Watched Apr 26, 2012
Geir Friestad’s review:
Now this was a surprise! Mako: The Jaws of Death is a sharksploitation flick that followed in the wake of Jaws (a mere year after). That's not unusual – tons of cheap shark flicks went into production once Jaws started scaring people off the beaches and into cinemas. What's unusual is its attitude to the sharks. Richard Jaeckel stars as Sonny Stein – a bona fide shark whisperer(!) who cares so much about his aquatic friends that he's willing to kill to keep them safe. The plot is naturally typical B-movie hokum, as is the level of acting, direction and almost every thing else on display.
But, man! The sharks scenes are GREAT!
There's not a single fake shark to be seen in the entire movie, and people are frequently seen interacting with them in the water (both peacefully and not so peacefully) in a way I've never seen before. The way the sharks behave – and it's not all entirely achieved with clever editing – at times almost makes them come across as dolphins with sharper teeth. It's quite amazing. The movie also predates the invention of the Neptunic sharksuit, so I have no idea how the shark attacks were safely achieved. Needless to say, I was impressed.
Oddly, for a movie titled Mako: The Jaws of Death, there's a distinct lack of mako sharks in it. With the exception of a dead great hammerhead, all of the sharks in the movie are young tigers.
You could definitely argue that this movie was ahead of its time; shark conservation is a deservedly hot topic these days, after all – a far cry from the popular opinion at the time. That doesn't quite make up for all of its numerous shortcomings, but certainly makes it a worthwhile watch for shark nerds – a flag I'll proudly fly high any day of the week!