Retro Review – JAWS 5: CRUEL JAWS (1995)

You’d be surprised at the amount of crap you can find on YouTube. It’s like having the world’s trashiest video store right at your fingertips – and I’m talkin’ full movies here, folks, not just lame videos uploaded by Joe Average. That’s where I stumbled upon Jaws 5: Cruel Jaws.

Some kind of shark is killing people off the coast of Hampton Bay. Francis Berger (David Luther), the sheriff, wants the beaches closed, but shady businessman Samuel Lewis (George Barnes, Jr.) insists they stay open so the annual regatta can take place, thus bringing in money from the tourist trade. Teaming up with aquarium owner Dag Sorensen (Richard Dew) and shark expert Bill Morrison (Gregg Hood), Berger sets out to stop the shark – which was trained by the Navy to kill random enemies! There’s also some shit in there about the mob and shady real estate deals which will affect Dag’s aquarium.   Oh no! Will this discount team stop this Jaws wannabe from turning Hampton Bay into an all-you-can-eat buffet?

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For the record, Jaws 5: Cruel Jaws is not the film’s official title. It’s just Cruel Jaws. Jaws 5 was slapped onto it because 1) exploitation value, 2) because it has some footage from the Jaws franchise, and 3) because it basically recycles the plot from the original Jaws. Just wanted to let you know.

Directed by Italian schlockmeister Bruno Mattei (under the pseudonym Willian Snyder), it has all the markings of a Mattei flick: stock footage, outlandish plots, lifted music (part of the Star Wars theme can be heard), terrible acting, bad special effects, and the production values of a porn film. All of this equates with good, trashy fun guaranteed to have you laughing your ass off. Observe as a plastic boat at the bottom of a fish tank serves as the wreck of a Navy ship! Check out the horrendous day for night shots when white clouds are still in the sky and the sun’s rays infiltrate the shot! Check out the dollar store plastic shark! Look out for Hood’s acting where looking like you’re tarrying to pass a giant turd passes for stern and serious! Yes, clearly we are in the hands of a master after Spielberg’s own heart.

It also features one of the most hilarious death scenes to ever grace celluloid.

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Shout! Factory was set to release a Blu-ray of Cruel Jaws, much to the delight of Italian schlock fans. However, due to the unauthorized use of footage from the Jaws films, the release was cancelled because of possible legal ramifications. I say fuck ‘em and release the damn thing anyways: bad movie hounds need another prestigious clunker to add to their collection!

Final Thoughts:

Jaws 5: Cruel Jaws is a lot more fun than Jaws: The Revenge – but for all the wrong reasons, of course! The film is shit, it knows it’s shit, but it doesn’t give a shit – which makes it A-okay in my book! It’s currently available on YouTube.

About Evan Romero

Evan Romero has been a horror fan since watching “Leprechaun” at the age of five. Aside from watching and writing about horror flicks, he delights in torturing friends with Z-grade movies. He’s also an unabashed Andy Milligan fan, God help him.

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