Mako: The Jaws of Death (1976)

This film starts off by thanking the underwater directorial team for risking their lives for the making of it. I sincerely hope that this is just some sort of ploy and not actually the case, as Mako: The Jaws of Death is definitely not a film that anyone should even consider risking their life over. In 1975, Steven Spielberg released what is probably the great shark movie of all time with Jaws, but he really has a lot to answer for as that film inspired a whole host of awful (mostly Italian) rip-offs. I’ve only seen a handful of Jaws rip-offs, but even among the few that I’ve seen – Mako: The Jaws of Death surely ranks right down near the bottom, and that’s actually a shame because it has a fairly decent plot idea going for it. Basically, we focus on a man with a bond for sharks. He keeps a few as ‘friends’ but attracts interest from local entities – including a scientist and a nightclub. He ends up loaning out some of his sharks, but is not impressed with their treatment and so decides to take his revenge…

The film does manage a true seventies exploitation style and while the film obviously shot on a very low budget, it still manages to be fairly good in that respect. The problem really is with the way that the plot is developed as it doesn’t fulfil its potential and none of the characters are interesting enough to really care about, and that unfortunately includes the lead who really should have been a lot better considering his strange interest in sharks. There are a couple of familiar faces in the cast list – most notably Richard Jaeckel and Harold Sakata, who is credited in this film as Harold “Oddjob” Sakata. Unfortunately (saying that a lot in this review…), considering that the film is about sharks, sharks actually don’t feature all that often and when they do it’s a bit of a let-down. The film also lacks a lot of humour, and while it’s clear that the filmmakers were not making a serious horror film to the audience; apparently they themselves were oblivious that fact! Overall, Mako: The Jaws of Death is a silly and tepid film and should not really be viewed by anyone!