Shark Week starts August 12 on the Discovery Channel. I’m not interested. Once, a friend asked me to videotape as much of one of the early Shark Weeks for her as I possibly could, and I said, “Ummm, let me think about it….no.” Unless a shark is biting me, I don’t care about sharks. Shark Week is well over a week away and I’m bored with it before it starts.
However, the annoying, incessant commercials about the upcoming Shark Week have made me think of the most famous zombie vs. shark scene ever shot. As far as I know, it could be the ONLY zombie vs. shark scene ever shot, but I’m not going to say that because I don’t know for sure. What I do know for sure is that I doubt there will ever be another zombie vs. shark scene like it.
In 1979, Lucio Fulci’s Italian masterpiece, Zombie (Zombie 2 was the original title) hit US screens. I didn’t see it in the theatre. I was too young. The poster of the zombie with the worm in his eyehole was enough to insure that I didn’t even whine to my parents about wanting to go. The film was trimmed a bit to avoid an X rating for violence. It was wild stuff, at the time.
I did see the film a number of years later. It was a lousy copy, so the signature bit of gore, the eyeball impaling, was too hard to see to be gross. What I could see well was the zombie vs. shark scene. I was impressed by both the oddball campiness of it and the unexpected realism.
I kept saying, “Is that a real shark? That’s not a REAL shark. That can’t be a real SHARK.”
It was a real shark. An actor was slated to fight the shark, but he called out sick (wonder why) and the shark’s trainer, Ramón Bravo, fought his own damned shark. The shark was fed a large meal before the shoot and drugged to (literally) the gills. Now, these people had a man fight a LIVE SHARK for their movie, and they couldn’t be bothered to put makeup on his EAR. Watch the clip again. Look for the naked ear.
Naked ear aside, Lucio and his zombie vs. shark scene beats the hell out of anything on Shark Week. Viva Lucio! Bravo, Bravo!
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