Directed by: Steven Spielberg. Written by: Peter Benchley and Carl Gottlieb, based on the novel by Peter Benchley.
Plot: Set in the nice, quiet little beach community of Amity, where a giant, killer shark shows up one day and starts ripping the shit out of drunk teenagers and cute/obnoxious little kids. It’s up to the local police chief (Roy Scheider), a dorky marine biologist (Richard Dreyfuss) and Captain Awesome (Robert Shaw) to get the shark’s ugly fucking goldbricking ass out of their beach community.
Review: I've always argued with myself whether or not this film actually qualified as a horror film or not. Though it deals with a giant mutant shark killing people in wonderfully bloody fashion and contains elements of horror, it never felt like a horror pic to me. That pretty much goes for every Spielberg movie, though. Everything he makes feels like Spielberg doing whatever (with the exception of E.T.. That is hands down the best movie ever made). Duel is Spielberg doing thriller. War of the Worlds is Spielberg doing sci-fi. Saving Private Ryan is Spielberg doing war movie.
I guess it’s good to have your own style. Another interesting and irrelevant side note, the spellcheck on my computer recognizes the word ‘Spielberg’ though not ‘Nosferatu’, ‘Karloff’, ‘xenomorph’, ‘motherfucker’ or ‘spellcheck’. Go pop culture go.
Moving on, I decided to include this as it is generally regarded as falling loosely into the horror genre (unlike many of the other films on this list which I still consider horror). Um, yeah, it’s still an awesome movie due mostly to good script and acting (Roy, Richard and Rob are pretty much the holy trinity of killer shark movies), as well as the sparing use of the shark and the overuse of the two note ‘shark theme’ which, though only slightly irritating in the actually movie, has been abused to death since making it one of the most annoying themes in movie history.
The ‘out to sea theme’ (as I like to call it) is criminally underplayed. I looked around on the internet to see if I could find a sample of it, but came up with nothing. Sorry. If you know the movie I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
But yeah, the ending leaves a little bit to be desired, but generally it’s well done and we do get to see one person getting ripped in half, with literally gallons of blood. It‘s kind of an awful scene actually. I always feel bad at that point. Mostly because I love Captain Quint or whatever his name was.
I mean, it’s a bit of fluff, but as far as giant killer animal movies go, it’s the best. Pretty much everything other giant-something movie is derivative of this one, unless it has giant bugs or reptiles. And to think, if the robotic shark had been working when it was supposed to be working this movie would have sucked powerfully. Woo.
Favourite Part: Seeing this movie at a very young age started my huge crush on Richard Dreyfuss. He is such a dork, it’s adorable.
Other versions: None, although I wouldn’t be surprised if they announced a remake tomorrow.
Sequels: Jaws 2 (which I vaguely remember seeing), Jaws 3-D and Jaws: The Revenge (both of which I also remember seeing, although I don’t think I really did - I think I saw five minutes of 3 on television and as for 4, it may have been Deep Blue Sea).
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