Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Tribute to Jaws: The Revenge

"I have never seen the film, but by all accounts it was terrible. However I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific." - Michael Caine

As you know, I'm a big fan of terrible movies, and they don't come more terrible than the fourth instalment of the Jaws series. Spielberg's original film was a masterpiece, but by the time we're a decade and three further movies down the line, the law of diminishing returns has well and truly kicked in and the result is one of the very worst atrocities ever committed to celluloid.

The premise is paper-thin: There's a shark about, and it's taking revenge on the Brody family by killing them all to DEATH one-by-one, through some sort of shaky sixth sense that doesn't actually exist.

And the execution: There is only one star, and that's the huge rubber shark that's gumming people to DEATH with its big rubber teeth after spying them out with its big empty rubber eyes. Absolutely no expense spared on special effects, and hoots of laughter every time it appears.

In fact, you can see where the budget went every time Michael Caine appears on screen, mugging his way through a god-awful script in his mid-80s wilderness years when his quality filter was rather lower than when at the height of his powers. "Rubber sharks! Thaaasands of them!"

Plot written on the back of a beer mat; hilarious continuity errors; exceptionally hilarious facial hair, tight jeans and shoulder pads; and - of course - people getting hilariously killed to DEATH by a comedy rubber shark.

And, frankly, I'm not giving anything away by spoilering the ending. Michael Caine tries - and fails - to crash an actual bloody plane into the rubber shark, before the widow of poor, dead Chief Brody stabs the thing to DEATH with the sharp end of a yacht. Because that is how you kill a shark with a grudge. My only beef is that they cut the evil voodoo witch doctor scene, which is the shark's supposed motivation. And the musical numbers*.

I urge you to seek out and watch this anti-masterpiece, for it is comedy of the highest order that you should experience once (and once only) in your life. It's on ITV4 every other day - you can hardly miss it.


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