US tv mini-series (1998). Hallmark Entertainment Distribution/MGM Television for ABC-TV. Produced by Brent-Karl Clackson. Directed by Stuart Gillard. Written by Rockne S O'Bannon, based on the novel White Shark (1994; vt Creature 1997) by Peter Benchley (1940-2006). Cast includes Kim Cattralls, Colm Feore, Craig T Nelson and Brian Steele. Special effects by Stan Winston. 240 minutes. Colour.
During the Vietnam War, the US Navy attempts to create a living amphibious Weapon by splicing human DNA into that of great white sharks, producing deadly human/shark hybrid Monsters. The project is cancelled and the creatures destroyed, but one escapes. Many years later it reappears, preying on seaside communities of an Island that also houses an abandoned military laboratory. Dr Simon Chase (Nelson) learns what the creature is, and works with Dr Amanda Mayson (Cattrall) to stop it. Eventually it is lured into a pressure-chamber inside the old base, and killed by lowering the pressure level.
Benchley's novel differs from the film in that his original creature was a man surgically and chemically transformed into a weapon by Nazis during World War Two; the concept was updated to Genetic Engineering for filming. Benchley had enjoyed enormous success with his bestselling Jaws (1974) and essentially spent the rest of his career trying to duplicate its success. White Shark/Creature was his only real sf work. [GFi]
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