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Mako: The Jaws of Death (1976)

Nature’s Death Torpedoes, or Misunderstood Gentle Ocean Creature?

Before Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws”, people probably didn’t give sharks a second thought.

After the movie, well, it’s a different story, and sometimes that story should not have been told, which brings us to this month’s movie, “Mako The Jaws of Death”.

Richard Jaekel, only a scant 5 years away from an Oscar nomination, plays Sonny Stein, a former marine salvage worker in the Philippines, who is now, powered by a mystical amulet given to him by some random old dude, able to communicate telepathically with said sharks, give them names like Matilda and Sammy, and protect them from evil scientists, evil fishermen and evil morbidly obese night club owners.

When compared to the sheer multitude of “Jaws” ripoffs, re-imaginings, and even authorized sequels (I’m looking at you, Michael Caine), at least “Mako: The Jaws of Death” has an original idea, and really brings it on home in terms of crazy characters, unique methods of death, and overacting, especially on Jaekel’s part.

Because it takes place down here in Florida, I have a soft spot for the various crazies that Jaekel encounters, but then again, as Florida is the Australia of the United States, it is only logical that the film would be filled with weirdos, criminals, tourists, boat captains, mad scientists, and various neer ‘do wells.

Jacques Cousteau, he ain’t.  Maybe slipping a $10 donation to Sea Shepherd or Greenpeace would have been better, as at least it doesn’t involve any ancient medallions, old islanders or getting shot at by banditos.

Let’s take a look at Richard Jaekel, Shark Whisperer, shall we?

The Show

The Review

When it comes to finding reviews for Mako: The Jaws of Death, there are tons of them, but there aren’t any good ones.  We come to bury Richard Jaekel, not to praise him.

I’ve chosen a bon mot from a website called “So You Call Yourself a Scientist?”, and he really goes to town on the film:

I went into Mako: The Jaws Of Death expecting some idiotic fun tempered by some moments of tastelessness. What I got instead was an exercise in misery broken up by, granted, the very idiocy I was hoping for, plus some (although not enough) compensating scenes of rotten human beings getting exactly what they deserve.

Here’s a link to the complete review, which is really worth a read; highly recommend.

The Links

Here’s some more information on Mako: The Jaws of Death, should you decide that your life needs more pain and misery, like watching a slow motion car accident, or in this case, slow motion shark wrestling.

Rent “Mako: The Jaws of Death”over at Amazon Prime!

Read the mercifully very short Wikipedia entry on “Mako: The Jaws of Death”.

Read another review for “Mako: The Jaws of Death” over at

The Credits

I am very grateful to be able to use the music and sound effects of so many wonderful creators.
You can find a list of all music used, and all sound effects used, and links, here, on our Credits page.

The Pitch

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