Tintorera! (1977)

aka Tintorera…Bloody Waters
Article 3119 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-11-2009
Posting Date: 2-27-2010
Directed by Rene Cardona Jr.
Featuring Susan George, Hugo Stiglitz, Andres Garcia
Country: UK/Mexico
What it is: Romantic drama with a smidgen of JAWS ripoff

A shark hunter meets a woman in Cancun for hedonistic pleasure, but he ends up falling in love with her. This creates friction in their relationship, and she begins seeing another man. The two men, initially rivals, become fast friends when the woman departs (she’s eaten by a shark, but no one notices). Together, the two men meet a new woman, and they… oh, don’t bother; suffice it to say that a shark gets involved.

The US version of this film runs 85 minutes. The British version runs 89 minutes. The full version runs 126 minutes, and that’s the one I saw. Lucky me (and if you can imagine this line delivered in a dull, flat, emotionless monotone, do so). On the plus side, my print is subtitled in both English and Spanish, as the movie uses both languages frequently throughout the movie, though it does create a problem in that you have to keep switching gears in deciding whether to read the subtitles or listen to the dialogue. The scenery is beautiful, the underwater photography is good, and the acting is fairly decent. The problem is that it bills itself as a JAWS ripoff when at least ninety percent of its running time is devoted to the love and sex lives of the hedonistic vacationers. Some of the user comments even describe the movie as soft-core porn, but it doesn’t go that far; it’s loaded with nudity and there’s talk about sex, but visually it never gets more explicit than cuddling. That leaves precious little time for shark action, and most of that is devoted to people killing various sea animals (turtles, manta rays, other sharks) as lure for the big tiger shark. This footage is painfully explicit, and animal lovers will want to stay far, far away from this one. What it comes down to is that, unless you’re really interested in the sex lives of these people, there’s nothing to see here, and if you insist, you may want to go for one of the shorter versions. Unfortunately, as it is, it would feel padded even if it were edited down to thirty minutes.

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