In Color? Gray And Sepia Are Technically Colors.
Robert I. Hedges | 01/30/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This is perhaps not the very worst Roger Corman movie, but it's definitely in the running. While it may not be the worst, it is certainly the most boring. The film revolves around two brothers, one of whom is a fugitive, becoming shipwrecked on an island of women after running aground on a coral reef just offshore. This is way less exciting than you would imagine. What is more amazing is that this was made in Kauai, possibly the most beautiful place in the United States. It is amazing how dull Corman can make this place look (the very poor color balance does not help), but then again, he is the indisputable master of schlock.
After becoming stranded, there is a lot of footage of catamarans paddling around, "Polynesian" dancing and ceremonies, and a couple of fights. One of the brothers falls in love with a native girl (of course) but is forbidden to date her by the tribal elder. This does not go over well, and the brothers and girl decide to escape in a catamaran. There are two principle flaws with their escape plan as I understand it: one, they elect to kidnap and take the cranky old lady tribal elder along with them for some reason (apparently to make their journey much less hospitable and noisier); and two, they set sail for another island, yet by the time they are about a half mile offshore decide that their only hope is to make for the coral reef. This makes me wonder two things in turn: what was the plan to get off the reef; and, wasn't this the reef that smashed up their much larger boat and stranded them in the first place?
After getting onto the reef there are subplots about pearls, some more fighting, and a battle with a shark that is smaller and less scary than Charlie the tuna. All in all, this is unbelievably lame.
There is one redeeming quality that this movie has, though: it is very short. Clocking in at 64 minutes, you can watch the entire thing during a single treadmill workout, like I did, although it will make the workout much more painful and seem much longer.
I can't recommend this film even to diehard fans of bad movies. I recommend this film only to fans of very boring movies.
Roger Corman strikes again - strikes out, that is
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 01/15/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Virginal sacrifices to awesome shark gods. An island full of beautiful, scantily-clad women. Filmed on location in Hawaii. Sounds like something worth watching, doesn't it? Unfortunately, only the Hawaii thing applies to Roger Corman's She Gods of Shark Reef. I can confirm no virgin sacrifices (although a couple of the local pearl-diving females are MIA), there is not the first instance of blood in the water, the shark god himself would easily fit in your bathtub (and, to tell the truth, I'm not completely convinced it was even a shark), and I spotted only one attractive female on the island. And the scantily-clad business applies only to the two men who wash up on the shores of the island in question. Having had their own clothes ripped to shreds when their boat struck a reef and went down, they are forced to don miniskirts that are entirely too small. I mean, there's a serious Buffalo Shot Warning in effect for this entire film. Apparently, Corman was having so much fun on his Hawaiian vacation (uh, I mean two-for-one film shoot on location) that he quite forgot that an exploitation film is supposed to feature scantily-clad women, not dangerously under clothed men.
There's not a lot to this film, which plays as if it were thought up on the spur of the moment while Corman was shooting Naked Paradise in 1957 (it would not appear until some 18 months later, alongside Night of the Blood Beast). The movie starts out with some guy apparently stealing something and killing a guy in the process (but who knows, thanks to the dark print we're stuck with?), then we see him and his brother being rescued from certain death by the pearl diving females of the little island off of Shark Reef's. It looks like they'll be stuck there for ten days, but the criminal fellow can't wait that long because he knows the cops are after him. His brother is fairly content, however, which has a lot to do with the island's only attractive inhabitant, Mahia (Lisa Montell). The hag running the show, who huffs and puffs over the men's presence and the anger it is causing the shark god, keeps sending out messages via semaphore - to whom, heaven only knows, since the supply boat is still several days out. Then a sacrifice is arranged in order to placate the angry god, and that's when our shipwrecked duo decides it's time to steal a boat and make a run for it - with Mahia in tow, of course. What about the shark, you ask? Surely there's a good old-fashioned shark attack in here somewhere? Well, not exactly. And don't even talk to me about any she gods; let's just say that Shark Reef is the only thing the film's title came close to getting right.
You don't expect any Roger Corman film to be good, but this one is even more disappointing than most. The movie looks awful, it's sometimes difficult to make out what the characters are saying, there's only one remotely interesting character in the whole film, and the shark god is so small that Barney Fife could take him in a fight. Thank heavens for Lisa Montell, as she is the only thing this movie has going for it."