I watched this movie at 6 AM on a Saturday night/Sunday morning with my ears buzzing from a Sleep concert, cotton-mouthed from being at said Sleep concert and eating cereal half awake with I watched it in Spanish with no subtitles. I think that may be the best way to experience any movie.
Director Tonino Ricci must have loved the ocean, because he also made Encounters in the Deep and Night of the Sharks. Here, real-life scuba instructor turned macho actor Andrés García (seriously, the dude produced a reality show to find a woman for his son Leonardo and ended up making out with several of the contestant, which caused his son to leave the program) plays a scuba instructor who disappeared for six months and has been brought back to health by his wife Angelica (Janet Agren, who Ricci also conned into being in his film Panic).
Germane to my interests, Cinzia Monreale shows up as a mysterious girl, something she did so well in Fulci’s The Beyond. She appears in a group of people who sit around and listen to a guy play guitar and sing. She takes her weird doll and throws it into the ocean, where she disappears and blood flows from the doll. Then all these sharks show up and watch these hippies drown themselves. I have no idea what this has to do with the rest of the movie.
There’s also an undersea city with an advanced race that can control the Bermuda Triangle and sharks, which all sleep inside a cave. Also, it has a total seventies downer ending, which seems pretty much right on.
Seriously, if Fulci made a Jaws clone, this would be pretty much the path he’d take. He was a million times better than Ricci (who was his assistant director on the White Fang movies), so I would have loved to have seen him make a movie where a shark slowly eats someone’s face and takes even more time savoring their eyeball.
Between this and Bermuda Triangle, made the same year, you really have to wonder about the Italian fascination with strange dolls and the dangers of the ocean.
If you want to see this seriously deranged film, allow me to point you to the fine folks at Cult Action, who are devoted to taking my paycheck for films that I can’t find anywhere else.