Anyone who has ever had a conversation about film with me probably knows that my favorite movie of all time is Jaws (1975). I could go into a long detailed explanation as to why it is my favorite, but I am not going to do that. Jaws was the first major film about a shark and its success at the box office and critical reception has never been close to being equaled. The sequels tried and completely failed. While, Jaws 2 (1978) has one of the best taglines ever (“Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…”) and hung on to Roy Schieder to reprise his role of Chief Brody it failed on many levels. It was successful at the box office mostly feeding off the success of the first one but it’s not nearly as good of a movie without Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw. However, because of Jaws 2’s success at the box office the studio felt they needed to try sharks in 3-D so they put out Jaws 3-D (1983), which once again was a disaster of a movie even with a young budding star in Dennis Quiad. And yet, none of the previous three could have prepared audiences for the atrocious Jaws: The Revenge (1987). The basic idea of this film (at least as far as I am concerned) is that another great white shark arrives in Amity and kills Danny Brody (Chief Brody’s son) then follows Ellen Brody (Chief Brody’s wife) when she goes down to the Bahamas to visit her other son, Michael. Allow this idea to sink in. Crazy, I know.
Each of these movies declined in quality after the original. Why? It is not due to lack of budget as the original Jaws had a measly eight million dollar budget (around thirty-four million in today’s world), which is nothing, compared to big-budget action films of the present. Perhaps it is because no one wanted to challenge the greatness of the original film. How could anyone truly duplicate its success? Instead in the 35 years or so since Jaws, audiences have had to bare witness to one horrible shark film after another. Even looking outside of the Jaws saga there is nothing really out there except for poorly done, low budget films like Shark Attack (1999) and Meglaodon (2002) and all of their terrible sequels. And sure Deep Blue Sea (1999) is a larger budget studio film that is thrilling and fun, but it is not a good movie. I’ve seen Deep Blue Sea many times and yes it is entertaining but mostly for how ridiculous it is. Why would anyone under any circumstances make sharks smarter? The answer is they wouldn’t for fear the sharks would turn on them and eat them, which is (you guessed it) exactly what happens. However, Deep Blue Sea does get points for having Ladies Love Cool James (LL Cool J) as a black guy who survives a horror movie. Will there ever be a good Shark movie again? Probably not.
Here are a few terrible shark movie scenes:
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon. How were the filmmakers able to keep a straight face while editing this?
Jaws 3-D. This scene could not have looked good even in 3-D.
Jaws: The Revenge. Wait, is that shark roaring?
Deep Blue Sea. Samuel L. Jackson making a big speech everything is going to be fine, right? Nope.