Bruno Mattei, the man behind countless Exploitation films like Emmanuelle’s Revenge, Hell of the Living Dead, and Women’s Prison Massacre made many classic films throughout his career. One of those was the 1995 classic Cruel Jaws aka Jaws 5. It was made from new footage of course as well as some footage from Deep Blood, and Great White. It was a heck of a film to say the least when it was released back on VHS. Countless DVD and Blu-ray collections were planned but because of the use of other film footage it never came about. Well that’s all about to change as the amazing folks over at Severin.
Cruel Jaws takes place at a water attraction park where Dag Sorenson works, Dag by the way looks almost identical to Hulk Hogan. Dag has fallen on hard times. He was in an accident that cost his wife her life. His daughter has many issues, and because his water park isn’t doing that great he’s about to get evicted for not being able to pay rent. There is a subplot involving the mob and Dag’s shady landlord but that really isn’t important. What’s important is a giant Tiger Shark that was subjected to military experiments and trained to kill has escaped and is not heading to Hampton Bay.
Now much like in Jaws the local Sheriff, Francis Berger knows this is bad news and wants all the beaches closed down for safety. But the Samuel Lewis, Dag’s landlord and all around slimy guy wants everything open for business to make money, as the town survives on tourist’s. Francis decides its up to him to stop this giant shark from eating his town so he enlists the help of Dag, and a local shark expert named Bill to save the day.
First off they call it a Tiger Shark, but its clear they are using footage of a Great White. The story is basically Jaws only out of order. In fact you can tell there is some Jaws footage used in this. The characters are corny as hell, and the side plots with the mob serve no point, but guess what? It doesn’t matter because this film is fun as hell. Its better than Jaws 2, 3 and 4 easily. The film knows what it is and embraces it. Over the top kills, with a nice amount of blood, nudity, campy dialogue, its all there and it works. I personally love it, and have seen it several times over the years. I was beyond excite to see the fine folks at Severin release this. And they did a great job.
The transfer is immaculate. Its an outdoors film that looks great. Everything is bright and crisp. The night scenes are dark, in fact some of them look like the people are just shadows. That’s not the transfer fault, that’s how poor the lighting was on the original filming. But I must point out that the dark scenes still look like that but a bit clearer. They do not have any of the blue tint that can plague those scenes. The audio is great. I love the score in this film and it sounds fantastic coming through the surround sound. On top of that its even got special features.
Overall 3.5 out of 5 Stars!