Blue Water White Death

Year: 1971
Studio: Cinema Center Films
Director: Peter Gimbel/James Lipscomb
Producer: Peter Gimbel
Writer: Peter Gimbel
Cast: Peter Gimbel, Ron Taylor, Valerie Taylor, Rodney Fox
When Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress came out the distributor proudly proclaimed all over the DVD cover that it was the inspiration for Star Wars. Actually, all they had in common was the 'two heroes, one heroine on an adventure' theme. Likewise the DVD release of Japanese action slasher Lady Snowblood, which it was claimed inspired Tarantino's Kill Bill (both with vengeful female protagonists).

Take any 'inspired the classic...' notes on a DVD cover with a pinch of salt. Although Blue Water White Death may have influenced Peter Benchley's novel Jaws, before the Spielberg smash there was little pop culture around about them, so a link was virtually a given.

Following the directors along with shark Aussie trackers extraordinaire Ron and Val Taylor, Blue Water White Death has a reputation that precedes it which is largely undeserved.

Most of the running time comprises the ill-fated expedition to find great white sharks that led the filmmakers to the four corners of the Earth until they finally got what they were looking for in the waters off the Great Australian Bight. We're treated to long, cheesy musical numbers from the crew member who happens to play the guitar, and the staged dialogue as the crew discusses their plan of attack is both awful and false.

There are only two sequences with sharks, the first with not a Carcharadon Carcharias in sight. They are indeed beautiful and hair-raising however - especially when the titular brutes show up to menace the camera operators in underwater cages. But you wouldn't be missing anything to skip to the relevant chapters and give the rest a miss.

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