Saturday, December 12, 2015

"Sharks' Treasure" (1975) d/ Cornel Wilde

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The last time we saw Cornel Wilde here at the Wop, he was keeping slo-mo gargoyles from clawing up Jennifer Salt's groovy sash-topped boobs in the desert-based television horror movie of the same name. This time around, he's the writer, producer, director, and star...hell, he even wrote the godawful theme song, "Money, Money", as sung by Ken Barrie, who also happened to sing the unforgettably titled "I Love You Baby, Oh Baby I Do" in 1979's Silent Scream. Released two months before Jaws, Treasure enlists the familiar faces of Yaphet Kotto, David Canary, Cliff Osmond, and John Neilson in purveying the adventures of some hard luck treasure hunters for the mid-seventies drive in crowd, and ultimately missed out on the summer box office bounty that the former film managed to snag in droves. Still, it goes like this...

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They're having more fun than I did watching them.
Adventurer Jim Carnahan (Cornel Wilde) is approached by a wet-behind-the-ears punk named Ron (John Neilson) who's turned up a few gold doubloons while scuba diving off the coast of Honduras, and is looking for a business partner to split the rest of the lucrative unrecovered treasure with. Along for the ride and a percentage, are Ben (Yaphet Kotto) and his stammering Vietnam vet buddy, Larry (David Canary). Jim wastes no time stripping down to a terrible creole accent and a Speedo while doing one handed push ups on deck to establish his dominance over the crew, even chucking Ben's smokes into the ocean after refusing to allow the guy to smoke anywhere on his boat. Compounding the captain's assholery is Ron's sudden inability to discern the surrounding rocks from the two that mark the spot where the treasure lies, sending everyone into an outside voiced confrontation of less-than-epic huffing, chest-pounding, Speedo-clad proportions that could have been edited down by half, as they float around in circles. When they finally do find the site, to their indifference,  it's regularly patrolled by numerous reef sharks. Luckily for the treasure hunters, it's still 1975, and no one'd much care if they murdered a great deal of them, so they oblige, with floating hooks and spear guns a' plenty.

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"Parker'd like to discuss the bonus situation, Cap'n..."
They're attacked multiple times, but only by obviously deceased sharks, discolored and limp, being pushed at them unconvincingly off-camera, but they still manage to bring nearly a half million dollars worth of baubles and trinkets to the surface. Almost instantly, Carnahan's innate assholism kicks in, and he accuses Ron of stuffing a gold cross down the front of his swimmies, only to find that the crew was about to present it to him as a gift. Ben jockeys for a bigger cut, which results in more corny posturing, and that's about when the boat gets boarded by a motley gaggle of cartoonish outlaw bandidos, as led by the burly, boy-hungry Lobo (Cliff Osmond), who's got his reluctant blond boy toy from prison, Juanito (David Gilliam), at his side, ready to ashamedly bikini striptease upon command. After Carnahan's booty (the treasure, not his ass, in this case) is discovered, he lies about further treasure down below after being clumsily KTFOed by Lobo on deck, while the pirates sloppily drink and chow down on all of the supplies in front of the bound prisoners. I'm not gonna elaborate any further at this point, if you wanna know how it all ends up, you'll have to sit through it the same way I did.

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"I shoots anywhan who go nears my little mans!", exclaims Lobo (Cliff Osmond).
Wilde would turn up next in The Norseman three years later. Apart from the aforementioned Gargoyles (1972), genre-wise, he showed up in an episode of Rod Serling's Night Gallery (1972) and lent his voice to No Blade of Grass in 1970. Yaphet Kotto, who's pretty much Parker from Alien (1979) in swimtrunks here, also appeared in an episode of Night Gallery (1971) himself, as well as providing memorable turns in things like Truck Turner (1974), Live and Let Die (1973), Monkey Hu$tle (1976), and Blue Collar (1978). Canary's main claim to fame is his recurring role of Adam Chandler on popular soap opera, All My Children. Some movies exist where one man handles the majority of cinematic duties out of budgetary confinements and are infinitely easier on the viewer than this one is. This just plays like an hour and a half of Wilde's ego on parade, a pissing contest that ends in a draw, and anybody watching is ultimately the loser. What is it about boats and sea-faring blokes? Are they chick-repellent or something? I can only recall one scene with a girl in this seven seas sausage fest, despite having screened it again last night with friends over (spoiler: I conked the fuck out the second time around.). One Wop for this vintage adventure-less adventure.

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"We're taking in water! Somebody lighten our load and throw Wilde's ego overboard!"
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mottikod said...

this movie was crazy. I loved when those scumbags ate all their cheese and beer in front of them while they were tied up. fucking funny

mottikod said...

that poster is great! no sharks like that are represented in the movie.

beedubelhue said...

I'm sorry I passed out during the other night's screening. I guess seeing it two times was more than I'm currently capable of.


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