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Hunters of the Reef (1978)

TV Movie  -  Action | Adventure  -  20 May 1978 (USA)
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Cast overview:
Jim Spanner
Tracey Russell
Panama Cassidy
Felton Perry ...
Winston L. St. Andrew
Moosie Drier ...
Mike Spanner
La Salle
Kris La Salle


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Action | Adventure





Release Date:

20 May 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Peter Benchley's Mysteries of the Deep  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Parks, Weller, Water
31 March 2012 | by (Orange County, CA) – See all my reviews

Michael Parks, the character actor that Quentin Tarnatino's used in FROM DUSK TILL DAWN and KILL BILL, stars in this 1977 made for television movie created by JAWS author PETER BENCHLEY, what was supposed to be a pilot for a series centering on various sea adventures. While that show never got off the ground, this is a nice little film on its own. Parks plays Jim Spanner, a maverick fisherman who, along with ex-rummy counterpart Panama (William Windom, straight from a Hemingway novel), has found a sunken boat with an abundance of treasure.

All is well until a gorgeous shark researcher arrives – Mary Louise Weller as Tracey Russell. The only way for anything to happen is if she puts her engine in his old boat, which means her own particular research comes first.

Through Russell we see some terrific underwater shots of the sharks roaming their habitat, although unlike Benchley's JAWS and this film's rather misleading title, the killer fish don't provide much of a suspenseful element. A smug pirate in preppie clothes, Le Salle, who wants to find that treasure before Spanner, is the antagonist here. And his eleven-year-old daughter Kris, played by child actress Katy Kurtzman, takes an interest to Spanner's long lost little brother Mike (Moosie Drier), an adventurous kid who also loves the sea.

Although not loaded with thrills, it's a neat little adventure with amazing shots and nice chemistry between the actors: especially Mary Louise Weller, best known as Mandy Pepperidge from ANIMAL HOUSE, who has three important scenes with each male character. So if you can find it, this never released on video treasure is worth watching.

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