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If you LOVE Shark Movies You’ll HATE “Shark Kill”

Shark Kill
Year: 1976
Genre: Drama
Director: William A. Graham
Stars: Richard Yniguez, Phillip Clark, Jennifer Warren

I am an absolute fanatic when it comes to shark movies.  First of all, they are awesome animals and I could shoot you with a ton of interesting facts about sharks.  I follow sharks the way a little kid follows dinosaurs.  Second, there are really two types of shark movies – great character dramas and survivalist stories such as Jaws and then goofy camp that’s not meant to be taken seriously like everything The Asylum has put out.  It’s because of these reasons that I DESPISE this mid-70s made-for-TV movie, Shark Kill.  Here’s a list of reasons that this movie is intentionally NOT made for fans of shark films.  Oh it’s a dull and ugly film – but since it has the balls to call itself a shark movie it moves from forgettable garbage to being the rage causing crap of nightmares.

1. This DVD Art

Ok the picture that you see here is from the only DVD release this movie has had – it’s not the same art that was used to advertise the movie back in 1976.  There was no movie poster, just a passing sentence in a TV Guide that said “Watch Shark Kill Tuesday night at 9pm” or something like that.  However, some effort could have been made to at least put some sort of effort into this DVD cover art.  Just what the hell is going on in this picture.  This is a stock picture of a shark with a spray of blood just photshopped right on it.  This is a specific shark I have seen a LOT so far this month:

shark kill 1shark kill 2shark kill 3shark kill 4

In the Shark Kill  DVD art, however, it looks like this shark is spitting blood.  That and “blood red waters on a moonlit night,” sounds like the worst kind of amateur poetry.  Might as well just go ahead and make it a Haiku:
Oh Blood red waters
On a moonlit night.  Oh Boy!
Could it be a shark?

2. The Whole Movie Looks Like Dirt

Seriously.    Take a look at this “thrilling” shark footage.
shark kill 5

I will acknowledge that this is a 70s made-for-tv film so the quality isn’t going to be great to begin with.  Jaws had great underwater photography because that production had the money to afford quality camerawork.  Also, the movie is over 30 years old so there is going to be some wear and tear on the original print.  However, this DVD made NO improvement on the original video.  First of all, releasing a DVD of a seldom-seen tv movie is catering to a rather niche market but at least put some quality in the work.  The print on this DVD doesn’t just look like it was taped off of television – it WAS taped off of television.  There’s static and tracking issues and even a moment where it cuts to a commercial and you almost hear the commercial and then a blur of static takes you right back into the film.  REALLY?  I mean, no one bothered to edit around that for the DVD – nobody bothered to even do a half-ass job of color correcting?Now for the bullshit the movie itself has to offer.

3. Anti-Shark Propaganda

shark kill 7Yeah, this isn’t an attempt to cash in on the success of Jaws – its just hateful propaganda preaching it’s message of: “All sharks are evil and they should be killed.” A worker on an offshore oil rig is attacked an injured by a shark.  There is then a $20,000 bounty put on that animal because: “All sharks are evil and should be killed.”  So the ocean is full of people out there eager to kill as many sharks as they can.  Not for the sport or the bragging rights of “I killed a Great White,” they’re killing sharks for the money and its their duty to keep American beaches safe from these intruders.

This isn’t sport fishing – it is murder.  All the scenes here showing how people hunt sharks isn’t explaining how to fish – it is showing how to cull these ferocious beasts.  Granted this isn’t like a Rene Cardona Jr. film where we see scene after scene of shark murder – the intent and sour moral tone is there in force.  Thank GOD at least that all the shark factoids here are complete bullshit.  “This shark has tasted human so that’s all it wants.  We can’t bait it with fish.”

4. Mexican People are Poor

shark kill 7There is some confusing racial message in this movie but I don’t know if it is a good one or a bad one.  The oil rig that this one great white swims around is owned by a bunch of rich white folk.  The men who work this rig that dive into shark infested waters to perform dangerous tasks.  Their all Mexicans.  The company’s stance on this is that they’re not really sending people in to dangerous conditions against their will – these Mexicans really need the money so they’ll do whatever they can.  I can’t tell if the film is trying to make a statement racism and that the underprivileged are all the same race or if the film is just ignorantly going with the idea that Mexicans are poor and this must be what the poor folk do.

There is one person on the rig, Rick Dayner (Phillip Clark whom you may recognize from… nothing) who happens to spot a shark threatening the oil rig.  The owners give him the brush off, basically saying: “You probably just saw a dolphin, and besides, they’re Mexicans anyway.”  Well one of the workers, Luis, is attacked by a shark and loses his leg.  The company doesn’t care about the worker, they just want to get their drilling done so they offer a $20,000 reward for whomever can kill that shark so they can just be done with this.  Luis’ brother Cabo Mendoza (Richard Yniguez – whom you may recognize as random walk on character in a variety of 80s and 90s tv shows) goes out with Rick to hunt this shark because his poor Mexican family needs the money and to avenge his brother because this oil company doesn’t care about their underpaid Mexican workers.

I hope I am getting the point across that this movie isn’t fully clear whether their is a message of race relations here or if it is just accepting the ignorant point-of-view that all these stereotypes about Mexicans are actual fact.

5. Is It Cabo?

He’s credited as Cabo, other people call him Cabo Mendoza – but he constantly talks about himself in the third person as “Alejandro.”  Is he talking about himself or another person?  This is what happens when you don’t tell the actor the name of the character they’re playing.He actually explains this later.  His name actually is Alejandro.  But he’s named after his father, who was named Jesus.  But, as Cabo/Alejandro explains: “A bunch of Gringos didn’t like calling a Mexican guy Jesus” so he changed his name to Cabo St. Lucas.

Good lord that is some trite shit.  His name’s Cabo – just go with that – not this dialogue of Mexican names.

6. The Size of the Boat

shark kill 8As Rick and Cabo go out in their boat to hunt the shark, they have this dialogue:

Cabo: How big is this shark?
Rick: About 15 feet.
Cabo: How big is this boat?
Rick: About 18 feet.
Cabo: I’d recommend getting a larger vessel.Go to hell, movie!  Just say the line: “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.”  You already suck anyway, why not just steal the line from Jaws.   This stupid flick has no shame except for this one moment when it pretends” Oh no, we’re not like Jaws at all.”


7. The Last Act – Open Water With a Couple of Dudes

Rick and Cabo/Alejandro/Jesus  are awful shark hunters.  A little ways into their journey the shark destroys their boat too easily.  They are left just floating in the water hoping that someone will rescue them.  While Open Water was nothing but a married couple arguing, at least the girl was pretty.  Here it’s just two guys that really aren’t friends just floating and talking about – well nothing.  The sing a song and punch the shark in the nose whenever it gets too close.  That’s it.  Open Water was boring enough… Shark Kill is even worse.

8. An Ending Without Resolution

Rick and Cabo are rescued at the last moment by a Coast Guard helicopter.  As they climb onto the helicopter, Cabo takes a gun and shoots the shark and it explodes.  Yes… the shark explodes.  After this cut to Cabo and some random guy having a fist fight.  Why are they fighting?  I don’t know.  It goes on for a few minutes and then Cabo and Rick walk off saying, “Let’s go have a beer.”  That’s it.  What about the money?  What about this oddly touced upon topic of race relations? What about Luis and his one leg?This movie was terrible.  I hope this is the worst I have to sit through through Shark Month, I really do.  I mean, I should have put off this obscure piece of made-for-TV nonsense off until the end of the month, after watching plenty of GOOD shark movies.  Instead, however, I had to get disillusioned 10 days in with goddamn Shark Kill.  Well, I’m still at it, clutching to the hope that Shark Kill is as bad as it gets this month.

As Rick and Cabo go out in their boat to hunt the shark, they have this dialogue:Cabo: How big is this shark?
Rick: About 15 feet.
Cabo: How big is this boat?
Rick: About 18 feet.
Cabo: I’d recommend getting a larger vessel.

Go to hell, movie!  Just say the line: “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.”  You already suck anyway, why not just steal the line from Jaws.   This stupid flick has no shame except for this one moment when it pretends” Oh no, we’re not like Jaws at all.”


7. The Last Act – Open Water With a Couple of Dudes

Rick and Cabo/Alejandro/Jesus  are awful shark hunters.  A little ways into their journey the shark destroys their boat too easily.  They are left just floating in the water hoping that someone will rescue them.  While Open Water was nothing but a married couple arguing, at least the girl was pretty.  Here it’s just two guys that really aren’t friends just floating and talking about – well nothing.  The sing a song and punch the shark in the nose whenever it gets too close.  That’s it.  Open Water was boring enough… Shark Kill is even worse.

8. An Ending Without Resolution

Rick and Cabo are rescued at the last moment by a Coast Guard helicopter.  As they climb onto the helicopter, Cabo takes a gun and shoots the shark and it explodes.  Yes… the shark explodes.  After this cut to Cabo and some random guy having a fist fight.  Why are they fighting?  I don’t know.  It goes on for a few minutes and then Cabo and Rick walk off saying, “Let’s go have a beer.”  That’s it.  What about the money?  What about this oddly touced upon topic of race relations? What about Luis and his one leg?This movie was terrible.  I hope this is the worst I have to sit through through Shark Month, I really do.  I mean, I should have put off this obscure piece of made-for-TV nonsense off until the end of the month, after watching plenty of GOOD shark movies.  Instead, however, I had to get disillusioned 10 days in with goddamn Shark Kill.  Well, I’m still at it, clutching to the hope that Shark Kill is as bad as it gets this month.

About The Author
Matthew Coats
Matthew Coats
Formerly known under the pseudonym of Alex Jowski. Site owner, movie aficionado, and film school grad. Matthew Coats presents reviews, some written, some as vlogs, and some as weekly shows, for a variety of different movies and television shows. After years of struggling to get his own projects off the ground amidst the normal routine of living, Matthew Coats decided to create a site in order to share and promote movie reviews, video games and much much more from talented and original people all across the internet.

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