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  • The Bearden of Knowledge

Jaws: The Revenge

Dir. Joseph Sargent (1987)

Chief Brody's widow believes that a shark is after revenge.

Directed by Joseph Sargent (The Taking of Pelham One Two Three) and starring Lorraine Gary (Jaws) as Ellen Brody, Lance Guest (The Last Starfighter) as Michael Brody, Mario Van Peebles (Heartbreak Ridge) as Jake, and Michael Caine (Dressed to Kill) as Hoagie.

When the youngest son of the Brody family is killed by a shark in New England, Ellen travels to The Bahamas to spend time with her other son, Michael. And no way will she have to worry about sharks again, because it would be pretty silly if the shark travels two thousand miles just to harass her and her family. And yet.... that's exactly what we get! Seriously!

A Great White shark travels 2000 miles from New England to the Bahamas to exact revenge on the Brody family! For what, you may ask? Is the shark cousins with Bruce from the original Jaws? Or did the Great White Shark community issue out a hit on the Brody family? We will never know! Mostly because the film crew didn't know.

This was a film that was plagued from the start. The director has said that the crew were so burned out on ideas that when they landed on psychic shark they got the green light from Universal to film, and they were so excited to get started they figured they could make a ridiculously stupid idea work on film. News flash! They couldn't! They were so inept that Mario Van Peebles wrote his own part! And sadly, he's the most enjoyable character in the film!

And so, we have a film that's notoriously bad at every level. (insert sarcasm) SOME people may even call it the worst horror film ever... Not me, of course! I'd never use every opportunity possible to drag Jaws: The Revenge through the mud! Jaws: The Revenge is the only Jaws film without a number in its title. Apparently, Universal was so bummed about the Jaws 3 box office returns that they were gonna ignore that film and make Jaws: The Revenge the official "Jaws 3." Great idea! All you really need is a fairly competent film to top Jaws 3! Literally, ANY storyline. Even a revenge driven psychic shark storyline! Oh wait.... Maybe not.

Well, if the completely ridiculous premise didn't sell you, maybe you'll be sold on everything else. Except everything else doesn't work, either. You have the "shark view" camera, which is obviously attached to the front of a jetski, and it makes me wonder how a shark can see perfectly forward when their eyes are on their side. Oh yeah, I forgot, stupid me....The shark's psychic, no need for sight! Speaking of, the way Ellen pauses when the shark comes into contact with her family and stares off into the distance as if she senses a presence is really funny. And bless Lorraine Gary for actually coming out of retirement to film this movie. The main highlight to me is her 1987 shoulder pads in every outfit she wears. I'm not gonna even mention Michael Caine, who says he hasn't seen the film, personally, and who I respect too much as an actor to associate him with this silliness.

Well, this is a shark movie, so as long as we have a decent shark, we will be fine! So thank goodness we have.... Wait.... I'm being told the shark looks super fake! He what? He roars? While balancing on his tail on TOP of the water? Like a dolphin? Really? And yes, all of this is true and leads to maybe the most batshit insane ending I've ever seen when, as the shark is balancing on his tail and actually roaring, Ellen uses the boat as a javelin and runs the ship through the shark and it explodes for some reason! And another fun fact. The roar was pulled from a Tom and Jerry cartoon because the sound editor refused to create an original roar because they thought the idea was stupid. (insert yet more sarcasm) Why the fuck would he even have to "create" a sound? Just record Great White Shark roars and play em back!

Folks, this film is bad! Like, really bad! And that's the whole reason you need to see it if you haven't. The phrase "You gotta see it to believe it" was written with this film in mind.  It's so ridiculous and over the top. And yet, somehow, also subdued. There's only two kills in the entire film. One at the beginning, and the second not until 68 minutes into a 90-minute film.  

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