"If it ain't broke, don't fix it" might as well be "If it ain't broke, don't fix it and just make very small tweaks instead" in Hollywood.
After Jaws became a humongous hit in 1975, it caused the industry to look around, or rather towards the ocean, for inspiration. In the years after, many legally dubious knock-offs were dumped in front of us and we've picked out the eight most blatant examples.
Bonus points for anyone who's watched more than one of them.
Mako: The Jaws of Death
The first "homage" is also the most downright bizarre of the lot. The plot focuses on a guy who "accidentally" discovers that he has a telepathic connection to sharks. He then uses this to exact revenge on anyone who harms him. To be fair, this was actually written three years before Jaws but it was only after the release that the funding arrived.
One of the first out of the gate, this takes the "town terrorised by sea-based foe" set-up but replaces the shark with, yup, a killer whale. The strangest thing about the film, which was savaged by critics but has since become a much-loved guilty pleasure of bad movie fans, is the cast: Richard Harris, Charlotte Rampling, Bo Derek and Robert Carradine. All shark fodder.
Now this one was totally different to Jaws because it centred about a tiger shark, rather than a great white. So yeah, totally different. Starring British actress Susan George, best known for Straw Dogs, it upped the exploitation factor with s hefty amount of nudity in-between all the sharking.
Up From The Depths
After Roger Corman paid homage to Jaws in the sly cult hit Piranha, he tried again with this less successful, yet similar, effort. The story revolves around some big shark-like monster is picking off tourists at a Hawaiian resort etc etc. The director Charles B. Griffith later called making the 75-minute film a "terrible experience".
Gleefully nabbing the Jaws 2 tagline, this entry was at least distinguishable for one major reason: it's not the shark that's killing people, it's the, ermmm, beach. Because that walk from your towel to the sea is pretty scary huh? It was ambitiously left open for a sequel...
Great White aka The Last Shark
A shark kills someone near a seaside community. A professional shark hunter is called for help. An ambitious governmental figure refuses to believe there's a problem. Sound familiar? Well so did Universal and after the film became a surprising box office success, they sued and it was pulled from cinemas. It's never been legally released on video in the US or shown on TV but lives on through bootlegs.
Shark aka Monster Shark
Mixing it up a bit, this one again concerns a plagued tourist spot but rather than one of your regular sharks, this one is a hybrid that's been mutated from an octopus and a prehistoric fish. It's then up to scientists to save the day. Interestingly, the film was known under a whole load of other names, including Devil Fish, Devouring Waves and Shark: Red on the Ocean.
Jaws In Japan aka Psycho Shark
One of the more, ahem, obvious homages to Spielberg's classic, this more recent knockoff actually changed its name to Psycho Shark mere weeks before the US DVD release for fairly obvious reasons. Most annoyingly, the shark is barely in it, cropping up just three times throughout. And one of those times is in a damn dream...