Friday, August 27, 2010

Old, Rotten Fish

Once again I've decided to do a Liveblog. It's not actually a liveblog as the rest of the internet understands it, of course. My rules for defining a post as such are simple. 1) It must be a movie I haven't seen before and 2) I must be reasonably sure it is absolutely godawful. This makes it possible to produce mercilessly cruel comedy. I almost did Confessions of a Shopaholic but this week's release of Piranha 3D put me in the mood for a different movie in my Netflix Instant Queue so please sit back and enjoy what, if there is a god, will be the very in a series of really bad sequels. Today's offering is 1987's Jaws: The Revenge.

0:01:00 -- The first minute has consisted of a point-of-view shot skimming along the dark, blurry ocean floor before surfacing to show us that the movie's title is, in fact, Jaws: The Revenge. I'm not encouraged by the fact that the title is written in the standard font used for cheap TV movies.

0:01:34 -- The opening credits gives top billing to Lorraine Gary, known to her fans as "Who the hell is Lorraine Gary?" A quick IMDB search shows that she played Ellen Brody, the wife of Roy Scheider's police chief character, in Jaws and Jaws 2. Fun facts: she also starred in a 1976 TV movie called Lannigan's Rabbi which, if it's available, will almost certainly be featured in a future Liveblog and her very last IMDB listing is this movie. This means it's either such a huge stinker that she couldn't find work or it's such a high quality film that she thought she could never top it. The credits also felt the need to mention that this movie is "Introducing Judith Barsi" who went on to have a huge career in not being famous.

0:10:47 -- The hero of the first two films, Martin Brody, has died from a rare condition known as "Roy Scheider having too much dignity to star in this crap sequel no matter how much money they offered." The new police chief of Amity, which I believe now bills itself as America's Great White Capitol to attract tourists, is his son Sean, a guy who has learned jack from his entire life's experiences. I know this because, if he had, he'd be living in Nebraska and not in a place where a hungry shark could get to him which is what just happened.

0:18:00 -- Ellen has formed a theory that this is some sort of super smart shark that specifically targeted her son as payback for the dead sharks from the first two movies. No info yet on whether this shark had a personal connection to the other two or if this shark is just trying to send a "You fuck with one of us, you fuck with us all" message. Anyway, her other son, Michael, convinced her to get the hell out of Amity and come home with him. To an island. In the Bahamas. In the same damn ocean the shark lives in. Jesus, what the hell is it going to have to happen to this family before they learn? Sharks with laser beams, I suspect.

0:18:30 -- Hey, Michael Caine is in this. You may think this could be a sign of a rise in the movie's quality but this was made during a time in which Michael Caine was legally required to be in every movie made including porn films. Also, his name in the movie is Hoagie. No movie character should be named Hoagie unless they're playing a fat, crude guy in an Animal House ripoff.

0:24:00 -- Michael works with a Jamaican named Jake played by Mario Van Peebles. This is my reaction to Van Peebles' attempt at Jamaican accent: HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!! Apparently, Michael and Jake are paid huge sums of money to observe shellfish by what I assume is a government agency that has never actually checked on their progress.

0:34:30 -- In a moment of unintentional hilarity, an obviously fake great white just tried to attack Michael. I yelled, "Michael, just hit the OFF switch," at the screen to no avail. How the hell did that damn shark track them down? He must have invented GPS technology or maybe he just paid off Huggy Bear. An observation I'd like to make is that this movie looks more like a TV movie than anything that was ever released in theaters. Everything looks cheap and many shortcuts were obviously taken. It was directed by Joseph Sargent, a guy who spent most of his career in TV (though he did make The Taking Of Pelham 1-2-3) and I suspect the reason he got the job is because they knew he could work with a TV movie's budget even though the unfortunate result was a TV movie. Oh, Michael survived because the shark forgot to use that Jaws theme music that makes it all powerful. He probably should have died if only for pompously declaring that the water was too warm for great whites earlier.

0:48:20 -- Michael and Jake had the genius idea to study the super shark instead of shooting it in the face. Right now, Jake is hanging near a huge piece of shark bait so he can stab it with a data transceiver. This will almost surely end well.

0:58:30 -- OK, to my surprise, that thing they did 10 minutes ago went flawlessly. Now, though, Michael has decided to abandon the shark hunt to return to his all important snail research. He's just gotten out of his submarine to do God knows what to the snails. I'm sure this will end well too.

1:02:00 -- HA HA HA HA! Oh sorry, forgot that you all can't see this. To everyone's great surprise, the shark showed up and ripped open Michael's sub. He took refuge in a sunken ship but he failed to take into account that the shark had some sort of previously unknown mystical power to follow him through tiny openings. Seriously, these holes are about half the shark's size yet every time Michael turns around, there's Jaws right behind him.

1:03:20 -- He got away. Hopefully Michael won't let this near death experience with a super shark that's targeted him for death interfere with his research on how often snails have anal sex or whatever the hell he's doing.

1:05:00 -- Not only did this dumbass get back in the water but he got attacked by a moray eel. Michael, the whole damn ocean is OUT TO GET YOU!

1:12:00 -- Ellen was on a beach full of happy tourists which, in Jaws movies, is like ringing the dinner bell. Super Shark somehow picked out her granddaughter and almost swallowed her. Luckily, amidst the kids, there was a 35 year old stuntwoman who was ready to be eaten. Now Ellen has taken Michael's boat and gone after the shark though, frankly, from what I can tell, her only options would be diplomacy or boycotting its Olympics. Michael and Jake have loaded themselves onto Hoagie's plane and gone looking for Ellen and, I assume, to gather some more snail data. I wish I could talk to Michael and remind him that his dad once took out a great white with a damn fire extinguisher so, really, how much of a threat is this thing anyway?

1:17:00 -- Hoagie landed his plane in the water near Ellen and appeared to get eaten after Michael and Jake swam to the boat but, obviously, Joseph Sargent decided the needed at least one decent actor so Hoagie gets to live for now. So, anyone got a FIRE EXTINGUISHER on the boat? Asking for no particular reason.

1:27:00 -- And it's over. Jake rigged up some sort of shark shocking device and, emboldened by his previous hanging-over-the-water stunt, hung over the water and got swallowed so YAY no more crap Jamaican accent. Michael kept hitting the switch on the shark shocker and the shark got shocked but kept coming anyway. Then the shark got stabbed by the boat's mast and it blew up. Why? It probably had something to do with the shark shocker but, honestly, I have no idea why and don't care enough to go back and look. Oh, having apparently found the cure for being eaten by a shark, Jake's alive but at least the movie's over.


Dan Coyle said...

IIRC, Garry was the studio chief's wife and The Revenge was supposed to be her big comeback return to acting or whatever. Scheider was offered the chance to be eaten in the opening but said "fuck that."

Fun fact: Caine was unavailable to accept his Oscar for Hannah and Her Sisters because he was in the Bahamas filming this thing. When asked why he appeared in Jaws, Caine is reported to have said, "I haven't seen it, but I have seen the house it bought, and it's fantastic."

And Lance Guest is really phenomenally bad in this movie, isn't he?

Michael Clear said...

Oh Lord yes. I'm sorry I didn't make more of his tendency to stare blankly at things no matter what was happening. Also, it's nice to see a lot of my assumptions turned out to be true and I'm sorry I didn't use the "Who the hell did Lorraine Gary have to screw to get this part?" joke that I discarded.