Jason’s Awesome DVD Shelf #719: Omoo-Omoo The Shark God

(To explain the number in the title, it’s the 719th movie in my collection. That’s how I plan on organizing these reviews.)

Nothing like an 1940’s public domain film to kick things off! With a shitty transfer to boot! This film, along with 19 other movies that I’m sure look and feel the same, are found on a 20 pack DVD called CULT MOVIES! After watching this, I’m not sure what cult would worship this movie but I want nothing to do with them.

The start of Omoo-Omoo tells me this is based on a story by Herman Melville, the guy who bought Moby Dick to life. And this movie is similar to Moby Dick. There’s an obsessed captain, an abused shipmate, some mild racism. And a “shark”. I’ll explain why that’s in quotes.

Our narrator is the ship’s doctor who’s telling this story despite not being in several scenes of the movie. Later in the movie, he explained that he was “just outside the hut” just listening but you still never saw him. In fact, this doctor was only in like 3 or 4 scenes of the movie and ended up being the most worthless character on the face of the planet.

He introduces us to the other characters that include Jeff Garland, Shipmate Richards, a guy named Texas, the Captain, the Captain’s daughter Julie, and native guy named Tembo. Things kick into high gear when Richards find Tembo hiding on the ship and threaten to punch him when Jeff steps in and says he bought him on board and we get a 5 minute fight scene between Richards and Jeff. It’s during this highly choreographed fight scene that we learn the Captain is sick with a mysterious illness that the Doctor can’t find a cure for. Eventually, The Captain gets enough energy to get out of bed, shoot a gun to break up the fight, and threaten Richards.

Through A LOT of exposition, we learn that the ship we’re on is heading to an island called Toganda or something. The Captain befriended the natives there on an earlier trip, who worship an idol called The Shark God and its eyes are made of black pearls. And this idol BARELY looks like a shark. It looks like that blind chick from that Lionel Ritchie music video made this thing. Anyway, the Captain stole the pearls and hid them somewhere on the island so he’s going back to get them. Richards and Texas learn about this and scheme behind the Captain’s back to get the pearls. Jeff just wants to fuck Julie.

Turns out Tembo is also from this island and he was tasked to go find The Captain and bring him back so he can find the pearls and put them back in the idol. See, ever since The Captain did this, the island has fallen on hard times. Crops won’t grow. It stopped raining. And all the men’s dicks stopped working. OK, they don’t come out and say that last part but god damn its heavily implied.

This movie is only 56 minutes long and about 15 minutes of it is dedicated to stock footage of sea creatures big and small doing their thing in the ocean. There’s a HILARIOUS scene where Julie wants to go swimming but The Doctor is like “NO! Look at this octopus!” and clearly the footage of the octopus is deep underwater with no possible way to see this, yet they keep cutting back to them watching this octopus eating small fish. Eventually all the small fish band together and overthrow the octopus. I’m sure this was symbolism for World War 2, even though the story takes place in 1867. (Octopus=Hitler?)

After what feels like forever, they find the island and go to shore. Tembo guides them to his village but not before getting more stock footage of jungle animals that include an anaconda that don’t want none, a tiger, and several monkeys. The Captain, who is really sick now, is dragged to the village and their medicine man tries to revive him so he can tell them where the pearls are. Meanwhile, Richards and Texas are still scheming to get them so Texas notices that Julie and Jeff are getting real close. Richards, trying to get the Captain to trust him, tells him about Julie but the Captain only cares about the pearls so Richards punches the shit out of the Captain and leaves. The Captain yells out in pain, causing Julie to rush to his side. He tells her where the pearls are hidden and he dies. The location of the pearls is fucking hilarious. I want a prequel to know what the hell he was doing when he stole these things. He simply MOVED A STONE ON THE IDOL HE STOLE THEM FROM AND HID THEM BEHIND IT AND SIMPLY PUT THE STONE BACK! God damn, this island needs a detective.

Now that Julie knows where the pearls are, she too gets the same sickness her dad has and gets greedy. Recognizing that this is part of the curse, Jeff wants to find the pearls and put them back. Richards beats the shit out of Jeff with Jeff not even trying. Come on, man, at least throw a fucking punch, dude! Everyone gets separated and there’s some gun shots as Richards tries to shoot Jeff but then he runs out of bullets so he simply throws the gun at Jeff and IT FUCKING HITS HIM IN THE FACE! God, Jeff! Can you not FUCK up at least once?

Texas finds the pearls and stupidly gives them to Richards who SWEARS he’s not going to double cross him. Except when he totally does, shooting him in the back. Jeff comes back for round 18 and gets his ass kicked some more when Tembo, who told Jeff that he owes him one for saving his life earlier on the ship, throws a spear at Richards, killing him. Julie puts the pearls back on the idol, her curse is lifted, and she and Jeff bang all the way back to America. I’m assuming.

“Oh god, is that stone idol I went to high school with still behind me?”

Wow, this movie is boring. It’s wacky in parts but there’s a lot of standing around and talking and a whole lot of stock footage. It’s not even good in a cheesy way. It’s just…there. The price tag is still on the DVD this movie is in and I paid 3.99 for this. So it break that down this movie only cost me .00004 cents (I did the math so you don’t have to!) and I think I paid .00002 cents too much.

1.5 rating systems out of 5.

-Jason

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