THE JAWS OF DEATH (1976)
aka Mako: The Jaws of Death
Article 5125 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by William Grefe
Featuring Richard Jaeckel, Jennifer Bishop, Buffy Dee
What it is: Shark snack time
A man develops a telepathic link to sharks, and woe to anyone who threatens one of his seafaring beasties…
Here’s another example of the work of low-budget Florida filmmaker William Grefe, and this one was no doubt inspired by a similarly titled Hollywood blockbuster by a certain Steven Spielberg. Certainly, the artwork on the DVD I found of this movie was clearly modeled off of that of this other movie, with the second word of the title easily the largest word on the cover. Grefe does not borrow the plot of his model though; after all, he can just borrow the same basic story as his own earlier movie STANLEY, only substituting sharks for snakes. Richard Jaeckel gives a good performance, but the script is slow and clumsy, the direction is weak, the sound is very bad, and it sounds like the score consists of about twenty seconds of music on an endless loop. In a way, this movie looks even cheaper and shoddier than some of this other movies, which is no mean feat. The movie does have a certain amount of interest value in that it doesn’t use mechanical sharks or cages, but there are also moments where it looks like real sharks were killed for the movie. The movie also features Harold ‘Oddjob’ Sakata and a man named Buffy Dee who may qualify as the most massive actor I’ve ever seen in a movie; be warned that he spends portions of the movie shirtless. There are a few points of interest here, but the production is too weak to sustain interest.