Thursday, November 14, 2013

Tintorera: Killer Shark

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Wanna watch a movie where they kill real sharks for no apparent reason?  Because this movie has a murder boner for killing defenseless sharks...and yet, the sharks are the antagonist.  Figure that one out.

Tintorera: Killer Shark – 0 out of 5

When Jaws came out in 1975, Spielberg did something brilliant by not showing the shark in order to build tension. Granted, this came out of necessity due to the shark being a lame duck and not working most the time but the end results speaks for itself as seeing the world through the shark’s point-of-view, filming around him and not seeing the beast until the final act really made a film that stuck in our collective unconscious and why it remains a staple in today’s world of movies. Two years later, Tintorera: Killer Shark decided to do the same thing but instead of creating suspense by limiting the shark’s screen time, they just decided to forget about him and show two very fugly dudes trying to double team some ladies while simultaneously accidentally creating a very rich and thick homoerotic atmosphere.

"My lame hat and pubic hair-like beard would argue against your accusation
of being 'fugly.'"

On paper, this movie is about deadly tiger shark hunting around an exotic beach getaway but you wouldn’t know it from watching it as the shark has only about 3 minutes of screen time in this two hour-plus snoozer. The film centers on Steven (Hugo Stiglitz), a very creepy looking man whose beard and never-ending supply of Speedos would make even the most casual observer believe he is on vacation in Mexico more out of escaping warrants for sexual assault rather than a relaxing getaway. Steven meets Miguel (AndrĂ©s Garcia) and the two fall in love—in a round about way. The two men start with a bitter rivalry but end up tag teaming a sexually open-minded women and the three enter into a triangle of love relationship where there are, basically, one single couple. One day, Miguel is attacked by a tiger shark because the writers and crew suddenly remembered they were trying to rip-off Jaws and the girl in the relationship leaves because the pain is too much or the actress playing her finally read the script. Steven, distraught, decides to hunt down and kill the shark—but not before trying to get his freak on with a pair of sisters and some tourists…and then one of the girls gets killed and Steven suddenly remembers he was on a course for revenge. Finally, after two hours, Steven goes and hunts the shark.

This man's unibrow provided the Jaws theme sound-alike
for the film.

I wanted to give this film a higher score because, as bad as this piece of shit is, it’s incredibly easy to make fun of and to MST3K your way through it in order to find some sort of entertainment. However, the film and the DVD that it was printed on was so bad that it was hard to make fun of and just embarrassing to sit through.

And because this man wore their shirt in the film, Chicago's album sales reached
an all time low.

I basically watched this film without really knowing much about it. I saw it on Netflix and, because I love bad shark movies (because they are some of the best unintentional comedies you can find); I added it to my queue. I didn’t seek out a trailer; I didn’t even read the synopsis. I just saw “Killer Shark” in the title and said, “Hell yeah, this HAS to be terribly fun to watch.” I was saddened to learn, however, that the film wasn’t a load of poorly produced crap that was easy to laugh at but, rather, just a really, really shitty poorly produced piece of crap that you are too busy feeling sorry for to make fun of.

Poor guy, he couldn't find his Speedo so he put on his sister's underwear.

First off, the acting is terrible. While the film doesn’t know if it wants to be a comedy, a drama, a strange sex fetish exploration or a monster movie, the actors don’t really help the situation as they look out of place no matter what genre the film is trying to fit into to. The only real highlight is the fact that Stiglitz and Garcia play the part of two star-crossed lovers refusing to acknowledge their mutual attraction for fear they will be ostracized.

The body language of two men who desperately don't want to leave each others
company.  Damn, this movie was groundbreaking for the 70s.

Okay, so that part really isn’t a part of the movie but the homoerotic, possibly accidental, subtext this film throws at you is painfully obvious. Hell, with a few minor edits, one could re-release this film for the gay community and it might do well. Take out the shark and what you see, thanks to Steven and Miguel’s love of really tiny Speedos and their body language (not to mention the TONS of shots the director threw in that has intense close ups of the two men staring at each other with a lust that barely looks like it’s being contained), you end up with two men who are clearly in love with each other but don’t know how to tell the other so they bury themselves in as many women as they can. Their love only becomes more apparent when they decide to share women—it’s like they are self-imposing a barrier in-between their love so they never act on something society taught them was forbidden.

It should be noted that he never looked this intensely at ANY of the women
he boned in the film.

If this was only intentional, it would have made Tintorera actually interesting because you are watching a love story unlike anything release in the 70s but, the reality is, the homoerotism was completely accidental and unintentionally like Top Gun. However, it was far more apparent than any threat from the shark in the film.

GAH!  Way too much of that man's face.

Steven and Miguel’s love aside (which is only further cemented when Steven decides to hunt down the shark and is constantly seeing images of Miguel’s vicious unibrow in his head after he dies), the shark is completely worthless in the film as it literally has no threat imposed on the story and characters. Number 1) the shark is barely around and only has a few moments in the way-too-long-for-it’s-incredibly-devoid-story running length and Number 2) the shark makes noises.

Maybe the shark was just shy or a very private predator.  He does look like he's
trying to avoid paparazzi here.

Padding a soundtrack to help create subconscious cues with a film is nothing new; Spielberg even used it for Jaws (remember when you heard the roar as the beast died?). However, this movie tries to turn the tiger shark into a slasher film serial killer (when it remembered to include it in the story). The underwater predator will breathe heavily like Michael Myers under the mask and it even roars at a point. However, the most ridiculous moment was when, I swear, I heard the shark actually say, “Huh?” after Steven and some tail he chases to forget the loss of his love Miguel decides to get nude and skinny dip. I rewound it three times and each time the shark sounded like it was Keanu Reeves trying to figure out The Matrix.

However, when the shark sang "Ave Maria," it brought me to tears.

Furthermore, this film is just sloppy in its presentation. If the fact that production clearly forgot they were ripping off Jaws wasn’t apparent enough to how little they cared about the movie, the amateurish editing sure does prove it. There's no pace set by the editing and most scenes look like the negative was just hacked to pieces like Steven furiously beating a shark in the head with a club after Miguel dies (seriously, these two were so in love). The shitty editing also makes it impossible to figure out what is going on most of the film (and the lack of the characters actually providing some exposition doesn’t help either). Christ on a crouton, I didn’t even know what the fuck happened in the end until I read the plot on Wikipedia because it was such a mess. 

His beard and hair are apt metaphors for the film's production value...
I'm staring to think this movie had more layers than I realized.

Tintorera: Killer Shark is a mess of a film. Despite the title and posters that promised a deadly shark, the story only acts on this promise when it feels like and not until it overloads the movie with tons of nudity and very uncomfortable scenes of bad acting, killing real sharks on film and creepy dudes looking like they aren’t allowed 200 feet within any area that could possible contain underage anything. To top it off, the DVD itself is one of the cheapest, poorly produced things I have ever seen (keeping with the theme of the shitty production of the film, I guess). The film is spoken in both English and Spanish but the DVD only gives you one option for subtitles…so, you have no choice but to play them as you are watching the film. The real fucked up part is when the actors are speaking English, the subtitles are in Spanish and when they speak Spanish, you get English subtitles. But, I really can’t expect anything more from this movie and it ends up being the perfect metaphor for the film as even the subtitles don’t know what they are doing as they just throw both subtitle tracks into one "play all" feature…and I think the subtitles were probably in love with the audio track but had a triangle relationship with the video track so their love could never be.

Seriously, this movie did kill a lot of sharks on camera...

A LOT of sharks.


  1. This was based on a novel by renowned marine biologist Ramon Bravo,although I'm curious at to wether all the blatant homoerotic overtones were inherent in the source material.I posted this on the boards at IMDB,but I really love the romantic theme song that concludes Tintorera, it's haunting in it's final composition of the beautiful Caribbean locales the two men propelled.

    1. So, you agree that there was homoerotic overtones and I wasn't seeing something that happened accidentally?

  2. Oh yes,I agree,which is why I wish I could find an English language version of the book Tintorera is based on.


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