¡Tintorera! (1977)

JUNE 10, 2008


Much like any film that screens along with something like Pieces or Shocker, ¡Tintorera! didn’t really have a chance of being as lovingly received as Crocodile, because it’s more professionally made, doesn’t have as much action, and is largely lacking in anything that would be considered “visually exciting”. Billed as a softcore sex version of Jaws, it doesn’t have enough shark OR sexual action to really engage an audience. Maybe if it came first it would have been easier to deal with, but after the sheer bliss and insanity of Crocodile, it was just a giant bore for the most part.

Have you ever watched Pearl Harbor and wondered what the film would be like if Affleck and Hartnett decided to simply share Kate Beckinsale instead of fighting over her? That’s basically what you have here; the movie is less about a shark than a melodrama about two guys who at first fight over a woman, then bond, pick up a couple of local girls (who they swap back and forth), then meet another woman who is perfectly fine with being their shared lover. In the film’s best moment, the first woman, who is introduced and characterized in a manner that would lead you to believe she was the female lead, is killed about 20 minutes in, a nice sort of Psycho type twist (albeit in the middle of a shitty movie). After she is dispatched, there is almost no shark on human action for the rest of the film. Instead, the two guys occasionally kill sharks for sport (or food, I forget - either way these scenes are more cruel than anything else) in between bouts of incredibly unemotional sex (the woman even makes a speech about how love is never to enter the ‘triangle’).

At least, we can assume they are having sex. I can accept that the body count is low, but if it’s low because they are more interested in following the lives of our three leads, the least they can do is offer some actual sex scenes. Instead we are mainly just given pre or post coitus laughs and glances. In fact, one of the trailers before the film, for a movie called The Beach Bunnies, actually offered more nudity and sex than this film did in its entirety (though there is some nudity – all in skinny dipping situations). I don’t know if there is an audience who longs for a 5 minute sequence of three morons taking photos of one another as they walk along the beach, but I am certainly not part of it.

Finally, after an hour or so, one of the three is killed, which is surprisingly kind of sad (mainly due to the realization that the character’s ridiculous speedos and bad dubbing will no longer be with us), and they go after the shark. It’s still not very thrilling; I actually dozed off for a bit. Apparently 40 minutes were edited from the film, but my research (reading two other reviews) suggests this was for the better - the cut stuff was all just more of the romantic melodrama. None of the precious little shark attack stuff was removed (so I can’t imagine how goddamn boring this movie is in its ‘full’ form).

One thing though – the death of one of the leads is a great sequence; with lots of gore, exposed guts, and hilariously kicking legs that have been separated from their owner. Five or six scenes like that and the movie would be worth a watch, but since the clip is probably on Youtube, just watch that and skip the rest.

Hah! It is!!!

What say you?

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