GREAT WHITE (aka The Last Shark and L'ultimo squalo/1981). Director: Enzo G. Castellari.
When a surfer disappears in the waters off a small coastal town, authorities fear a great white shark may be dining in the area. Naturally -- as this is another rip-off of Jaws -- Mayor Wells (Joshua Sinclair) doesn't want to cancel the big regatta that's coming up, so supposedly shark-proof netting is placed in the water to protect swimmers and others. Unfortunately -- or else there would be no movie -- the 35-foot-long shark is easily able to munch his way into the enclosure. James Franciscus stars as Peter Benton, who is determined to wipe out the fish after it chops off his teenage daughter's leg. Vic Morrow is cast as a shark hunter who proves no match for the great white. The best scene has the big shark squaring off with a helicopter and easily winning. The shark is given its own catchy rock theme, and there's some effectively sinister music at other times, as well as some attractive wide-screen photography. Gruesome in spots.
Verdict: Another fair-to-middling fish story. **1/2.