Shark in Venice

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Sharks in Venice
Shark in Venice.jpg
Directed by Danny Lerner
Produced by Lee Weldon
Written by Danny Lerner
Starring Stephen Baldwin
Vanessa Johansson
Bashar Rahal
Music by Steve Edwards
Cinematography Ross W. Clarkson
Edited by Michele Gisser
Nu Image Films
Venice Sharks
Distributed by First Look International
Release date
  • August 6, 2008 (2008-08-06)
Running time
88 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Shark in Venice (Sharks in Venice in the United States) is a 2008 American natural-horror film directed by Danny Lerner and starring Stephen Baldwin, Bashar Rahal and Vanessa Johansson.


The film takes place in Venice, where David Franks (Stephen Baldwin) and his girlfriend Laura (Vanessa Johansson) are meeting with Venetian police to learn more about the mysterious disappearance of David's father. During the boatride to where they think David's father may have last been seen, David sees the dorsal fin of a large shark. In a double-take he looks back and the fin is gone. David and another man (Rossi) enter the canals wearing wetsuits and scuba gear. A large shark preys on the two and in a sudden attack the Italian man is eaten. David is bitten in the shoulder but manages to escape to a cave.

In the cave, David narrowly escapes several close calls with contraptions recalling those in the opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark; the film also borrows quite liberally from the plot of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. He then emerges in a large room in the cave which holds vast amounts of treasure. David stares in wonder at it, pockets a gold and emerald brooch and returns to Laura in the boat. The next scene shows him recuperating in a hospital bed with Laura by his side.

David and Laura are asked to meet and have dinner with business-man Vito Clemenza (Giacomo Gonnella). Clemenza produces the brooch David had taken from the treasure room and asks David to return to the cave. As unsuspecting tourists are devoured, David contemplates his next move. Before too long Laura is kidnapped by Clemenza's Mafia goons. David decides to try to save her with the help of the Venetian police. Ultimately, David defeats the Mafia, saves Laura and finds the treasure, which his father had died searching for. Clemenza is killed by one of the sharks when he falls in the water while fighting David.

It is unclear whether it is a scientific phenomenon leading to the gradual increase in the temperature of the Grand Canal and the presence of at least one Great white shark taking up residence in the city of Venice.[1] Later in the film Clemenza appears to tell David that he is the one who has introduced the sharks to the waterways.



The film was shot on location in Bulgaria.[2] In fact, the director intended to name the movie Shark in Bulgaria, however, it would not have had the same "flow" as if the movie were titled Shark in Venice.


The score was composed by Stephen Edwards and produced by Source in sync.[3]


The film was released on 14 December 2008 in the United States, and on 6 August 2009 on DVD as Der weiße Hai von Venedig in Germany.[4] It has received negative reviews, holding a rating of 2.5/10 on IMDb and a score of 14% on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 454 user reviews and one critic review. An online reviewer on the website Bananas About Movies wrote that it is "a bad film, poorly made. But just bad enough to be worth watching. At least once. Then strike it from your mind."[5]

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