When our very own Keith Allison reviewed Enzo Castellari’s Shark Hunter, he offered the following summation of the film’s opening sequence:

We meet the titular shark hunter, Franco Nero, looking like he just stumbled out of the jungle and fell into a puddle of crazed hippie biker, while perched on a rock overlooking the ocean. Suddenly a shark catches his eye, causing him to leap up, run down the beach while accompanied by the sounds of Guido and Maurizio DeAngelis prog rock, and struggle to haul the thrashing beast to shore. He then retires to his open air beach bungalow to make love to his beautiful Mexican senorita, then goes to a bar where he beats the crap out of half a dozen thugs. Happy that Franco has whooped ass on the goon squad, a local takes him out for a bit of parasailing. I know, I know. You’re thinking to yourself that while hauling in a fishing line hooked to a man-eating shark is tough, and making love on the beach to a sexy gal is tough, and beating up half a dozen hired bruisers is tough, there’s not much that’s tough about parasailing. That’s what sunburned fat Americans do when they visit resorts, right? What’s so tough about that? Well, nothing. But while Franco does admittedly get a kick out of the parasailing, what makes this tough parasailing is that, while in mid-air, he spies a shark in the water below, let’s out a primal whoop of excitement, cuts himself loose from the parachute harness, plunges into the water, and immediately starts punching the shark in the face…

…a description that provoked some of our more cynical blog-visitors into accusing Keith of making that up.

Well, you know that old line about truth and fiction; and so it turns out that Franco Nero isn’t the only person out there who likes punching sharks…

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But while about half of the inevitable meme-response to the incident was devoted to portraying Mick Fanning as an EXTREEEEME action hero, it turned out that, much to my delight, the other half was busy portraying the shark as a victim of a (more or less) unprovoked assault:

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And while the urge to argue with any and all comers over the fact that this was NOT (i) a shark attack, or (ii) a giant shark, is almost overwhelming, at the end of the day I accept that what I really need to do is put all of my energies into being very, very, very, very, very, very, very thankful that we didn’t get—a different kind of encounter—being broadcast all around the world on live television…and not just for the shark’s sake. (I haven’t forgotten Mick Fanning, honest!)

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Liz Kingsley is the insane genius behind And You Call Yourself a Scientist!


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