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The White Shark (or Der Weisse Hai as it was called by its Nazi creators) is the titular main antagonist of the 1994 novel of the same name by the late Peter Benchley, and its 1998 television miniseries adaptation Creature. Created as a biological superweapon, this man-shark hybrid escapes refinement and causes havoc to the citizens of the Atlantic coastline.

In the miniseries, it was portrayed by Brian Steele, who also played the Berserker Predator in Predators, William Corvinus in Underworld: Evolution, Kothoga in The Relic, and Sammael in Hellboy.

Biography

Novel

The White Shark was created by mad scientist Ernst Kruger as the ultimate soldier to assist the Nazis in winning World War II. All of Kruger's test subjects were killed by his experimentation except for one, a psychotic SS officer and ex-Olympic triathlete named Heinrich Guenther. He was altered and manipulated into becoming a shark-like monster, including an implantation of steel teeth and claws. Kruger put the monster into a hibernation, before sealing it within a container and shipping it on a submarine out of Germany. However, the submarine was sunk by the Allies, killing Kruger and his men, and losing the box containing the White Shark.

Decades later, divers find the wreckage of the submarine and the box containing the White Shark. Upon opening the box, they unintentionally awaken the creature from its slumber. After killing the divers, the White Shark moves to the waters off Long Island, where it slaughters everything in its path, including fish, birds, mammals, and random people. Despite the worrying citizens, none of the officials, including biologist Dr. Simon Chase, can identify the suspect as a sea creature as its teeth and claw marks leave metallic traces. The residents of Long Island believe the culprit is a great white shark lurking in the area, only for it to become a victim to the White Shark as well.

Chase later meets Jacob Franks, a Holocaust survivor who was forced to assist Kruger's experiments on the White Shark, revealing the intentions of the monster. He also tells Chase that the White Shark was taught how to drain air from its lungs but not vice versa, meaning that once the creature comes ashore, it can never return to the water. Chase and his assistant Tall Man use Jacob's fact as an advantage in trapping the White Shark into a decompression chamber, where the intense pressure causes it to explode.

Miniseries

In Creature, loosely based on the novel, the White Shark (credited as The Creature) is not a Nazi experiment but a regular hybrid of a shark infused with human DNA. It was created by Dr. Ernest Bishop, with the ability to adapt to both water and land. While showing his creation to Navy officers on a Caribbean island, the hybrid breaks free of its tank and kills the other specimens and Bishop. Adm. Anthony Richland orders Lt. Thomas Peniston, Dr. Bishop's assistant, to kill the monster, but Peniston instead imprisons it in a containment unit and dumps it in the sea.

25 years later, a local fisherman of Long Island named Adam Puckett discovers the container with the creature and accidentally releases it. Another fisherman named Benjamin Mediera is eaten by the creature, which the police believe is the work of a pregnant great white shark that was freed from his net by Dr. Chase and Tall Man. Peniston, driven mad with regret of letting the creature live and thought of it returning, reveals that it was not the shark that killed Mediera when he spots the empty container, but nobody believes him. As Chase, Dr. Macy, Tall Man, and his girlfriend Tauna find more clues on the culprit, the creature mauls Kimo when he and Chase's son Max were out swimming, making Chief Gibson order all fisherman to hunt the great white, accusing Chase and Macy on performing witchcraft with the shark.

Chase and his group try to search for the creature against the chief's orders. They find the beast, fleeing from it when it attacks their boat. Meanwhile, Puckett kills the great white and the islanders celebrate. Chase tries to tell the chief that the shark was not the suspect, but is ignored. Peniston uses a horn to attract the creature to prove that it is still out there; it attacks him, but Chase and the others save him and refuge him to their headquarters.

The next day, Chase discovers claw marks on his boat, enhancing his theory on the shark's innocence. When Peniston shows Chase and Macy the submerged tunnel leading to the research facility where the creature was born, they discover that the creature disarmed Puckett's traps and moved them in the tunnel. It attacks them, though they are able to get away due to the creatures short limbs being too weak to move it out of the water. However, it immediately evolves to rapidly extend its limbs, allowing it to resume the chase. The group seal the tunnel and leave the research facility by boat. At the docks, the creature pulls Max into the water by tugging at the mooring line, but Chase manages to pull his son back up. The creature grows at Chase before swimming away.

Richland arrives on the island by helicopter and destroys the tunnel's entrance, threatening Chase to stay out of his way. Meanwhile, Puckett goes diving only to be killed by the creature. While Max and Elizabeth search a swamp near a rum factory in search for Tauna, they find Puckett's decapitated head stuck in a trap in a swamp. The creature attacks them through the trees, chasing them to Tauna's house which it promptly destroys, finally making the chief accept the creature's existence from his daughter's testimony. The chief and Richland lead their squad to the swamp, where Chase reveals that Richland was present at the original event, covering up the incident that caused people to be at risk. During Richland's threats to kill Chase, the creature ambushes the group and kills Richland's men. The chief falls into water, but Richland refuses to help him and waits for the creature to attack him as live bait. Chase rescues Gibson and runs off from Richland and the creature back to town, the latter of which knocks over a bridge, sending Richland into the water where he is eaten.

Chase returns to headquarters where Peniston reveals that he spared the creature's life in the first place because his blood was donated to create it, making him feel it is a part of him. They make Robin, Macy's pet sea lion, use a camera attached to her head to locate the creature. She locates its lair at the ruins of the research faculty, only for the creature to attack her and the camera goes blank. Tall Man and Peniston enter the tunnel, finding the creature eating Robin. Tall Man shoots the creature, but due to Peniston's interference, he is injured. Chase arrives and helps Tall Man escape, but is pursued by the creature. It attacks Chase and almost kills him, but Max uses Peniston's sound device to distract the creature before escaping on a zipline. Peniston takes the sound device and uses it to make the creature chase him into a pressure chamber, refusing to let the creature die alone. As the creature kills Peniston, Chase locks them in, builds pressure high enough before smashing the window, causing an explosive decompression that kills the creature.

Personality

In both the novel and the miniseries, the White Shark is unlike any mindless predator using natural instincts. Instead, it is a pure savage and sadistic monster that kills people and animals left and right for no reason other than its own pleasure. This can be justified in both versions: the novel has the White Shark being an altered Nazi soldier who enjoyed the thrill of killing others, and the miniseries where it was bred specifically for combat purposes.

Trivia

  • Peter Benchley based the White Shark's havoc on Long Island from the Great White Sharks' havoc of Amity Island. Ironically, he is the author of both Jaws and White Shark.
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