned red with blood. The acting performances are downright atrocious to observe. Especially Richard Jaeckel ("The Amazing Mr. No Legs", "Grizzly") really sucks in the lead. Maybe he subconsciously realized that the screenplay was a bunch of nonsense and his acting talent therefore went on a strike. His character also hasn't got a sense of humor, which is a huge mistake according to me. He doesn't use his shark-friends to score with the ladies, doesn't say anything witty when he hunts down shark killers and he doesn't even make a joke about how astonishingly fat and tasteless the owner of the striptease bar is! He's just a silent, arrogant and asocial loner who cares too much about sharks. How sad. I'm generously rewarding this film with a four out of ten rating because I appreciate the effort and because I like sharks but, in all honesty, "Mako: The Jaws of Death" isn't worth any rating higher than two.


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