Steven Spielberg’s Jaws is my favorite movie. I have easily seen it five hundred times, maybe more if you add in the countless late night drunk viewings. It even helped me get laid a few times. As my friend, a reckless Lothario , once told me “Chicks dig seeing guys passionate about something. Anything. Even you slurring and drooling your way through your Jaws analysis at Minnesota’s(overcrowded bar in Long Beach, NY. I always hated it. Too many guidos, muscleheads and Montell Jordan tunes. This was the nineties) gets them excited that you are interested in something other than yourself and getting in their pants.” Not sure if that was the exact quote because I was probably drunk when he told me. It is true about it helping me hook up here and there.
I hesitate to write about it because I don’t want to emulate this year’s NY Yankees and spit the bit, fuck up something I love. Maybe the feeling is similar for some of you who would be scared if they had to give their wife the Heimlich maneuver if she started choking on a chicken bone during a romantic dinner. Or perhaps it’s your overwhelming insensitivity towards her feminine needs that is suffocating her? You would probably want her life in the hands of someone more capable and confident. Or maybe not? Maybe you go into the bathroom and take a nice long dump and wait till she turns a deeper shade of purple before you pick up that old rotary phone and dial 911? I hear marriage is tough.
Jaws has been dissected more times than a pig fetus in biology class. I remember how bad that fucking thing smelled. The formaldehyde turned my stomach. Or maybe it was the warm Old Milwaukee keg beer the night before? Again, it was the nineties. I still here KWS’ “Please Don’t Go.” every time I see a pig rolling around the mud on cable television.
Scholars, film historians, actors and directors have all waxed poetic about its influences on Hollywood and culture. What then, can I offer that brings something new to the battered table in the Orca’s cabin? I’m just an IT tech and third rate writer who spends too much of his savings on Tullamore Dew and Asian Escorts. I am no cinematic master like Eli Roth or respected thespian like Charlie Sheen. Although, I do share some of the same pursuits as Mr. Sheen. We both love Jaws.
Write what you know.
Fucking forget the fact that the PC bedwetters in Hollywood would not make Jaws the same way today as they did forty one years ago. It is much too bloody. It’s PG rating would easily be an R today. It has a disturbing scene of a ten year old kid getting chomped on an inflatable raft, blood shooting into the air like a fountain filled with red wine. It has its share of colorful language. A boy scout leader drops an ethnic slur on a kid making his mile swim for his merit badge. It is tough to hear because there are no phones out there. The worst offense Jaws makes against the puritanical, pussy lipped PC police might be the amount of smoking and drinking in it.
Especially the drinking. God forbid we show adults drinking and smoking anymore. The little nose pickers might pick up some bad habits. The parents aren’t around to teach them right from wrong because their uptown shrinks have them drugged down like one of Romero’s shuffling zombies. Give the kiddies an iPad and let the internet raise them. To hell with God forbid, we don’t believe in Him anymore. Hearing a sermon is like hearing nails dragged slowly on a chalkboard. Religion is a bad fish. A little shaking , a little tenderizing and down we go.
Jaws is the greatest drinking blockbuster of all time. Several key scenes revolve around drinking. Not just drinking as harmless activity with no consequences, but several characters are fairly plastered. Apparently, this happened off screen a lot, as well. I myself can hear John Williams’ classic theme in my fuzzy head when the bartender rewards my generosity with free shots of whiskey. When I wake up the next morning, it feels like a great white shark used me as a chew toy.
Love to prove that wouldn’t you, Tarmac? Get your name into the National Geographic.
If someone more intelligent and witty than me has already written about the amount of drinking in Jaws, then I just want to say that it is a free country and I am going to take my shots. Hopefully, I can hit that oxygen tank in the shark’s mouth and blow that fucking thing up before I bore the readers to death, my mundane words dangling lifelessly like Quint’s skin on the shark’s teeth.
About a minute after we see the Universal logo and hear those awesome underwater sonar sounds, we see a bunch of 1970’s era hippies having a clam bake on a beach, complete with alcohol drinking and probably some grass smoking mixed in. There is some dude strumming wimpy tunes on an acoustic guitar. Chicks dig musicians, man. You know how much hairy bush Seals and Crofts got to chow down on after singing “Summer Breeze”? Probably enough to fill a women’s penitentiary run by a sweaty and sadistic warden.
An inebriated blond man shuffles across the sand to put the moves on a comely girl sitting by herself. Sharks always go for the seal that has been separated from the herd. This dude wants to fuck. She wants to go swimming. Fucking broads. Never doing what you want them to do. He still has a good shot to get laid, so he stumbles over the dunes as she undresses and slides gracefully into the bay, doing a bit of aqua ballet before she swims towards a buoy. Yikes. Who knows what could be swimming near one of those things? They always fascinated me and gave me the chills. That bell tolls as a wave nudges it, reminding us how many people lost their lives beneath the surface. Perhaps it wasn’t the tide that moved the buoy? That dark fucking water is horror incarnate.
It appears copious amounts of drinking saved this trust fund baby’s life, left half dead at the shoreline like a soldier cut down on Omaha Beach. I can’t be sure if the girl, Chrissie Watkins, was drunk when she went into night surf. However, feeling that cold water hit her face as the sky grows dark, probably woke her up a bit. By the time the shark takes the first bite out of her beneath the surface, I am sure she was sober as a church mouse. Guys, give me the keys I am ok to drive. Can you just put my severed leg in the trunk? Thanks.
Spielberg shocks the audience with this scene. There is not an ounce of blood, but watching her get wrenched around by the unseen monster, water filling her mouth and nose is nauseating. Listening to someone get torn apart and drowned is not pleasant. The camera cuts back to our drunk friend, passed out on the beach. When he wakes up he will lament his missed opportunity.
I bet the shark is sorry for the missed opportunity of a bigger meal. Eh, it will have some more victims to chew up in this flick. There will also be more alcohol to be consumed, as well.
End of Part I