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HISTORY

       Principal photography on the film, titled Mako--Jaws of Death, began in Miami, FL, on 11 Aug 1975, the 18 Aug 1975 Box reported. A month later, the 10 Sep 1975 WSJ noted that Creative Entertainment, Ltd, was currently shooting its first film, Mako--Jaws of Death, in the Bimini district of the Bahamas.
       The 1 Dec 1975 Box noted that the producers, unable to afford a mechanical shark, used real sharks and sometimes tied ropes to their tails for close-ups. Director William Grefé said that in one instance, a ten-foot-long tiger shark’s teeth were chiseled down before it was dropped into a water tank with stuntwoman Gay Ingram.
       The Cannon Group acquired The Jaws of Death for U.S. distribution, according to the 10 May 1976 HR, and, with the biggest print order in its history, was set to release the film in Jacksonville, FL, on 25 Jun 1976; in Atlanta, GA, and Albany and Buffalo, NY, on 14 Jul; in Charlotte, NC, on 23 Jul; and New Orleans, LA, on 30 Jul, the 21 Jun 1976 Box announced. The film opened wide around the country in early 1977.
       The film was retitled “Mako” The Jaws of Death when it was syndicated for television in 1980, according to the 25 Apr 1982 LAT.

      The end credits give “Special Thanks” to the following: “Miami Seaquarium; Shark-Quarium; Wellington Hall Ltd; Fine Prints Unlimited; production services by Mako Associates.” Underwater photographer and cameraman Jordan Klein's name is misspelled "Jordon Klein" in opening and end ... More Less

       Principal photography on the film, titled Mako--Jaws of Death, began in Miami, FL, on 11 Aug 1975, the 18 Aug 1975 Box reported. A month later, the 10 Sep 1975 WSJ noted that Creative Entertainment, Ltd, was currently shooting its first film, Mako--Jaws of Death, in the Bimini district of the Bahamas.
       The 1 Dec 1975 Box noted that the producers, unable to afford a mechanical shark, used real sharks and sometimes tied ropes to their tails for close-ups. Director William Grefé said that in one instance, a ten-foot-long tiger shark’s teeth were chiseled down before it was dropped into a water tank with stuntwoman Gay Ingram.
       The Cannon Group acquired The Jaws of Death for U.S. distribution, according to the 10 May 1976 HR, and, with the biggest print order in its history, was set to release the film in Jacksonville, FL, on 25 Jun 1976; in Atlanta, GA, and Albany and Buffalo, NY, on 14 Jul; in Charlotte, NC, on 23 Jul; and New Orleans, LA, on 30 Jul, the 21 Jun 1976 Box announced. The film opened wide around the country in early 1977.
       The film was retitled “Mako” The Jaws of Death when it was syndicated for television in 1980, according to the 25 Apr 1982 LAT.

      The end credits give “Special Thanks” to the following: “Miami Seaquarium; Shark-Quarium; Wellington Hall Ltd; Fine Prints Unlimited; production services by Mako Associates.” Underwater photographer and cameraman Jordan Klein's name is misspelled "Jordon Klein" in opening and end credits.
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
18 Aug 1975.
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Box Office
1 Dec 1975.
---
Box Office
21 Jun 1976.
---
Box Office
11 Oct 1976.
---
Daily Variety
11 Jun 1975.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 May 1976.
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Los Angeles Times
27 May 1977
Section W, p. 29.
Los Angeles Times
25 Apr 1982
Section P, P.29.
WSJ
10 Sep 1975
p. 1, 29.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
1st asst dir
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
Dir, Underwater crew
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Underwater photog
Cam op
Asst cam
Gaffer
Gaffer
Stills by
Generator op
Cam, Underwater crew
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATOR
Props
COSTUMES
SOUND
Soundman
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hair stylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Post prod
Post prod
Post prod
Script
Asst to prod
Asst to prod
Transportation
Transportation
Boat op
Prod secy
Loc accountant
Equip by
Loc mgr, Underwater crew
STAND INS
Chief diver & shark handler, Underwater crew
Shark handler, Underwater crew
Shark handler, Underwater crew
Shark handler, Underwater crew
Stuntman, Underwater crew
Stuntgirl, Underwater crew
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Mako Jaws of Death
Mako--Jaws of Death
Shark Killers
Release Date:
1977
Premiere Information:
Opened 25 June 1976
Los Angeles opening: 25 March 1977
Production Date:
began 11 August 1975 in Miami, FL
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
93
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

When scuba diver Sonny Stein sees that one of his pet sharks has been hooked from a fishing boat above, he surfaces, climbs aboard, and kills the three men on board. Sonny then swims underwater to his own boat and speeds to a nearby marina to have a beer. Afterward, he returns to his houseboat, moored on a nearby island, where Dr. Whitney, an ichthyologist at a local aquarium, waits with two local fishermen, Pete and Charlie. Dr. Whitney wants Sonny, who is known as the crazy “shark guy,” to bring a female shark to Whitney’s aquarium because he wants to film it giving birth. When Sonny balks at helping the aquarium, Dr. Whitney threatens to use his political influence to make sharks a “bounty fish,” with an open hunting season. Sonny relents, saying he will deliver a pregnant shark, Matilda, but he wants her back at the end of the week. As the scientist leaves with Pete and Charlie, he tells them to keep watch on Sonny. Meanwhile, Sonny opens a trap door in his houseboat and talks to Sammy, one of the sharks swimming in the water beneath, then takes his boat back to the marina, and drives his van to the Rustic Inn, a lounge where Karen, the owner’s young wife, swims in a water tank behind two large windows over the bar. Barney, the owner, tells his bartender, Bob, that the customers are not spending enough time watching Karen, suggesting a more revealing swimming suit or nudity. A deputy talks about finding another empty, derelict fishing boat. Later, outside the bar, Sonny sees Pete and Charlie harassing Karen as she drives away. The two men ... +


When scuba diver Sonny Stein sees that one of his pet sharks has been hooked from a fishing boat above, he surfaces, climbs aboard, and kills the three men on board. Sonny then swims underwater to his own boat and speeds to a nearby marina to have a beer. Afterward, he returns to his houseboat, moored on a nearby island, where Dr. Whitney, an ichthyologist at a local aquarium, waits with two local fishermen, Pete and Charlie. Dr. Whitney wants Sonny, who is known as the crazy “shark guy,” to bring a female shark to Whitney’s aquarium because he wants to film it giving birth. When Sonny balks at helping the aquarium, Dr. Whitney threatens to use his political influence to make sharks a “bounty fish,” with an open hunting season. Sonny relents, saying he will deliver a pregnant shark, Matilda, but he wants her back at the end of the week. As the scientist leaves with Pete and Charlie, he tells them to keep watch on Sonny. Meanwhile, Sonny opens a trap door in his houseboat and talks to Sammy, one of the sharks swimming in the water beneath, then takes his boat back to the marina, and drives his van to the Rustic Inn, a lounge where Karen, the owner’s young wife, swims in a water tank behind two large windows over the bar. Barney, the owner, tells his bartender, Bob, that the customers are not spending enough time watching Karen, suggesting a more revealing swimming suit or nudity. A deputy talks about finding another empty, derelict fishing boat. Later, outside the bar, Sonny sees Pete and Charlie harassing Karen as she drives away. The two men get into their van and follow her. A few minutes later, as Sonny drives toward the marina, he sees Karen’s car alongside the road with a flat tire and Pete and Charlie pawing her on the ground. Sonny stops, beats up the men, and gives Karen a ride. On their way, Sonny returns to the island to feed his sharks because they are on a strict schedule, and Karen joins him. There, Karen treats Sonny’s fight injuries and admires a medallion with a shark’s tooth that Sonny wears around his neck, and he explains why he never takes it off. Years ago, in the Philippines, Sonny escaped from a couple of killers by diving into a shark-infested river and swimming to the other side, while the sharks attacked his pursuers. Afterward, a local shaman gave Sonny the medallion and said it would protect him from sharks as long as he wore it and took care of them. Sonny opens the trap door and shows Karen his favorite shark, Sammy, swimming below, then briefly joins Sammy in the water to show her that it will not harm him. When Sonny finally takes Karen home, she is flirtatious, but he is too shy to respond. Inside, she tells Barney that Pete and Charlie drunkenly tried to rape her, but Barney brushes off the incident because the two men are among his best customers. She also tells her husband about Sonny and his shark. After Barney swims in the lagoon behind their house, where he has installed a protective shark net, he returns to the house with the idea to buy Sonny’s shark and make it a part of Karen’s show at the lounge. The next day, Barney arranges for Sonny to bring Sammy to the Rustic Inn and put it into the water tank. He assures Sonny that he has installed a clear, plastic barrier in the tank that separates Karen from Sammy. Sonny turns down a fee, saying that humans cannot own sharks, but Barney convinces Sonny to sign a paper for the sake of his insurance company. After Sonny leaves, Barney blasts high-frequency signals into the tank to make Sammy more animated. Meanwhile, Sonny takes Matilda, his female shark, to Dr. Whitney’s aquarium. Back at the marina, Sonny sees a fisherman displaying a large, dead shark in front of tourists, and notices that the fish was harpooned. He forces the fisherman to confess that he bought the shark for $20 from Pete and Charlie, who had several other dead sharks on their boat. Sonny gets into his scuba gear and sneaks up on Pete and Charlie’s boat. He harpoons both men, puts the engine in gear and jumps overboard, sending the boat crashing into a pier with Charlie hanging on a hook. Later, at the Rustic Inn, Sonny notices that Sammy, behind the glass, is distressed and moving unnaturally. He smashes the high-frequency generator and attacks Barney, who claims he can do what he wants with Sammy because Sonny signed a bill of sale. Karen calls Sonny a freak and says she never wants to see him again. Determined that he cannot trust anyone, Sonny drives to Dr. Whitney’s aquarium to rescue Matilda, but he finds her dead in Whitney’s laboratory, along with several baby sharks. He throws Dr. Whitney into the aquarium’s shark tank and watches the fish tear him to pieces. Sonny returns to the Rustic Inn, sneaks into the tank area, and cuts a hole in the plastic that separates Sammy from Karen. That evening, he shows up at the crowded club for the opening of Karen’s new act. As the window curtain opens above the bar, Sammy slips through the hole in the plastic barrier and attacks Karen. Moments later, deputies arrive looking for Sonny, whom they allege is Dr. Whitney’s killer. Sonny escapes into the water and rides with a shark, holding on to its fin. He arrives at his houseboat before the deputies and knocks them unconscious, but several vigilantes overwhelm him and pull off his medallion in the scuffle. Sonny drops through the trap door to escape, but without his protective medallion, the sharks turn on him.
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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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