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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 353 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
Edit

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

Plot Keywords:

shark | medallion | shaman | animal | revenge | See more »

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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »
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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: What are you, sick? You are a sickie!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 6 (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A shark friend's tale
29 April 2011 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Sonny Stein, shark conservationist and reclusive oddball is seduced by the wife of a wealthy entrepreneur and tricked into giving up his finned friends for scientific research and sideshow entertainment. But when Sonny discovers the ruse, he uses his mystical ability to command his sharks to hunt and kill those responsible.

Richard Jaeckel was always an engaging actor to watch over many decades of distinguished film service, and despite his simpleton turn here, there's still a hint of the professionalism in his thespian skills, that will endear his character and have you rooting for the shark guy. Throughout the movie, Jaeckel's rather dim alter ego descends into paranoia and eventual insanity, culminating in a frenzied rampage led by his number one Tiger shark who he commands with a telepathic dominion. In flashback we see that his supernatural power is the result of an ill-fated trek in the tributaries of South East Asia, many years earlier, where he survived in shark infested waters, and was bestowed an ancient medallion by a local Shaman.

Being low budget, "The Jaws of Death" can't afford to rely on expensive special effects or the bells and whistles usually associated with shark attack pictures. Stunt men interact with real sharks, offering a raw, realistic view of the relationship between marine life and humans. Despite the daring sequences, it's an unappealing contrivance in which the two species look anything but comfortable in each other's presence, and disappointingly, the sharks look decidedly harassed and exploited, which doesn't convey the mutual respect Sonny is supposed to enjoy with his much maligned 'friends'.

As much a character examination as it is a B-grade action-thriller, there's enough in Jaeckel's offbeat portrayal to warrant interest, and some familiar faces in the wings (Harold Sakata, John Davis Chandler, Luke Halpin) to provide character contrast. Worth a look if you find a reasonable DVD transfer that hasn't been re-produced from scratchy VHS source material.


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