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Shark Week Part 3: Shark Movies to Lose Sleep Over

From "Avalanche Sharks" to "Zombie Sharks" and everything in between, movies about sharks have been keeping people up at night for generations. Normally, we would never advise losing sleep over something as silly as an underwater blockbuster, but there' no better way to end a week of scientific study (and sail into a holiday weekend) than to get lost in a sea of shark movies.

6 Shark Movies To Stay Up For During Shark Week

Some are scary, some are funny and most are campy. Here' our list of shark movies to stay up for during Shark Week.

  1. "Jaws"

    We couldn't help but lead off this list with the most identifiable movie of the genre. Jaws isn't just the ideal shark movie, it' one of the classic summer blockbusters of all time. Upon its release, it became the highest-grossing film ever up to that point. The two-note theme scared millions out of the water, and it' worth re-watching again today to see Richard Dreyfuss try to spear a 25 foot great white from inside a broken cage.

  2. "White Death"

    Released in 1936, this film follows novelist Zane Grey, a real-life celebrity famous for his books about the American frontier, on a fishing trip to Australia. There, he learns of a large shark named "white death" and decides to catch it, upsetting local wildlife specialists. The adventure story may not thrill movie-goers today, but it shows that Hollywood has been inspired by sharks since the very earliest days of cinema.

  3. "Deep Blue Sea"

    This 1999 movie combines science fiction with the mainstays of a natural disaster movie to create an experience that is at once horrifying and hilariously campy. A team of medical researchers genetically engineer a group of Mako sharks to make their brains larger and things go, predictably, awry. You'll have to watch to see who gets eaten and who makes it out alive, but the highlight of the movie is definitely rapper-turned-actor LL Cool J hunting sharks with a parrot on his shoulder.

  4. "Sharknado"

    Yes, we had to include it. 2013' surprise hit was made for the Syfy channel and centered around a freak waterspout/tornado that blew various sharks out of the Pacific Ocean and into downtown Los Angeles, where they proceeded to wreak havoc on unsuspecting citizens and C-list movie stars alike. Sharknado simultaneously parodies and embraces all of the tropes of the genre, and the movie won enough interest to spawn two sequels (and counting!). Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens will broadcast at the end of this month.

  5. "Sharktopus"

    Before Sharknado, another campy, made-for-TV disaster movie lurked on cable channels. In 2010, Sharktopus told the story of a secret plan to combine the DNA of a shark with that of an octopus in order to create a super-weapon. As it turns out, this was another bad idea by rouge scientists that resulted in lots of people being eaten. This one ends with a particularly wild explosion.

  6. "Shark!"

    5 years before Jaws hit theatres, Burt Reynolds starred in this action film about a stranded outlaw who gets mixed up with a pair of treasure hunters. Reynolds' character joins them in dives for treasure, but soon learns that there' another reason they want him around.

So, if you've grown tired of the educational programming over the week, kick back and enjoy a very different shark-watching experience tonight. Try not to stay up too late, and always check the pool for rogue scientists or their man-made abominations before swimming!

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