12 Days of Terror

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12 Days of Terror
DVD release poster
Based on Twelve Days of Terror
by Richard Fernicola
Screenplay by Jeffrey Reiner
Tommy Lee Wallace
Directed by Jack Sholder
Starring Colin Egglesfield
Mark Dexter
Jenna Harrison
Theme music composer J. Peter Robinson
Country of origin South Africa
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) Dennis Stuart Murphy
Cinematography Jacques Haitkin
Editor(s) Michael Schweitzer
Running time 86 minutes
Original network Animal Planet
Fox Television
Original release
  • 2004 (2004)

12 Days of Terror is a 2004 television film directed by Jack Sholder and starring Colin Egglesfield, Mark Dexter, Jenna Harrison and John Rhys-Davies. It premiered on Animal Planet, and later on The Discovery Channel.[1]


Based on true events that occurred 1—12 July 1916 in Central and Southern New Jersey, as recounted in the book of the same name by Richard Fernicola, the film recounts the 12 days during which people along the Jersey coast were subject to attacks by a shark (in the film it is a great white shark). Initially, the authorities hesitated to take action, and the issue of sacrificing the safety of human beings for the sake of business was raised. After the second attack, modest precautions were taken, and scientific experts and civil authorities published assurances that area beaches had been made safe again. On 12 July a shark was sighted swimming into the freshwater canal of Matawan Creek—one expert who had come to capture the animal speculated that this indicated a bull shark. Children and young adults swimming upstream in the creek were attacked. After the shark was finally captured offshore, an autopsy was performed, and it is said that 15 pounds of human flesh with bones were found in its stomach. In the end, four people had been killed and a fifth badly injured. The remains of one young boy were never recovered. Because a propensity for human flesh is unnatural in sharks, scientists are still investigating why this shark did what it did.



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