Well, The Discovery Channel’s annual Shark Week is winding down, 47 Meters Down should be disappearing from theaters any minute now, and Sharknado 5 is still a week away. Fret not, though. Thanks to Jaws, we fans of Selachimorpha still have plenty of sharksploitation out there to keep us up to our gills in our fang-toothed finny friends.
Sharksploitation? Absolutely. You see, after Spielberg’s breakout hit made its big splash (bwah ha ha… ha… ha… heh… sorry, I won’t do that again) in 1975, movie makers the world over did what they do best… they saw a chance to make a fast buck. Immediately, from all corners of the earth, Jaws rip offs began to inundate the big screen. The age of sharksploitation was upon us.
But let’s face it, not everybody who steps behind the camera is a Spielberg. So instead of offering up iconic imagery or characters you could care about, the rip offs simply ramped up the exploitative elements by increasing the amount of bloody shark attacks, decreasing the amount of clothing worn by the actors, and throwing in arbitrary subplots requiring lots of guns and explosives.