Omoo-Omoo The Shark God (1949)

Article 2075 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-19-2006
Posting Date: 4-18-2007
Directed by Leon Leonard
Featuring Ron Randell, Devera Burton, Richard Benedict

A captain, having hidden two black pearls that were used as the eyes of Omoo-Omoo the Shark God, finds himself under a curse as a result.

I’m not sure how true this story is to the Herman Melville novel from which it was derived, but it feels like a pretty conventional south seas flick to me. It’s mildly entertaining, I suppose, but it’s also thoroughly run-of-the-mill. Still, a few items of notice.

1) There are no sharks in this movie. Now I know that it’s not supposed to be about sharks (just a shark god), but I don’t think it’s asking too much that a movie about a shark god should have sharks as well. There are also no cows, despite the fact that you can hear “moo” twice in the title, but, to be honest, I didn’t really expect any.

2) I find it hard to believe that Omoo-Omoo would curse people; he has such a big smile on his face, it’s kind of like getting hexed by Santa Claus. Granted, I don’t think a curse that seems to make its sufferers less likely to return the black pearls (among other symptoms, sufferers seem to get greedier and more selfish) is particularly effective.

3) I suppose stock footage of a fight between a moray eel and an octopus is appropriate for a south seas epic. However, I couldn’t help but notice that during the fight (which is witnessed by two people on a ship looking down into the water), the octopus constantly puts his suckers on the side of the aquarium where the real battle took place. So much for the illusion.



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