The UKHS Ecstasy & Agony Showcase #17:
The Agony of JAWS: THE REVENGE (1987)
When it comes to a crappy movie that annoys me like crazy, it’s got to be Jaws: The Revenge. It’s a truly awful fishy flick; a major insult to not only Steven Spielberg’s original masterpiece but also every single great white shark swimming in our beautiful oceans. Am I being a little shellfish – sorry, selfish – in my opinion? Nope, because this bottom feeder from the director of 1974’s The Taking of Pelham One Two Three is just taking the piss. Maybe someone should have put Joseph Sargent in the shark cage before he started directing this…
It’s by far the worst film of the Jaws franchise and said to be one of the worst films in history. Ok, why do I hate it so much? The shark effects are terrible and so laughable that you would think a Blue Peter presenter had thrown the fake shark together with some sticky-backed plastic, old washing-up liquid bottles and pipe cleaners. The plot is even more laughable with Ellen Brody, the main character thinking the shark is out for revenge on her and her family. Yes, that’s right, Brody! you will know the name because she is the wife of Police Chief Martin Brody [Roy Scheider], who has since died due to having a heart attack, probably caused by the fear of Sharks, water or listening to another music composer killing John Williams original score, “Dum Dum… Dum Dum… Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum.”
Ellen [Lorraine Gary] is still living in Amity. Her son Sean [Mitchell Anderson], now deputy sheriff himself, answers a call to untangle a buoy out in the sea and soon becomes Shark bait. She retreats to the Bahamas where Michael (Lance Guest), her other son is studying to be a marine biologist. Oh no; a job involving the ocean where Sharks live! Is the shark really smart enough to follow a person from New York to the Bahamas? And if so why didn’t it just take a flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport to get there?
Another reason why I hate this so much is the fact my Dad took me to our local cinema to see Jaws when I was a kid. I loved every little detail about the original movie, from the opening credits; the pure genius of Steven Spielberg making a movie where we never see the creature until well into the film’s second half allowing us to use our imaginations more; the superb acting from Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw; the film’s excellent score; the jump scenes especially the decomposed head that pops out at Hooper and the scene where blood squirts from Quint’s mouth; Peter Benchley fantastic story and the immortal line: “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” That was just pure filmmaking, a real classic.
Now what does Jaws: The Revenge have? Nothing at all. Even the Shark looked more real in the first movie thanks to using footage of real sharks from Australian experts Ron and Valerie Taylor, we have none of this in Revenge just a very fake looking Shark. We don’t get to know and like any of the characters in this just find them very annoying, like the new love interest of Ellen Brody, a guy named Hoagie [Michael Caine] a pilot who has the ability to keep his shirt and trousers dry when he is swimming in the sea. Not even a Harry Brown patch on his pants! Let’s face it, most of us would shit ourselves with pure fear after a shark attack but not Michael Caine; he just swims from his sinking plane and makes it to the boat to join the others, dry as a bone.
And let’s not forget the shark who has some kind of fishy psychic powers to knows where to find the Brody Family. I also find Jake [Mario Van Peebles] very annoying with his bad Caribbean accent and the fact the shark appears to eat him near the end of the film but he then pops up from under the sea covered in fake blood and all his limbs still attached, I really wanted the shark to eat him. We also see lot’s of silly flashback footage in this movie of Roy Scheider from the first movie. Why? Roy Scheider must have felt really crabby seeing this but thank god he was uncredited for the archive footage cameo.
I feel sorry for all the people who paid a few squid to actually see this in the cinema and those who paid for the DVD. I hope you all threw your copies away in the Whaleie bin because It’s just a load of scallops!
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