It's Shark Week! It's the release of JAWS on Blu! It's time to celebrate our greatest predator in movie trailers. First up: Enzo Castellari's banned JAWS rip-off, GREAT WHITE.
Ripping off movies is a tried and true aspect of the exploitation genre. The great exploiters saw what was popular in theaters, riffed on it - often with similar sounding names - and upped the gore and boobs. I don't really see how Enzo Castellari's Great White is that much different from dozens of other rip-offs, but at the time of its US release Universal thought differently. And so did the US court system - the studio successfully sued to have Great White (aka The Last Shark) removed from theaters after a very short run.
As a result the movie, starring James Franciscus as Peter Benchley battling Jaws and Vic Morrow battling a Robert Shaw impression, has become a real cult item. It's got that delightfully gonzo Italian one-upmanship going on - this film's shark is 35 feet long, ten feet longer than Bruce in Jaws! - but it also has Castellari's excellent direction. Sure, it's cheap and a rip-off and features American actors past their prime, but it's wildly entertaining.
It's still tough to get Great White in America; I don't think it's legal to screen the movie. You can stream it from Amazon, but there seems to be few, if any other, options at all.