MONSTERZERO NJ’S 12 NATURE RUN AMOK FLICKS TO WATCH!

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MONSTERZERO NJ’S 12 NATURE RUN AMOK FLICKS TO WATCH!

Similar to Crawl, Burning Bright has a tiger, instead of gators, loose in a house during a hurricane!

Crawl has brought the nature run amok flick back into the limelight, so, while everyone is in the mood for critters and carnage, here are a dozen fun nature run amok flicks, old and new, to satisfy your creature cravings! You’re going to need a bigger couch!

Cutie Missy Peregrym has a problem with the local wildlife in Backcountry!

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(To get to the reviews of the titles listed that were covered here at the Movie Madhouse, just type the title in the search engine to find the corresponding critique!)

-MonsterZero NJ

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TOMB OF NOSTALGIA: THE LAST SHARK (1981)

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THE LAST SHARK (1981)

(Remember, clicking the highlighted links brings you to other reviews and articles here at The Movie Madhouse!)

Italian Jaws rip-off is most infamous for Universal Pictures having sued it’s makers for plagiarism and getting it’s US release cut short and the film banned on these shores. It didn’t get any kind of official release in North America till it finally showed up on DVD in 2013, after over 30 years in exile.

As a movie, it’s pretty bad. Though, as such, it can be mildly amusing at times, especially when you see Universal’s point…it’s a virtual clone of Spielberg’s classic with a few bits of Jaws 2 thrown in for good measure. Story has an enormous great white shark attacking a beach community with an upcoming windsurfing competition placed in peril. Writer Peter Benton (a nod to Jaws author Peter Benchley?)…played by James Franciscus…and shark hunter Ron Hamer…played by the late, great Vic Morrow, who fades in and out of a Scottish accent…are the only two who can stop it’s rampage, while the local bureaucrats refuse to close the beaches. Sound familiar?

Director Enzo G. Castellari directs the carnage, sadly, by-the-numbers and we actually wish he would have been a bit more over-the-top, as a lot of Italian films notoriously were with material like this. He seems to really want to make a serious shark flick from Marc Princi’s script and we wish he had just cut loose and had a bloodier good time with it. The pacing is very slow for this type of adventure and there are long stretches between the action. At least Castellari’s beast gets more screen time than Spielberg’s monster fish. As for the critter, the shark varies from live footage to a cheesy underwater miniature to a full size mock up, that is actually pretty decent, but we never really come to fear it, like Spielberg’s carnivore, even with it’s lion-like roars and decent sized body count. The rest of the FX range from passible to awful, such as with a helicopter sequence becoming increasingly laughable as the model used during it’s crash looks exactly like the toy helicopter it is. Composers Guido & Maurizio De Angelis also give the film a very 80s Italian movie score, so at least there is that for Italian horror movie fans.

The acting isn’t much better. Except for some solid work from our leads, it’s also pretty bad, as is the ludicrous dialog, especially from Morrow’s Hamer. It’s a tribute to Vic Morrow’s professionalism that he played what looks like a definite paycheck role with such seriousness and sincerity. Franciscus is right behind him in one of his last film roles before he left acting to produce and write. The rest of the predominately Italian cast are adequate at best, terrible at worst.

Overall, The Last Shark is an amusing curiosity, but one we wish was a lot more fun than it is, even with some ‘so bad it’s good’ moments and laughable Baywatch style slow motion shots. Castellari should have taken a hint from Joe Dante’s Piranha and took the rip-off ball and ran with it, instead of trying for a serious thriller with such blatantly familiar material. For Jaws/shark flick completists and Vic Morrow fans (like me) only. Ironically, during it’s brief release in the US as Great White, it earned enough money to, probably, more than pay for it’s costs anyway, before Universal’s lawyers pulled the plug.

-MonsterZero NJ

2 rubber sharks.

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HAPPY 40th ANNIVERSARY, JAWS!

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The film classic Jaws, based on Peter Benchley’s best seller, was released on June 20th, 1975 and not only scared people right out of the water but, changed movie going forever. It was the first Summer blockbuster in what now has become a Hollywood tradition of big Summer popcorn movies. It introduced the world to Steven Spielberg and made stars out of Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss. It also spawned three sequels and countless imitations. We wouldn’t have Sharknado without it. Happy Anniversary to a horror movie classic.

On a more personal note…I saw it that Summer as a ten year old kid and it scared the heck out of me. The scene with Quint especially shocking my young mind, though it never made me afraid of the water. I actually went as Quint for Halloween that year!

-MonsterZero NJ

Source: MonsterZero NJ

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