Great White – aka The Last Shark, The Last Jaws, L’ultimo squalo – is a 1981 Italian action horror film directed by Enzo G. Castellari and starring James Franciscus and Vic Morrow. The film is extremely similar to Jaws.
An enormous and angry 35-foot Great White Shark begins attacking humans when they build a beach just for swimmers by Port Harbour, a coastal town. Despite repeated attacks, the mayor does nothing to stop it as he doesn’t want tourists to hear about it and stop coming.
Enter the heroes: Peter Benton (James Franciscus), a novelist who wrote a book about sharks, and Ron Hamer (Vic Morrow), an old sea dog who has a personal grudge against this shark and wants it dead. They sail into the middle of the ocean to save stranded people and stop the monster.
Eventually, Ron drowns, but Peter, remembering the explosives inside his wetsuit, feeds Ron’s corpse to the shark and ignites it, blowing the shark to pieces. Peter swims to Port Harbour and returns home…..
Universal pictures sued to have the release of this movie in North America blocked, accusing the makers of Great White of plagiarism of Jaws. The studio won the case, and the movie was pulled from North American theaters shortly after its release by Film Ventures.
It has never been legally released on video in North America, nor shown on North American television, though bootlegs are regularly available on the internet. It has received a Scandinavian DVD release.
“Sure, Great White is just a great big goofy rip-off, but it’s so blatant and, at times, incoherent, that it’s hard to stay angry for long. Enzo G. Castellari is a perfectly capable director, and while he’s rarely flashy, he always delivers the goods – even if they sometimes end up being a bit ragged.” Daily Grindhouse
” …it doesn’t bother to pretend to be anything other than what it is, a rip-off that so closely resembles it’s original that it could qualify as a remake. It’s bluntly honest. And that’s all that any true fan of bad cinema can ask for, the truth… and maybe a couple of bloody shark attacks thrown in for good measure.” Cool Cinema Trash
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