SHARKSPLOITATION on Shudder is a new documentary about shark horror movies and how the niche has evolved over the decades. It features interviews with famous writers and filmmakers. Read our full Sharksploitation review here!

SHARKSPLOITATION is a new Shudder shark-themed documentary about sharks in horror movies. Specifically, it focuses on how the stories in shark horror movies have evolved and changed over the decades.

Very importantly, it does also spend quite some time focusing on how sharks have been hunted for sport. In part, as a direct result of movies such as Jaws. Not to shame the movies, but rather to highlight the old “with great power, comes great responsibility”-angle.

Continue reading our Sharksploitation documentary review below. Find it on Shudder from July 21, 2023.

Do not miss out on this documentary!

As a fan of shark horror movies and someone who loves animals, I loved this new Shudder documentary. I mean, a feature-length documentary that examines the sub-genre of sharksploitation films? What more could you ask for?!

Well, you could ask for filmmakers of iconic cult shark movies, critics, professors in monsters, and conservation advocates. And you will be getting all of that and more in Sharksploitation.

Rarely have I had the pleasure of watching such a complete and nuanced take of the shark horror genre. And it even covers every kind of sharksploitation movie from Corman’s 1958 She Gods of Shark Reef, to the release of Jaws, and the subsequent knockoffs.

Yes, even a movie such as Sharknado. For that particular movie, we actually get the entire idea behind it, which is something along the lines of; Let’s just go absolutely crazy with this one!

Sharksploitation – Review | Shudder Documentary

So many important participants

Often, a documentary is only as good as the people you can get involved. For Sharksploitation, the documentary filmmaker and producers have managed to get a brilliant collection of participants for interviews.

This includes Marine and Environmental Conservation Advocate Wendy Benchley, who was married to the late Peter Benchley who wrote the books Jaws was based on. And, of course, also the Jaws screenwriter Carl Gottlieb.

Moving on from Jaws, we have Roger Corman, producer of Sharktopus and Dinoshark, and the iconic filmmaker Joe Dante, who directed Corman’s Piranha. In terms of more recent shark horror movie hits, we get Johannes Roberts, director of 47 Meters Down, and Chris Kentis, writer-director of Open Water.

Also, we do hear from a few of those who have made it their lives work to focus on monsters, including Dr. Emily Zarka. Perfect for the theme of this documentary, we hear from Danish author Christian Bogh. He wrote “From God to Movie Villain” which features the complete history of sharks in movies.

For the record, this is the accent Kenneth Branagh should’ve nailed for Niels Bohr in Oppenheimer. Christian Bogh has a Danish accent that is so thick, it almost feels like a spoof. However, this takes nothing from his input being great. He clearly knows (and loves) the sharksploitation subject.

Watch Sharksploitation on Shudder now!

Sharksploitation comes from filmmaker Stephen Scarlata. As far as I can tell, this is his first credit as a director, which bodes really well for this career. This is a brilliant documentary and I hope it’s just the first of many more Shudder documentaries on various horror (or sci-fi) subgenres.

The new Shudder shark-themed documentary was produced by Scarlata, Kerry Deignan Roy (Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist), and Josh Miller (Sonic the Hedgehog).

As a fan of the subgenre, I love that while Jaws is obviously a key turning point for this subgenre, it also looks at the movies that came before. And, of course, those that came after. Anyone who enjoys shark horror movies should watch this. Actually, anyone curious about sharks should watch this.

Sharksploitation starts streaming on Shudder on July 21, 2023.


Dive into the birth of a subgenre in the shadow of the legendary Jaws. Discover a deep-sea documentary that navigates the bizarre legacy of shark cinema and humanity’s ceaseless intrigue. 

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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