Monday, October 5, 2020

CRUEL JAWS (1995) Blu-ray Review

SCARE-A-THON Totals to Date:

Total Movies Watched: 4
Total First Time Views: 3
Amount raised for BOXVILLE: $232.20

Cruel Jaws (1995) d. Bruno Mattei (as William Snyder) (Italy) (93 min) (1st viewing)

Released in some countries as Jaws 5, this decades-late Italian copycat doesn’t even bother to shoot any original shark menace footage for its action scenes. Instead, it nabs footage from countrymen Joe D’Amato (Deep Blood) and Enzo G. Castellari (The Last Shark), as well as going right to Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic well itself for underwater swimming and munching footage. But that’s not all director Mattei (Robowar, Night Killer, The Other Hell) “borrows” – there are direct character and plot references to Jaws, Jaws 2, Jaws 3, as well as the regatta race from The Last Shark.

Yet, somehow within all this bald-faced thievery, Mattei, who co-wrote the “script” with Robert Feen and Linda Morrison, manages to whip up a multitude of subplots… all of which are easily counted among the more cliched movie tropes. Jaws’ “the festival must go on!” mayor has been split into two separate entities, a sleazy businessman named Lewis (George Barnes) and the actual mayor (who doesn’t do much and doesn’t seem to be credited on IMDb), the former of which is trying to foreclose on all the local businesses so as to build a luxury hotel that also has mob connections.

Lewis’ latest coup is seizing the deed to the local mini-Marine World attraction, run by Dag Snerensen (played by real-life Hulk Hogan stand-in Richard Dew) and his cute and crippled daughter Susie. Of course, once people start showing up shredded on the beach, property values start plummeting, the mob gets cranky, a young spry marine biologist (Gregg Hood) shows up, a Patrick Swayze lookalike (Carter Collins) gets bent of shape when his sister starts dating Dag’s son Bob (Scott Silveria), and lots of interchangeable young bikini-clad vixens cavort and frolic about.

There are the occasional bizarro plot devices such as the shark turning out to be a top-secret Navy experiment that went down with the ship (which, for a shark, is not such a bad thing), but on the whole, you’ve seen all this before, just not all in the same place at the same time.

With no nudity and barely any gore, this is one of Mattei’s less potent efforts, even with the excess of WTF character and “plot” motivation. Cruel Jaws’ main claim to fame seems to be how much it borrowed from other, better films and somehow survived to tell the tail. (wah wah)


The Snyder Cut – Unreleased Japanese Extended Cut

The Great White Way – A Study in Sharksploitation with Rebekah McKendry (21 min)

These Things Got Made! – Interview with Actor Jay Colligan (12 min)


Cruel Jaws is available now on Blu-ray from Severin Films and can be ordered HERE:


  1. You're a brave man. Any time I see the name "Bruno Mattei" I'm inclined to walk away as quickly as possible.

    1. I am genuinely astonished at the number of Mattei films I have seen, considering I don't really enjoy hardly any of them. And believe it or not, I think I have another of his lined up for later this month. I blame it on Severin Films and their shameless permissiveness.