She Gods of Shark Reef (1958)

Two criminal brothers are shipwrecked on a corporate-owned island inhabited by (mostly) beautiful women. There is also this one old crabby lady who is constantly warning people about taboos and trouble and just generally raining on everyone's parades. There is also the titular reef with a shark in it. The shark looks pretty harmless actually and swims around in a drugged stupor for much of the movie. I guess the whole point of the shark is that the women worship it and throw each other in the ocean as sacrifices. It didn't really make much sense the more I thought about it but I'm not one to impose my culture on others and also the shark needs to eat so I guess I'm cool with it.

But I have one question. Where are the She-Gods? Certainly not in this film.

Anway, the Good Brother, Chris, falls in love with one of the girls, Mahia, and just wants to live his life with her. The Bad Brother, Lee, runs around killing people and stealing things. So you can see that a conflict will develop between the two.

But you (and Chris) will have to put up with Mahia's insufferable island speak. I think people in the late 50s were built of stronger stuff because I could only stand listening to "Mahia leave now? Where Chris go?" for roughly five minutes before starting to regret putting this movie on. Luckily Mahia doesn't speak much in the movie and there is really only one scene where she attempts to have a conversation with Chris for any meaningful length of time.

This is a Roger Corman production and like most of his movies, She Gods of Shark Reef is very low budget but very entertaining and well-paced. It's a pretty short movie and just when you've had about enough of Chris and Lee and their island hijinx and the unbearable island speak the movie is over!

You have to love the official poster for this movie. Check out that tag-line! "Beautiful maidens in a LUSH TROPICAL PARADISE ruled by a HIDEOUS STONE GOD!" Why don't movie posters nowadays do this kind of thing? I look at this poster and I want to watch this movie. I look at the poster for, I dunno, Saw IV and think that maybe they're trying a little too hard to be edgy and cool. Granted, She Gods of Shark Reef is a completely different movie. But I think my point still stands.

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