‘Jaws’

 

Film: Jaws
Rated: PG
Directed by: Steven Spielberg

 

Starring:
Roy Scheider:  Sheriff Brody
Richard Dreyfuss:  Hooper
Robert Shaw:  Quint

 

Tagline: Don’t go in the water

 

By:  Efferdent Johnson

 

Past memories: In 1975, I was doing my best to propagate the best hair helmet any pre-teen had ever hoped to wear. My interests were few and my fears were many. Some of which were brought to the surface by a frightening grey machine with a zillion teeth and a thirst for blood. By my tenth year of life, the most frightening movie experiences were the ever-so-scary villains of Disney. I can remember sinking in my seat during Willy Wonka’s boat ride, or almost all of Chitty Chitty Bang AHHHHHHHHH!!!

 

Jaws would never affect me… or so I thought. The chances of me seeing the movie were less than my chances for a Senate seat. My mom would make sure that her young sons would not be turned to evil, sexually confused or exposed to the violence of the cinema. The following summer Rocky came to town and my brothers and I were not permitted to go. “It is way too bloody and violent. No. I will not tell you again.” I can remember hearing that daily for two weeks.

 

 Mom, though, couldn’t censor every facet of a 10-year-old’s life.

 

The commercials started and it led to a frenzy of attention in our tiny land-locked community in southern Colorado. Every conversation both of adults and kids seemed to begin and end with some reference to a man-eating shark. On the play ground while sneaking up on the girls, my friends and I would be revealed by our own musical accompaniment, “Dunt Dunt, Dunt Dunt”. After the movie played in town and moved on to the drive-in theater, the book appeared on every shelf not already packed with Rockem Sockem Robots, Hardy Boys lunch boxes or Billy Beer. I even remember the local sporting goods store with a Jaws display in the window next to the fishing tackle and baseball cleats. 

 

Never seeing the movie juiced every waterborne fear a 10 year old could have. As an avid swimmer on the swim team, my paranoia was limitless. If a teammate was to scrape at my toes while swimming laps, the chance of something other than urine coming from my Speedo was possible. I guess Spielberg my have been responsible for some of my best times.

               

I am sure the first time I saw the movie was on network TV probably five years later. Robert Shaw has always been the salty fisherman in my mind while reading books about the sea. I can imagine him now as Hemingway’s old man or Melville’s whale-obsessed, one-legged captain. Ah, what a glorious time before Stakeout, Another Stakeout or a terrible Poseidon remake when Richard Dreyfuss was cool. Or to see Roy Scheider  ( R.I.P) as something more than a douche bag flying a fictitious helicopter.

               

Ultimately, the movie didn’t live up to the expectations of my 10-year-old imagination. It was years later while in high school after watching the horrible sequels that I realized why the original had transfixed my tiny hometown. People from every walk of life could relate in some way to a story that was chock full of the human experience. Man vs Man, Man vs Beast, small town politics and obsession that ultimately leads to a bad and bloody end or just having the crap scared out of you, take your pick.

 

If nothing else my friends and I had so much fun replaying the Saturday Night Live skit “Land Shark” that to this day the mention of it will bring us all too contagious belly laughter.

 

And what did Eff think about his most recent screening of a film he had not seen in more than a decade?

Or to download: Here’s Episode V:Jaws.

Advertisements

1 Comment

  1. I love how so many kids (and, let’s face it, adults, too) were afraid of swimming pools in land locked states after this one. I remember just a few images when I was a kid. I snuck up behind the couch when my mom and uncles were watching it and saw the opening sequence. That sticks with a four-year-old!


Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Now Flixster Certified!

  • BEETLEJUICE with GLENN SHADIX

  • LIONHEART with HARRISON PAGE

  • CLUE with director JONATHAN LYNN

  • NIGHTBREED with co-star SIMON BAMFORD

  • POPCORN with star DEREK RYDALL

  • CADDYSHACK with co-star CINDY MORGAN

  • THE WRAITH with co-star CHRIS NASH

  • THE LONELY LADY with co-star JARED MARTIN

  • darkcrystalsmall

    THE DARK CRYSTAL with puppeteer DAVE BARCLAY

  • mischiefsmall

    MISCHIEF with stars DOUG McKEON and CATHERINE MARY STEWART

  • christinesmall

    CHRISTINE with ALEXANDRA PAUL

  • rockulasmall

    ROCKULA with writer/director LUCA BERCOVICI

  • justonesmall

    JUST ONE OF THE GUYS with STU CHARNO

  • buffysmall

    BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER with producer DENNIS MURPHY, fx artist HANK CARLSON

  • tremorssmall

    TREMORS with co-star CHARLOTTE STEWART

  • 3oclocksmall

    THREE O'CLOCK HIGH REUNION with co-stars CAITLIN O'HEANEY, SCOTT TILER and LIZA MORROW

  • visionquestsmall

    VISION QUEST with author TERRY DAVIS

  • westwordlsmall

    WESTWORD with co-star JARED MARTIN

  • SKI PATROL with star Roger Rose

    skipatrolmini
  • BEAT STREET with Ralph Rolle

    beatstreet
  • NIGHT OF THE COMET with Kelli Maroney

    nightofcomet
  • Support Natsukashi: Visit 80s Tees

  • RAD with its star Bill Allen

    radsmall
  • HOUSE with its writer Ethan Wiley

    housesmall
  • THE TERROR WITHIN with its fx artist Bruce Barlow

    terrorwithinsmall
  • HARLEY DAVIDSON and the MARLBORO MAN with actor Jordan Lund

    harleysmall
  • TROLL with fx artist Jim Aupperle

    trollsmall
  • AMERICAN GRAFFITI with ‘Kip Pullman’

    americangraffiti

  • THE BLACK HOLE

    balckholesmall
  • RETURN FROM WITCH MOUNTAIN

    witchmountainsmall
  • THE GREAT MUPPET CAPER

    muppetcapersmall
  • BABY: SECRET of the LOST LEGEND

    babysmall
  • SWAMP THING

    swampthingsmall
  • NIGHT OF THE DEMONS

    nightofdemons
  • THE GIANT of MARATHON

    giantmarathonsmall
  • wordpress
counter