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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Friday, March 31, 2023

Cave of the Sharks (1978)

After we watch an extended opening credit with folks parasailing and frolicking on the beach we then see a man in an ambulance. He is a diver who has been missing for six months. His name is Andres and he wakes up in the hospital with his brother and lady, Angelica, looking at him. The police also show up and want to know where he has been. He has no memory of what happened, and they swear that they will be back to ask more questions… but the character of the detective is never seen again. We get a few flashbacks of stock footage underwater and sharks and then Angelica takes him home.

There is also an airplane that crashes. It apparently was carrying some important stuff in a box that the “organization” wants back. I think this is supposed to be a mob or at least a criminal thing. But honestly like much of the rest of the movie it isn’t explained. Mr. Jackson is sent to hire some divers that won’t ask questions and of course he ends up hiring Andres who now has a new boat and partner. When did that happen? Not a freaking clue! They dive for the plane, find sleeping sharks, Jackson double-crosses them, and Andres becomes convinced his missing time has something to do with a bright light and cave. More stuff happens and then Andres gets eaten by sharks… wait what? Yeah, he is dead and the movie is over.

This thing is a damn mess. The story makes no sense at all jumping around the story in a confusing jumble of ideas that are never connected. We go from hospital to Andres back in business without any sense of passage of time. I wasn’t sure if this was a flashback to what lead to his disappearance (it wasn’t) until his lady Angelica shows up and I realized it was later on after he was found. The character of Mr. Jackson appears and disappears just to give an excuse for them to go diving and to explain why Angelica dives to the cave herself later. Andres gets shot and can’t go himself you see.

Nom Nom Nom... needed more sharks!
If this isn’t confusing enough for you they drop a bombshell about two thirds of the way thru when you find out that this is all taking place in the Bermuda Triangle and out of nowhere characters start talking about hidden underwater cities and sharks being mind controlled. Though that mind control gag does explain the seemingly, at the time, random ship full of folks who jump in the water and get eaten by sharks. Yeah, guys this just happens without any reason or acknowledgement. To be clear I’m trying to fill in some blanks because nothing else like that happens nor is explained later.

I could also mention the abrupt ending with Andres getting eaten by sharks, the terrible special effects of the plane crashing in the ocean, the fact that all the shark attacks are implied, or that the pacing is glacially slow. I mean long stretches are either taken up by montages of folks dancing, watching people dance, or eating food while watching people dancing. That is a lot of fun (that was sarcasm folks!). The underwater scuba sequences go on and on with action that is hard to follow.

Just to let everyone know for this review I watched the Swedish cut of the movie. According to my research there is about ten minutes cut. Those scenes aren’t expository in nature but are even more padding, so it is even worse if you find the Italian version. Moving on there is more but I’m tapping out and cutting my losses (already have invested ninety minutes watching it). I had hopes of this Mexican/Italian co-production being a hidden gem. Sadly, Cave of the Sharks is a terrible and boring waste of time. If you haven’t figured it out yet I’m not recommending it.


© Copyright 2023 John Shatzer

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