The Last Shark (1980) – Jaws Ripoff Extraordaire

The Last Shark (1980) – Jaws Ripoff Extraordaire

For my inaugural post here at the Bloodsprayer, I figured I’d tie Italian Week into Shark Week with Enzo G. Castellari’s (the original Inglorious Bastards) The Last Shark a.k.a Great White. What a stupid idea that was! Granted, it was three o’clock in the morning and I had just worked a brutal bartending shift filled with the stupidest requests ever, but I digress.

The plot is your basic Jaws rehash, with a 35-foot Great White stalking swimmers in a small coastal beach town. A skinny dipping beauty disappears, a windsurfer gets eaten (but if you ask me, he had it coming, all those stupid tricks he was doing on that dumb board with a sail), and a regatta turns into a massacre, and the mayor does nothing to protect the citizens of said coastal beach town.

Enter Peter, a novelist who once wrote a book about sharks and Ron, an old salty dog with an Irish accent and a personal vendetta against our shark. Ron warns us that now the shark has tasted human flesh, it’s gonna want some more. Sure, whatever, Ron.

Efforts to take down the beast ensue with everyone being told not to panic, which in fact, makes them panic harder until Ron and Peter sail out into the middle of the ocean to settle the score once and for all. Ron winds up drowning and Peter, remembering the dynamite inside Ron’s wetsuit, feeds Ron’s dead body to the shark, the shark explodes, the end. Add liberal bits of stock footage and you have yourself an homage, er, ripoff.

All is not for want, however, in that the shark looks pretty cool, in that dumb fiberglass model kind of way that makes you chuckle a little bit. Also, it seems when the shark attacks, there’s a simultaneous explosion. In the water. For no reason. Lesson learned, the Italians don’t make killer shark Jaws-ripoff movies any better than we do. And extremely slow motion shark attacks with a very familiar score over top belies tension.

The one sheet is rad, even though the grammar is a bit dodgy, and it hangs in my shark-themed bathroom.






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Jenn is the proprietor of the Cavalcade of Perversions, a site covering all sorts of exploitation and horror goodness, with a good sprinkling of her cats wearing costumes.

3 Responses to “The Last Shark (1980) – Jaws Ripoff Extraordaire”

  1. Did you notice the connection with the main characters name? Peter Benton/Peter Benchley.

    What happens to the mayor in this movie? I know that he actually puts forth precautions against the shark, like metal safety nets and constant lifeguard surveillance for anything fishy (sorry). But at the end, when he goes after the shark himself in the helicopter, does he survive?

  2. Nice correlations. I honestly didn’t even pick up on them, but now that you mention it….

    I can’t recall what happened to the mayor. It was nearly five in the morning by the time I wrapped this up and I think I might have been nodding out. But yes, he does install metal safety nets around the area where the regatta is taking place, but that fiberglass shark, he gets through. Oh, he gets through.

  3. Wow, I remember seeing this with my mother in the theatre before it was removed. The poster flashed me back. LOL, totally bad.

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