10 Essential: Jawsploitation Movies

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Last week marked the 40th anniversary of Jaws, a film that frankly changed the way movies are made and marketed forever. Steven Spielberg’s monumental blockbuster masterpiece is a landmark in tent pole filmmaking; completely re-inventing the way studios approach their summer spectacle. From the moment Bruce the Shark blew the doors off of theaters in 1975, every producer in Hollywood wanted to figure out just how to replicate the Beard’s formula, while his independent peers who also emerged during the New Hollywood wave lamented the death of their era.

One thing Jaws didn’t change in the slightest: exploitation. The time-honored tradition of riffing on anything and everything that was a mainstream success just to make a buck was never going to go away. In the wake of this Great White cash machine, you can bet schlockmeisters from countries across the globe were going to try and get rich off of Chief Brody, Matt Hooper and Quint’s epic quest to take down the toothy scourge of Amity Island.

Here are the ten weirdest and wildest rip-offs of Spielberg’s summer classic. Do remember, inclusion may not necessarily equate to an endorsement of quality, but those looking to have their face bitten off by some primo sleaze would do well to seek all of these pictures out.  

Jacob Knight is an Austin, Texas based film writer who moonlights as a clerk at Vulcan Video, one of the last great independent video stores in the US. You can find find him on Twitter @JacobQKnight.