In honor of ‘Shark Week’ I thought I would give a shout out to The Treasure of Jamaica Reef/Evil in the Deep! This movie was originally filmed in late 1971, but for some reason (as the movie truly makes no coherent sense whatsoever), it took them 4 more years before it was released – March of 1975. The only thing good to say about this movie is the scenery: Stephen in swim-wear for one thing, Cheryl Ladd in swim-wear for another, and the underwater photography. Other than that, it is a very amateurishly filmed endeavor. Thanks to Stephen’s National Geographic-like over-dub, we at least have some sense of what’s going on. But it doesn’t help a whole lot. The story basically follows a group of friends who travel to Jamaica to look for a lost Spanish treasure. There is a hint of a flirtation between Boyd and Ladd throughout the picture, but no actual romance, unfortunately. The really bizarre thing about this movie is after the Jaws craze of the summer of 1975, this whole mess was re-released again in the summer of 1976 with a new poster and added scenes with other actors. This time around the treasure they are looking for is cursed and, of course, there are added shark scenes. Stephen even filmed extra scenes at sea and in bed to add a racier element to this now rated R version of the same movie. He looks noticeably older in the additional shots as they were filmed 5 years after the original movie. Stephen seems to have had a great time filming the original in 1971 – he grins happily throughout the whole movie, showing off his slim, tanned physique and his amateur pilot skills. However, he does seem perplexed and haggard filming the re-cut version. He must have wondered why he was filming scenes for a movie he had made 5 years earlier. Here are some screen shots from both versions–and an interesting interview with Stephen about the filming of the movie. Stephen couldn’t swim!
What!? I wish this romantic scene between Boyd and Ladd had actually taken place in the movie!
When Treasure of Jamaica Reef became Evil in the Deep! Below is a promo photo taken when the new scenes were added and the Jaws element was in full play.
Screen shots from the original Treasure of Jamaica Reef. No sharks in this version!
Screen shots from the re-imagined Jaws version of the movie, renamed Evil in the Deep. And look–there is a shark!!!