Several boats are torn apart, badly wrecked corpses are washed ashore... something horrible is out in the Caribbean sea. The teeth marks on the bodies don't lead to any known animal, so scientist Dr.Stella Dickens suspects it's a so far unknown life form and strives to catch it alive. She doesn't know yet that ruthless scientists have genetically created this creature as a bioweapon, or that it has been designed to reproduce by asexual means. And that the company she works for created the creature and will stop at nothing to keep their secret.
Directed by: Lamberto Bava
. Starring: Michael Sopkiw
, Valentine Monnier
, Gianni Garko
, William Berger
, Iris Peynado
, Lawrence Morgant
, Cinzia de Ponti
, Paul Branco
, Dagmar Lassander
, Ennio Brizzolari
, Dino Conti
, Lisa Frances Rubin
, Susan Spafford
. Music by: Fabio Frizzi
Based on the title, you're probably guessing that this is some low-budget shark attack movie filmed in Malibu by the Sci-Fi channel. But no! It's actually a low-budget prehistoric sea monster movie shot in Italy by people pretending to be from Florida. As you might expect, it's pretty lousy, with cheesy acting, bad dialogue, and very low production values.
The plot, such as it is, follows a group of marine biologists, their rivals from the better funded research lab across town, the surprisingly buff electrical engineer who builds their equipment, plus some other people who are only here to get eaten. The first shot involves a stereotypical middle-aged American couple who are eaten, along with their boat, by a creature that we see very little of. This will set a pattern for later scenes. There are more monster attacks, attempts by the scientists to track the creature, scenes where scientists sit around trading theories about the creature, and attacks by unnamed thugs whose motives aren't entirely clear. And for good measure there's semi-obligatory music video involving two of the researchers.
Unsurprisingly, there is a mad scientist involved, but it's not who you think, or for the reasons you would expect. The monster itself is some sort of prehistoric shark with multi-colored scales and tentacles. Not that you ever see the entire monster, except in one distant, incredibly murky shot. Mostly you just get quick glimpses of part of the monster, so you have to piece together its appearance from multiple sightings.
It also turns out that the monster can re-grow from parts of itself, so after the coast guard has taken the effort to place explosive buoys, they have to go back and shoot the buoys before the shark-thing swims into them. Rarely has there been a less exciting use for pyrotechnics. Eventually after much bumbling and quite a few scenes that aren't entirely necessary, the monster is destroyed using a method that I'm quite certain has never been used before or since to dispatch a sea monster.
Anyway the actors aren't very good and can't hide their Italian accents; the soundtrack consists mainly of generic, rather sedate new wave tunes, and there are many long periods without much happening. The photography isn't very good by eighties standards, but at least the beaches are pretty. The dialogue is worth special notice for its sheer awfulness, much of which may be a result of its translation from the Italian. Just how bad is it? Let me give you some examples.
"What they don't understand is that at WOI we deal in genetics, not fish." "How would you know, you electrician?" "I'll decide it was a murder." "You're too old for science." "He would sit on his mother's head if he thought it would gain him an advantage." And my personal favorite, "From a woman with the sensitivity of a slut I will not accept lessons."
I sincerely hope that the writers of this flop did not moonlight as English teachers. I also hope you will see the MST3K based on this film, but avoid the original like a rotten fish.
Review by William Samuel from the Internet Movie Database.