Video Vices

Jaws: The Revenge Review

Coulda. Woulda. Shoulda. It could have been the horror franchise that had a historic run or have been remade into bland, boring remakes by now like its contemporaries in the genre but the Jaw franchise just didn’t have Steven Spielberg’s imagination or creativity to successfully follow his original blockbuster film. Like a sinking ship taking on water the series submerged further and further with each sequel. Here is our Jaws franchise review.

The Jaws franchise is available on Prime Video and HBO Max.

Jaws: The Revenge

Tag Line:“This time it’s personal”.
Release Date:1987.
Director:Joseph Sargent.
Producers:Joseph Sargent and Frank Baur.
Screenplay By:Michael De Guzman.
Cast:Lorraine Gary, Lance Guest, Mario Van Peebles, Karen Young and Michael Caine.
Running Time:1 hour and 29 minutes.

When I was in shop class in high school I was tasked with cutting a pattern out in sheet metal and then using a machine to fold the pattern into the box shape. Of course it is me we are talking about so the pattern ended up being mangled, mutilated and mashed beyond all recognition. Realizing that I wouldn’t ever become the next Tim Taylor, the teacher sentenced me to reading and cleaning up the shop for the rest of the semester.

It is said that in the 17th-century disobedient sailors and pirates were often punished by being dragged underneath a ship from bow to stern. The Jaws: The Revenge filmmakers deserved much, much worse. Keelhauling wouldn’t have been enough of a punishment for releasing such noxious chum on the unsuspecting public.

Fast-tracked into production without a finished script the film is rancid, chaotic and absurd despite starring Lorraine Gary and Michael Caine, of all people. Caine would later admit he has never seen the finished film but it bought him a great house and a vacation afterwards.

Mario Van Peebles alerts everyone to the quickest exit off the set. Michael CaineMario Van PeeblesLorraine Gary, and Lance Guest in Jaws: The Revenge (1987). Courtesy: Universal Pictures.

The fact that Jaws: The Revenge was bulldozed headlong into production is evident in everything from the ridiculous special effects to the preposterous plot. Since both Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss refused to be involved with such a cockamamie sequel, the producers killed off Chief Martin Brody at the beginning of the film making Ellen (Gary) a widow. We realize soon enough that it is truly open season on the entire Brody family when Sean Brody, who has followed in his dad’s footsteps and become a police deputy, is digested by an enormous great white after it has one of his arms as an hors d’œuvre.

Despite sucking face throughout Jaws 3-D it appears that things didn’t work out with Michael and Kathryn because Michael has married Carla (Karen Young) and they have a five-year-old daughter, Thea. Ellen is convinced to go with them back to the Bahamas so she can clear her head, get her life in order and perhaps tame that fabulously floppy hair that makes her look like a Muppet.

Notwithstanding her horrendous hair stealing every scene, Gary is the only bright spot in Jaws: The Revenge. The plot may be as bizarre as can be but Gary still pours all of her heart and soul into the role and that makes you so sorry for her. She deserved much better than the albatross that is Jaws: The Revenge and Jaws: The Revenge didn’t deserve the Ellen Brody it got in Gary.

In a central plot twist that is so stupid it will actually damage your brain cells as you watch it unfold, the great white shark purposely follows the Brody clan all the way from Massachusetts to the Bahamas in order to seek vengeance on them. That’s right. The shark not only knows where they are going but has the intelligence to map out and travel 2002 kms (1244 miles) to get there.

That just isn’t a great white shark. That’s a phenomenal white shark, ladies and gentlemen.

In the Jaws: The Revenge novelization written by Hank Searls a voodoo priest who has a bone to pick with the Brody family controls the shark, using it as his tool of retribution. That could make the shark’s journey a little more plausible but one wonders what the range of a voodoo hex or spell is or could be?

As if things weren’t wacky enough, Ellen’s psychic connection to the shark results in her having visions of past happenings that she has never witnessed or experienced before such as what her husband saw and said when he killed the shark in the original film.

That just isn’t a great Ellen Brody. That’s a phenomenal Ellen Brody, ladies and gentlemen.

When you aren’t snickering at the outlandish plot, the special effects will have you cackling like Fairuza Balk in The Craft. Not only are there only two kills in the entire movie, that’s one kill per 45 minutes, but one of the victims is dies underwater so there aren’t a whole lot of gore effects to be had.

About the only shark design or effect that is somewhat believable is its dorsal fin torpedoing through the water. It’s dull, empty features, rubbery body and a stationary tongue that looks like it is just taped or glued down wouldn’t scare a kitten.

Jaws: The Revenge is exploitation at its best, squeezing every last nickel out of a dead, rotted, maggot-infested movie franchise. Jaws: The Revenge was the shovel throwing dirt on a dead franchise which despite its promising beginnings has remained dead and buried now for 33 years.

Top Photo: Michael Caine and Lorraine Gary in Jaws: The Revenge (1987). Courtesy: Universal Pictures.

Gravestones bodybagssm An arm..and then the rest of the body eaten.
bodybagssm Gulp!
Naughty Bits plucked_penguinNone.
Memorable Dialogue dialoguesmEllen Brody: No. He died from fear. The fear of it killed him.
dialoguesmEllen Brody: Come and get me, you son of a bitch!
dialoguesmHoagie Newcombe: If I go any faster this thing will turn into a flying Cuisinart and we’ll all be diced into oblivion!
Pints of Blood  / 5 bloodsm
Rating / 5 shotsmall

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