Omoo, Omoo the Shark God
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When a sacred jungle idol is violated, the curse of a shark god follows a group of people. After a sea captain (Trevor Bardette) removes black pearls from a sacred native shrine, the curse of the shark god falls upon him and anyone else with whom he comes in contact with, according to the native legend. Disaster strikes everyone in the cast, except for the one person who will survive the curse. Based on the Herman Melville Novel. This film does an excellent job on a small budget.
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The film opens with a schooner Julia heading for Tahiti. Feverish Captain Guy lies in bed, nursed by his daughter Julie. You will soon learn that Captain's illness has something to do with the "native curses and the native tabu (sic)" and precious black pearls that were stolen and hidden somewhere in the island. Knowing this, two thieving sailors plan to steal the treasure while one heroic sailor stands in their way.
This cult film, which has little to show in the course of its 58 minute running time, looks drawn out, but is sort of entertaining as some "so-bad-so-good" films can do. There is no sense of thrills or danger as the film was obviously shot in a small studio and the "nature" (like a roaring tiger) is just a concoction of badly edited stock footage. The film even includes a lengthy underwater nature documentary-like sequence where the fate of an unfortunate octopus is shown. Seriously. The strange scenes where our hero and heroine actually "watch" the show from on board remind me of Ed Wood cult films like "Glen or Glenda" where things just don't make sense.
You don't need to know the rest of the story because it is easy to guess. Another merit of the film is acting of the leading lady Devera Burton. There are several close-up scenes of her face apparently possessed by something and you should not miss that part. Virtually this is the only film Ms. Devera Burton made and her terrified facial expression tells you why.
Interestingly the film's opening has a prologue written by "Herman Melville," which says this is an adventure "in the summer of 1874." You don't find any of these words in Melville's book which was published in 1847.
What exactly would one expect from an old Z movie titled, "OMOO OMOO THE SHARK GOD"?