Return of the Italian Shark: Cruel Jaws (1995)

“There’s only one shark that can do that kind of damage. A Tiger Shark!”
Well it’s too bad the shark seen in the abundant stock footage and bobbing up and down in the water was a Great White!  Yep, craptacular Shark Week continues with 1995’s magnum opus: Cruel Jaws or Jaws 5 depending on the VHS box art you happened across! This film really has no shame. Unlike The Last Shark, this film steals entire chunks of dialogue and character background. It’s a mish mash of Jaws 1-3, The Last Shark, hell, even a little Romeo and Juliet. Cruel Jaws sets the bar low early by opening up with the cool scene from Last Shark showing said shark burying a diver in an undersea cave. Yep, you know what you’re in for. This film not only follows JAWS almost beat for beat, it steals entire monologues. It’s like watching a bunch of drama students enact their favorite scenes (if the drama students were junior High Schoolers).

 

Wait though, it gets better! So the local marine expert, some kid, tries to tell everyone that the only shark that could have done this is a Tiger shark. Now I’m all for trying to be different, but at least track down some Tiger Shark footage. All the footage is of Great Whites. OK now we have our oceanic enthusiast, our asshole Mayor, a bunch of bullies (lead by the Mayor’s son), hot girls in bikinis, what’s missing…? HULK HOGAN!!!!!!

Though he’s not the real Hulk Hogan (hell Hulk Hogan isn’t even Hulk Hogan anymore), he comes close and is easily the most fun character in this movie. He’s a single dad with a wheelchair bound daughter and a marine nerd son. He runs a Dolphin show in town and the Mayor hates him. So much so that he has his juvenile delinquent son try to poison “Hulk’s” Dolphin with a strychnine laced fish! Thankfully he doesn’t succeed.  Yep, there’s a lot going on! So the shark eats several kids at a windsurfing competition (I know, they even used the footage from The Last Shark)! After the Mayor’s son is attacked, he decides that enough is enough! He calls in The Mob!!!! Yes, the Mayor has Mob ties and sends a couple of goons out to “whack” the “fukin Sharck”!!!

With all this going on there’s also a strange sub plot thrown in about the Mayors daughter and her relationship with an extremely peripheral character that only shows up to get beat up by the Mayor’s son and his rotten crew! Yeah it appears they even steal from the Karate Kid. Watch the night time beach scene and you’ll see what I mean!

Another odd thing about this film is that it looks and sounds like a hold over from the 1980’s though the copyright is 1995. I guess it’s possible that this thing sat in someones fridge for 10 years waiting for the heat to die down after The Last Shark fiasco. Who knows, but if you have any info, I’m all ears!

Yes the film is absolute madness that knows no bounds.  It even steals actual footage from JAWS and JAWS 2 if you can believe it! So is this aquatic mess any good? Absolutely NOT! But is it entertaining? Hell yes! It’s like being drunk without ever picking up the bottle. It doesn’t get better than that. I mean come on, where else are you gonna get Hulk Hogan, master of Dolphins, battling a shark that has a Mob hit out on it. If they put that description on the box, it would have been HUGE! Ok, I’m done. Check it out if you can find it. Let me know what you think.