“Dah duh….Dah duh…Dah duh”
“Da dumb is more like it. What are you doing with a rock on your back, Lloyd?”
“I’m a shark, Floyd.”
“Worst looking shark I’ve ever seen. Minion has tonight’s movie all set up. Are you going to watch it or not?”
“I have my shark costume on, don’t I?”
I’ve saved the best for last. This isn’t it, though. Double feature fun comes tomorrow night as a grande finale (or at least, a great relief). Tonight it’s just Shark, filmed in 1969 and based on a book called His Bones are Coral, not on a Japanese movie of the same name from 1964. You’d never guess who “stars” in this one – Burt Reynolds. Before Cannonball Run, before Smokey and the Bandit, even before Deliverance.
It starts underwater as a diver searches a sunken ship. A shark silently approaches and giving the diver just enough time to shit his gear before the inevitable. He dies of his shark wounds so now the boat owners have a job opening. But never fear, a very young Burt plays the gun runner, Caine, and is about to solve all their problems.
Professor Dan and his associate, Anna, need a new “assistant” so Anna offers the position to Caine. Caine would love to steal a boat and get the hell out of Sudan so he gladly puts up with her flirtatious slow-dance “interview.”
her: how much do you know about diesel engines?
him: As much as I know about women.
her: How much is that?
him: Ask me
her: Can you handle a winch?
him: Honey, I was delivered by one…
Caine runs the equipment for Dan while he searches a sunken wreck, although Dan claims to be diving for other reasons. The sound is too poor to figure out what he said about the accident – either the first guy died in the world’s greatest laboratory, or world’s greatest lavatory. Both would be accurate, I think, since fish never get out to pee.
Dan nearly becomes shark bait after cutting his shoulder but manages to swim to the surface in time. Caine had been “testing the engines” and I think Dan’s fear of being left down there made him careless. Later (after beach sex with Caine, and a talk about how she loves Dan, but as a mentor only, and some more guilt-free beach sex presumably) Anna and Dan argue over what to do about Caine. He’s an “enigma” but they know the cops are after him so Dan suggests getting rid of him. Anna disagrees, suggesting they use him for what they need him for first, and then do that.
Caine enlists the help of a young street urchin he befriended earlier to find him a small boat he can use and steals some of Dan’s gear to check out Dan’s dive location for himself. All Caine finds is the Victoria and after what seemed like a useless chat with the drunk doctor about that ship, Caine confronts Dan and Anna about their cover story and sets himself up as a partner in their scam. Since their plan required only the pair of them knowing what was going on, Caine’s really expendable now.
Some more brawls happen and I admit to losing focus on the reason. The little street urchin gets injured, Caine blames Dan and later Dan meets with the local Fed who’d love to catch Caine and deport him. Dan claims Caine knows too much about his research and needs him and the cop appears to buys it.
Anna and Dan take Caine out to sea again and both guys head for the ship below. There’s a locked box worth opening because it’s filled to bursting with gold bars. A real one weighs 27 pounds, so the guys have at least 200 pounds of it in their little wire basket but they’re waving them around like styrofoam as they fill it.
I’ve never gone diving so I don’t know what the likelihood is that two people could heave that much out of the water, plus their own gear, plus their weights (which I don’t see them drop), and still avoid the sharks with any chance of success. But that’s what the winch is for. Right. They just need to lug the basket to the hooks and Anna will bring it up for them. And how much do they trust her not to take off with the boat and leave them to the sharks? That’s always the risk with partners in crime, especially when partners aren’t getting along.
Fish chunks are falling on their heads, and they know that’s worth worrying about. Dan goes down fighting but Caine manages to get back on board. He’s surprised by the gun-toting Fed who admits to hatching the whole plan. He wanted to claim the gold for himself but needed a group of patsies to get it for him. After forcing Caine to wreck the boat, Caine makes the only sane choice and flings the Fed into the water. His mild attraction to Anna fades when she points a gun on him next and forces him to board the Fed’s little police boat alone. She takes off, leaving Caine completely broke but standing on the only usable vessel in the area. We see him grinning as he watches Anna’s golden parachute start sinking. Sadistic prick.
It’s worth mentioning that the movie is dedicated to the stunt guys who actually went down into shark water so this stuff could get filmed. We forget that with movies today, but it used to be completely necessary to be on location and at risk. Even if they just borrowed the sharks in a big aquarium, it’s still pretty bold to swim around beside them.
Tomorrow night is devoted to two creature features of the Frankenstein persuasion, so check back.