SHARK KILL (1976) Reviews of first Jaws rip-off

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‘Blood red waters on a moonlit night’
Shark Kill is a 1976 American made-for-TV action film about two adventurers who set sail to hunt a huge Great White shark. The production was clearly inspired by the success of the previous year’s blockbuster hit Jaws (1975).

Directed by William A. Graham (The Hunt for the Unicorn Killer; Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones; Trapped Beneath the Sea) from a screenplay written by Sandor Stern (Amityville: The Evil Escapes; Pin; The Amityville Horror 1979; The Strange and Deadly Occurrence). Produced by Barry J. Weitz (Dead Reckoning; The Deadly Triangle; Strike Force).

The movie stars Richard Yniguez, Phillip Clark, Jennifer Warren, Elizabeth Gill, Victor Campos and David Huddleston.

” …Shark Kill is a highly entertaining little film – not exactly the Jaws rip-off suggested by the cover but, at 75 minutes, a snappy drama-cum-suspense thriller with a tense, lost-at-sea climax that predates Open Water by almost 30 years.” Anchorwoman in Peril

” …if you’ve only got a stock footage shark, then there will only be so much that you can do to make that animal seem threatening. Shark Kill tries its best, via some fairly desperate editing and an even more desperate cranking up of the soundtrack, to convince us that its characters are in danger, but little tension is generated.” And You Call Yourself a Scientist!

“The movie features a lot of stock footage of the shark, which is good and bad. It’s good because the footage is actually great looking with wonderful close-ups of the shark. It’s bad because it just doesn’t mix in too well with the rest of the film […] The performances are decent, the direction average and the story is about as simple as you can get…” Michael Elliott

” …you’ll be treated to a 70s movie-of-the-week aesthetic that’s full of uninspired compositions, loads of corny chatter, and a budget that couldn’t possibly deliver satisfying killer shark action […] Veteran TV director William Graham does his best to coax some suspense by intercutting some nice stock footage with a phoney fin, but Shark Kill drags along rather lethargically despite its 76-minute run time.” Oh, the Horror!


Choice dialogue:
“Judging by the way the shark took your brother’s leg, I’d say it’s about fifteen feet.”
“Fifteen feet!? But… this boat is only eighteen!”

In the USA, Shark Kill was broadcast on the NBC network on May 20, 1976, and was released on DVD on January 17, 2007.

Cast and characters:
Richard Yniguez … Cabo Mendoza
Phillip Clark … Rick Dayner
Jennifer Warren … Carolyn
Elizabeth Gill … Bonnie
Victor Campos … Luis
David Huddleston … Bearde
Carmen Zapata … Helena Mendoza
Jim B. Smith … Franey (as Jimmie B. Smith)
Roxanna Bonilla-Giannini … Maria
Richard Foronjy … Banducci
Michael Collins … Phil

Technical details:
76 minutes

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