Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tintorera (1977)

Mexican shlockmeister René Cardona Jr. strikes again with this lurid Jaws rip-off about a mammoth tiger shark preying upon sexy singles near a Mexican beach resort. The movie is abysmal, of course, but Tintorera delivers the goods in three respects—it’s gory as hell, the production values are better than one normally expects from Cardona, and there’s an enormous amount of nudity. Cheap thrills aside, however, Tintorera is a painful to watch because of the stupidity on display both in front of and behind the camera. The characterizations range from nonexistent to superficial; the story is a muddled blend of horror and melodrama; the picture features several distasteful scenes of real animals being killed; and the dialogue is marred by bad acting, ghastly writing, and (for actors not native to English) sloppy dubbing. The narrative revolves around two Mexican studs, Miguel (Andrés García) and Steven (Hugo Stiglitz), who make their living as shark hunters near a resort. The studs hook up with a sexy British tourist, Gabriella (Susan George), for an idyllic period of hookups and threesomes. Tintorera is basically just a compendium of scenes featuring attractive people screwing, stripping, and swimming, and once in a while the shark shows up for a snack. Further, it seems as if the studs are the only people who get the idea of fighting back, even though the shark’s body count is astronomical. The vibe of Tintorera is weirdly lackadaisical, although the intensity of the gore occasionally demands attention; scenes of a shark with someone’s head in its teeth, and of the dismembered lower half of a human body floating to the bottom of the ocean, are particularly realistic. Yet the kills aren’t the least bit scary, especially because Cardona employs a ridiculous device of playing heavy breathing on the soundtrack whenever the shark approaches a victim. Huh? Still, for those who care about such things, the movie’s eye-candy quotient is significant, with starlets Priscilla Barnes, George, and especially Fiona Lewis generously sharing their physical gifts. Even the actors playing the studs get into the exhibitionist act.

Tintorera: LAME

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