- The Washington Times - Friday, August 10, 2012

Don’t go into the water! It’s the 25th anniversary of Shark Week. The Discovery Channel’s Shark Week 25 kicks off Aug. 12. If you can’t get enough of sharks, check out some of the films in this week’s List of the top 15 shark movies. Remember, stay out of the water.

  • 15. Sharks in Venice (2008) — Under the tranquil waterways of Venice lurks a killing machine. Stephen Baldwin stars as a diver on a visit to the city of canals to find out why his father went missing. Suddenly he finds himself battling the mafia and a nasty shark that gets to chomp on a gondola.
  • 14.  Great White Death (1981) — Glenn Ford appears and narrates in this pseudo-documentary about the search for the great white shark.
  • 13. Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus (2009) — All the plot details are in the title. Two enormous prehistoric sea creatures, a giant shark and a giant octopus, duke it out for supremacy of the sea. There’s no escape. In this monster movie, the shark tries to sink its teeth into an airplane!
  • 12. Malibu Shark Attack (2009) — After a tsunami floods Malibu, a hunting pack of prehistoric goblin sharks goes after lifeguards in their half-submerged station on stilts. Meanwhile, a team of construction workers stranded in a flooded house has to deal with the sharp-toothed beasts.
  • 11. Megalodon (2002) — Carcharodon megalodon, a 60-foot prehistoric shark, is released on humanity when a deep-sea oil-drilling operation in Greenland goes horribly wrong. Say hello to the deadliest ocean predator that ever roamed the seas.
  • 10. Spring Break Shark Attack (2005) — Want to discourage your kids from fleeing off to the beach in the family car for those wild spring-break holidays? Just hand out the popcorn and load this film into the DVD player. The opening scene is frightening. Watch killer sharks invade the waters off Florida and gobble up scantily clad coeds.
  • 9. Shark Swarm (2008) — This three-hour shark thriller stars Daryl Hannah, John Schneider and Armand Assante and aired on the family-friendly Hallmark Channel. However, its sharks are far from family-friendly. A greedy real estate developer (Mr. Assante) allows toxins to be released in the water, turning usually tame sharks into man-eating fish. The body count soars until a band of heroes with ray guns, believe it or not, deals with the nasty sharks.
  • 8. Sharkwater (2007) — In this documentary, Canadian filmmaker Rob Stewart chronicles the shark-hunting industry and Hong Kong’s insatiable craving for shark-fin soup. Sharks are caught; their fins are hacked off, and then they are thrown back into the sea.
  • 7. Shark Tale (2004) — This computer-animated yarn attempts to be the next “Nemo” and “Shrek.” Oscar, a flighty shark, is doing well working at the Whale Wash until a couple of mafia sharks appear on his tail. The star-studded voice cast includes Will Smith, Robert De Niro, Renee Zellweger, Angelina Jolie, Jack Black, Martin Scorsese and Peter Falk.
  • 6. Ocean of Fear: Worst Shark Attack Ever (2007) — This film launched the 20th anniversary of the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. Richard Dreyfuss narrates the story of the USS Indianapolis. The ship was torpedoed by the Japanese in World War II  after it delivered key parts of the atomic bombs that later were dropped on Japan, ending the war. Nearly 900 men abandoned ship on July 30, 1945, but just 316 had survived sharks and madness by the time rescuers found them three days later.
  • 5. 12 Days of Terror (2004) — This documentary is based on the 2001 book recounting a series of shark attacks on the New Jersey shore in the summer of 1916. In the feature film “Jaws,” inspired by the same events, Roy Scheider recalls the attacks by a rogue shark that killed four people and mauled a fifth. The white shark finally was killed.
  • 4. Deep Blue Sea (1999) — Ravenous sharks are the menace in this ruthlessly effective variation on “Jaws” and one of the best shark films ever made. Saffron Burrows plays a scowling mad scientist dedicated to the notion that brain tissue extracted from genetically enhanced mako sharks can be harvested to cure Alzheimer’s disease. Too bad the sharks escape and start picking on everyone, including Samuel L. Jackson.
  • 3. Blue Water, White Death (1971) — In this stunning documentary, Peter Gimbel and a team of photographers set out on an expedition to find and film, for the very first time, Carcharodon carcharias — the great white shark. The expedition took more than nine months and traveled from Durban, South Africa, across the Indian Ocean and finally to South Australia.
  • 2. Open Water (2003) — This low-budget film is just 80 minutes long but packs a punch. It turned out to be one of the sleeper films of 2004. It’s a haunting and disturbing film, based on a true story about two scuba divers who accidentally were left at sea in the shark-infested Caribbean by their tour boat.
  • 1. Jaws (1975) — Steven Spielberg’s film about a killer shark terrorizing beach-goers is the benchmark for all shark films. “You’re gonna need a bigger boat,” Roy Scheider says in one of cinematic history’s most memorable lines. The film frightened some moviegoers out of the water for years.

Compiled by John Haydon
Source: The Irish Times, The Washington Times and IMDb