Written by / 9/13/2015 / No comments / , , , , ,

PULP NOVEL 'HIS BONES ARE CORAL' BECOMES A CHOPPY 'SHARK'

SHARK Year: 1969
Sometimes you run into a terrific pulp novel watching a bad movie. The Samuel Fuller sea noir SHARK (in which stuntman José Marco died by Shark attack during production) came out in 1969 and starred a then mostly unknown Burt Reynolds as a drug runner, who actually mentions that he's only heard of that occupation, "drug runner," in the movies... His footloose, hunted character is used by a supposed father/daughter team to dive for gold in shark-infested waters. This was based on the book HIS BONES ARE CORAL by British author Victor Canning, and with a title like that, it was well worth finding after searching a few used bookstores.

Novel Published: 1954
This particular hardback jacket sleeve has a terrific Hemingway TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT style cover of an old fishing boat rocking through stormy waters. Wherein the film begins with a choppily edited shark attack, the book opens with our anti-hero crashing his plane and then hiding a "stash" in a cheap Cairo hotel, where he soon meets a pretty girl who introduces him to her father, and, like the movie, is hired to captain a charter where dad can dive for gold while sharks patrol the area... but are only attracted to blood. Our ragged lead winds up fighting for his life to win the girl, and to come out of the situation without getting stabbed by human goons or eaten by ferocious sharks.

Burt in Shark
The first-person narrative is pulpy, poetic, corny, lovely; the action flows and the dialogue is passionate, dreamy and tough at the same time. The only downside is the second half doesn't live up to the first, being that, like many dime novels, the guy gets too weepy and whipped by the backstabbing dame... but no matter...

CORAL was a fantastic read that wouldn't have been discovered by Cult Film Freak without that maligned Sam Fuller flick, ruined by studio henchman, which is not only difficult to understand in the dialogue department, taking place in Cairo where the actors seem like the real thing and thus, dubbed horribly. Even Americans like Arthur Kennedy (playing a Walter Brennan style rummy sidekick) and Barry Sullivan rush their lines: providing what feels like a Noir collage of sneaky conversations with brief bouts of jumbled action. Although, technically, if you center on individual shots, creative camera angles, and a few neatly-flowing non-cut performances by a genuinely cool Bogart-style Burt Reynolds, Mr. Fuller's poetic signature is visible, somewhat, within those murky, muddied waters.
Opening Credit Sequence Font... The "A" looks damn cool
Share This Post :
Tags : , , , , ,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

All Time Popular

Featured Post

JONATHAN KAPLAN DIRECTS RAY LIOTTA IN 'UNLAWFUL ENTRY'

Ray Liotta in UNLAWFUL ENTRY Year: 1992 Rating: ***1/2 Some former student directors of low-budget movie-producing icon Roger Corman, no ma...

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM
Movie Reviews, Interviews, Articles and Pop Culture from White Heat to Blue City

A MONTH FOR OLIVER REED

RIP ACTOR KEN HUTCHISON

TOTAL HITS

Popular Trending

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE
RANDOM QUOTE: "Blanks are rarely total." Gig Young, The Shuttered Room

NEO NOIR & FILM NOIR CINEMA


Reviews from the movies of Charles Bronson

FAVORITES SHORTLIST

1)OTLEY 2)HELL IS A CITY 3)ROBBERY 4)CANYON PASSAGE 5)THE FEARMAKERS 6)VIOLENT SATURDAY 7)HOT CARS 8)JUNGLE STREET 9)THE MAN FROM LARAMIE 10)THE CROWDED SKY 11))ANATOMY OF A MURDER 12)SHARKS' TREASURE 13)SWEENEY TWO 14)RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA 15)HARDCORE 16)THE SYSTEM 17)WHITE HEAT 18)THE SERGEANT 19)TENTACLES 20)FALLEN ANGEL 21)NIGHT CREATURES 22)CURSE OF THE DEMON 23)ASH WEDNESDAY 24)KILLER FISH 25)AIR PATROL 26)DUEL IN THE JUNGLE 27)EASY LIVING 28)WILLIAM CONRAD'S BRAINSTORM 29)FRENZY 30)THE ROARING TWENTIES 1)DANA ANDREWS 2)JAMES CAGNEY 3)JACK NICHOLSON 4)MARLON BRANDO 5)STANLEY BAKER 1)VIRGINIA MAYO 2)SUE LYON 3)GENE TIERNEY 4)MERRY ANDERS 5)FAYE DUNAWAY DIRECTORS 1)JACQUES TOURNEUR 2)RICHARD FLEISCHER 3)STANLEY KUBRICK 4)ORSON WELLES 5)OTTO PREMINGER 6)JOHN LANDIS 7)JOHN GUILLERMAN 8)VAL GUEST 9)JOHN CARPENTER 10)MICHAEL WINNER

BRITISH NEW WAVE CINEMA

RARITIES AND EXPLOITATION

HAMMER HORROR & THRILLER

Popular This Month

WESTERN GENRE REVIEWS

CINEMA OF DANA ANDREWS

PEAKING INTO THE SIXTIES

KICKING IN THE EIGHTIES

TALES AND REFLECTIONS

REVVING THE SEVENTIES

FOR HORROR MOVIE REVIEWS


Reviews for the British series The Sweeney

Most Popular Last Year

RETURN TO THE HOMEPAGE