Tintorera (1976) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

We both concluded that this is a beautiful remastering of a pretty good exploitation film from the 70s. Previous North American releases of this film have included only an incomprehensible 89 minutes of the original 134. The new release is not the full version, but is a comprehensible, self-contained 125-126 minutes which would be just fine except that the missing footage includes some of the best nudity.

Scoop's comments in white:

I guess you can best describe director Rene Cardona Jr as the Mexican Roger Corman. Like Corman, he'd wait for a hot topic or genre, then rush out a bunch of quickie grade-B flicks filled with some action and lots of sex, hoping to get his share of whatever people were then interested in. In fact Cardona out-Cormaned Corman in quickie directing jobs, 94 films to 54, although Corman's reputation is based less on his direction than on the 346 films that he produced.

Right after the release of Jaws, sharks were the hot topic, so Cardona came up with Tintorera, which is basically a very soft softcore porn film, probably intended for the drive-in market, with some pretty good underwater scenes of two guys hunting sharks. The shark hunters are supposed to be the two stars of the film, but the scenes appear to be your basic stock footage from shark week on the Discovery Channel.

Essentially, this film is a celebration of 1970s hedonism. Two Mexican playboys decide to team up to pick up chicks. They start out as rivals, but they realize they can do a lot better by co-operating and matching up their strengths. One has the looks and charm while the other has the money and a fancy boat, so together they represent the perfect magnet to seduce the English-speaking tourists. That doesn't prove especially difficult, since those women have basically gone on vacation to get laid anyway, so they are easy pickin's for a studly guy and a rich guy.

Some of the people who commented at IMDb said that this film is incomprehensible. I can see why they wrote that because there are two versions, a 134 minute version shown in Mexico, and an 89 minute one shown in the States. I guess the people who complained saw the short version, since it seems likely that anyone watching 89 minutes of a 134 minute movie would find it incomprehensible.

I found the narrative on the DVD version to be straightforward and easy to follow.

Not that interesting, but easy enough to follow.

Unfortunately, the new "25th anniversary DVD" is NOT the entire film. It is 125 minutes long. The version I watched does preserve the narrative and continuity (such as it is), but does not show all the nudity.

{cough} blowjob {cough}

Just to illustrate my point, here is a capture done by a fellow nicknamed Umpire. Of the six frames he presents here, not one is on the 25th Anniversary DVD, although there is some additional (brief) nudity in the frames immediately before and after this sequence, and those other frames are on the DVD. In the DVD version, this scene is completely missing Andres Garcia's happy stick, as well as some footage of Susan George's breasts. 

So it goes.

This is, of course, not a good movie, as I suppose you can imagine. There are all sorts of glaring continuity errors, like day/night switches.  It is also hamstrung by incredibly slow forward momentum and the fact that the dialogue switches constantly and rapidly from English to Spanish. (The Spanish dialogue is subtitled in English. The English dialogue is subtitled in Spanish.)

There are four positive elements which take it tolerable:

  • The shark-hunting footage is actually pretty interesting.

  • Even in this somewhat censored version, there is frequent (albeit inexplicit) nudity from seven women, as well as from the two male leads.

  • The two men managed to create fairly interesting characters, although they are not especially proficient actors.

  • The image quality is excellent. The colors are vibrant, the underwater action is crisp, and the entire film has been digitally re-mastered. This 1977 grade-B Mexican movie looks just about as good as a new film.


  • The women show mostly breasts and buns, with only brief glimpses of pubes.
  • Susan George shows her breasts from the side.
  • The incredibly beautiful Fiona Lewis shows everything, but from a long distance.
  • Jennifer Ashley shows her breasts in close up, but shows more in long distance shots in the skinny dipping scene, flashes a dark frontal dancing on the boat. and a offers a fleeting frontal when leaving a hammock
  • Laura Lyons shows her bum and the side of her breasts when she is skinny dipping. She also offers a VERY dark frontal dancing on the boat, and shows her buns in an underwater shot.
  • Priscilla Barnes in topless in her bikini bottom.
  • Two other unidentified women show their breasts. one in the water with Barnes, and another dancing at a beach party.
  • Hugo Stiglitz and Andres Garcia show their bums and Garcia even offers a brief frontal shot.

DVD info from Amazon

  • full frame, open matte

  • excellent transfer, digitally remastered visuals

  • nine minutes of the film have been cut, including some of Susan George's and Andre Garcia's best nudity.

In other words, it's a fairly good drive-in picture, comparable to some of Corman's average efforts. I suppose that the low 3.8 score at IMDb includes lots of votes from people who saw the incomprehensible 89 minute version. The longer version could be in the 4s or possibly even in the 5s. It's a fairly enjoyable junk film.

Tuna's comments in yellow

Tintorera (1976), which translates "Tiger Shark", is an exploitation film trying to capitalize on the popularity of Jaws, and the sexual freedom of the mid 60s. Two Mexican tourists, one a gigolo, the other a wealthy businessman who dropped from overwork, are on a small tropical island for vacation. The chief pastimes on the island are sleeping with English women and fishing for sharks.

The businessman meets the woman of his dreams, Fiona Lewis, only to have her taken away by the clever gigolo. After sleeping with the gigolo, she goes for a nude swim, and is eaten by a tiger shark. When the businessman confronts the gigolo, they end up best of friends, and share some other women, separately and together, while the gigolo also teaches the businessman to spearfish for sharks.

When a tiger shark eats the gigolo, the businessman, unable to face the memories.

Not to worry. Our businessman meets Priscilla Barnes and an unknown woman, and takes them to a party where he exchanges them for two women. Then several from the party decide to go skinny dipping, whereupon the tiger shark eats one woman and terrorizes the rest. At that point, the businessman gets pissed and goes after the shark.

The film uses a mixture of English and Spanish, without any rhyme nor reason, and has mixed subtitles that are often, but not always translations of the language being spoken into the other language. From this, I suspect that an English and a Spanish version were combined to create this DVD. The mixed subtitles were a little strange to get used to, but the film is long enough that I wasn't even noticing by the end. Whatever the source material, the transfer looks very good indeed, with great color saturation, no sign of negative damage, and passable sound.

While that may be a fair score comparing it to every other movie ever made, it does much better using the Fun House grading system

The Critics Vote ...

  • No major reviews online.

The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, Tuna says, "It is an entertaining Jaws rip off with with a lot of nudity and good photography. This is a C as a mid 70s foreign grade B exploitation film." Scoop says, "It's a grade-B cheapie, and not a good movie by absolute standards, but is a reasonably good drive-in flick which has been digitally remastered to beautiful visual quality. I would certainly match Tuna's "C" if the special anniversary edition had not been trimmed by eight or nine minutes, which dropped it in my mind to a C-. Don't get the DVD unless you are aware that it has been trimmed, and accept that. It is not the short and incomprehensible 89 minute version, but neither is it the full, uncut 134 minute film. The missing minutes don't seem essential to the narrative, but include some of the best male and female nudity."

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