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Release Date: 07/21/23

Studio: Shudder

"In the wake of blockbuster classic Jaws, a new subgenre was born. This new documentary explores the weird, wild cinematic legacy of sharks on film and the world's undying fascination."


The documentary Sharksploitation casts a broad net in the surprisingly deep waters of Hollywood’s fin-tastic obsession with sharks. From the blockbuster Jaws to the viral Sharknado, filmmaker Stephen Scarlata leaves no reef unturned. Even when the movie gets a little long in the tooth, Scarlata delivers interviews aplenty backing his thesis that when it comes to shark movies, you are gonna need a bigger boat.


Within Sharksploitation, Scarlata (Jodorowsky's Dune, co-host of the "Best Movies Never Made" podcast) explores the weird and wild fascination of both sharks and their cinematic subgenre. Scarlata balances his interviews from the Hollywood legendary - Roger Corman and Joe Dante - to fan-favorites like Joe Alves (Jaws 3-D) and Anthony Ferrante (Sharknado). Mixed throughout are thoughts and commentary from marine biologists and conservationists including Wendy Benchley (wife of Jaws author Peter Benchley) and Dr. Gregory Stone (Chief Scientist for Ocean Conservation International). Everyone featured, and Scarlata presents more than 30 distinct interviews, share their love of cornball shark movies. Even more importantly, they love and support the natural existence of these unique apex predators. 


Through the oversaturation of SyFy movie events and Asylum Films content bombing, Hollywood might have jumped the shark on originality (Ghost Shark, Sand Sharks, Avalanche Sharks anyone?) but the need for good laughs and overall escapism still exists. Sharksploitation reels in the continued mystique of these creatures even when the featured interviews begin churning up repetitive responses. 


Notably absent is anyone involved with Jaws (granted, Robert Shaw died in 1978 and Roy Scheider in 2008) but the presence of that behemoth looms large. After all, without Jaws, chances are Sharksploitation would not be chomping down on such (subjectively) great material. 


Scarlata’s efforts prove that sharks are still mysterious and remain scary. Regardless if they are pets to a James Bond villain or drop from the sky in a storm cloud, once that circling fin dips into the deep below, anything can happen. 


Whether you are a fan of Spielberg’s stage-setter, prefer watching Ozark Sharks with a side of cheese, or go diving with great whites, Sharksploitation is perfect for anyone to sink their teeth into. 

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