Story: “What’s your name?” “Kristy!” “Da-dum.” “That’s some bad hat, Harry.” “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.” “Show me the way to go home…*thud*” “Da-DUM.” Seriously though; if you don’t know the general shark-meets-human-meat storyline by now, you’ve lived under a rock for the past few centuries.
Scares: Let’s just say you’ll probably think twice about dipping a toe into the ocean (or the pool, the jacuzzi or even a deep tub) for awhile after this film. Don’t worry, that just makes you one of us. One of us!
Splat factor: Less splat, more gross. As in “eww, those body parts that the shark left behind? Gross!” (Then again, there is the kid dying in a geyser of blood & seawater. So hey, something for everyone!)
Closing scene “shocker”?: No. Happy endings all around! Well, except for Bruce. And his victims.
Remake, Sequel or OG (Original Ghoul)?: It spawned a few sequels, but this is THE original baby.
Trick or Treat?: A treat, definitely. And what a treat it is! Like your favorite candy from Trick-or-Treating, it just keeps getting better every time you savor it. After seeing this film for the first time in many years, I can’t believe how funny it is. That’s probably because I was too busy screaming my guts out to notice the finer points of humor in the film. But Spielberg made his name on this puppy, and he does it right. From Quint’s drink of choice (apricot brandy; for the rough-tough sailor in us all), to Hooper’s honking laugh (paging Horshack!), to the hilarious one-upmanship of the “comparing scars” scene. It’s a hoot, and it balances the scenes of outright terror nicely.
Oh, and it’s not only funny in places, it’s also the ultimate dude-bonding film of all time (all apologies to The Magnificent Seven and The Hangover). Guys getting drunk, going out to do something stupid, then blowing shit up? Uh, check, check and CHECK.
Jaws is the original summer blockbuster: before this film came along there were popular films, sure. But nothing on the scale of “gotta line up and see this now/again/and again” like this. The original summer blockbuster was a horror movie, how sweet is that? And yes, it is in fact horror, regardless of what some may say. Those “some” are the folks who also believe Silence of the Lambs, Se7en and Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer aren’t horror movies. I ask those “some” one thing: did it scare the crap out of you? Well then, there you go.
So let’s pour one out for the crew of the U.S.S. Indiannapolis, shelve our boogie board and get our shark on. Woot!