Welcome to our 9 Deuce Horror group’s Jaws discussion. You know the drill by now. I ask 9 film specific questions and then have some wiggle room for 2 bonus questions that may not be film specific. I am your host, Kent, and today I am here with Tom, Kristi, Chris, Sara, Thomas, and Dom. Please, if you are reading this and would like to participate in one of these, contact me. All comments in bold are from me. We will be tackling The Evil Dead franchise on July 20th in our next blog, so I hope that pleases the masses.
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- Let’s start you off with an easy one. Name your favorite character in the film and why. Yes, Jaws counts as a character.
Tom: Quint by a long shot! He’s a man’s man, he’s got blend of toughness and crazy, and he’s a fisherman! (Picturing Tom saying this as a battle cry makes it far more exciting.)
Kristi: I have 2. The main fisherman dude just because he’s creepy and shows no fear. Also, the black lab in the beach scene. He was super cute when he was running in the water. (I had to assume that the dog had to mentioned by you at some point. Glad we got right to it.)
Chris: When I was a kid it was Martin (probably because he seemed like the hero). When I got older and realized that this movie is a good example of realistic people it became Hooper.(I’d guess that I probably liked Hooper more when I was a kid.)
Sara: I am a huge fan of Quint. He shows no fear and is a total badass…..ya know, until he’s not anymore. (He’s the fishing equivalent of Maximus basically.)
Thomas: Jaws; because he’s like a honey badger; and honey badger’s don’t currrrrr. (But seriously, any animal that savage has my respect.) (Bout time somebody picked Jaws!)
Dom: Brody. He’s trying to stop this “monster” from terrorizing his town/beaches and all he gets is shit for it. You stand behind a character when you know they’re right, and not being a douche about it, and they’re trying to do the right thing. (Brody is an incredibly relatable character for a lot of the reasons that you mentioned. Actually, he’s a damn good role model.)
Kent: Quint because of his story about the USS Indianapolis. There’s something to the art of his delivery. Plus he just seemed pissy and cocky most of the time. Remind you of anybody? Yes, Bob Barker.
- Where would you rank Jaws among the best horror films of the 70’s? (I’m looking for a number, say 5, and maybe if you want to say what you would have ranked above it, that would be awesome. Consider this forward thinking on my end. Yes, I am aware that you haven’t seen all of these, neither have I. Just go by what you have seen.) I highly recommend using this list here
Tom: I know there are some huge horror movies that came out of the 70’s but I’m partial to Jaws, so it’s number 1 for me. As far as runner ups, I recently learned Alien is a 70s movie and not an 80s movie, so that may be number 2. Not sure how to order the rest of the big ones. (True story, based on this man’s love of the film, I almost bought him a Jaws themed shower curtain for Christmas.”
Kristi: I really don’t consider Jaws a horror flick so it would rate pretty low on my scale. I do love this movie though (What genre would you consider this and why? I’m asking because it is a clear cut monster film to me, only with great actors which we never get. Like imagine if for some reason they remade a classic film like The Mummy and put A list actors in it. That would be weird, right? Thankfully that will never happen. I could see the argument for a drama I suppose. Just curious.)
Chris: There are definitely more that should be on that list, but Jaws is a solid number 3, following Alien, and both losing to The Exorcist. (I’m mainly disappointed as I started reading this and was waiting for you to start naming movies that belonged on the list. Chris, I feel ripped off, and yet I don’t pay you.)
Sara: Ok, as the baby of this group (other than my kid) I wasn’t born when this came out, and didn’t see it until WAY later in life than I should have. (I was probably 15-16 or so?) It never really scared me, so I would say this is pretty low on my list. There are MANY from the 70’s that I love more than this. (I am pretty sure this film came out before any of us was born… I think. Even as a kid watching it on VHS, it wasn’t scary, but it was cool. )
Thomas: I’m 10. I haven’t seen any of the other movies on the list, but I would rank it a 4. It felt more cheesy to me than scary, and didn’t make me think twice about going in the ocean. (Honestly, you sold me at “I’m 10”. Asking 10 years olds about their favorite 70’s movies should typically result in this type of response.)
Dom: Having seen 12 of the 25 posted on that list, I’d put it at 6. (Damn, now I want to know what you would have above it. Come on Dom, post in the comment section at Facebook.)
Kent: Out of that list, I have seen: The Exorcist, Suspiria, Halloween, Alien, Salo, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Jaws, Dawn of the Dead, Black Christmas, Wicker Man, The Omen, Carrie, Phantasm, and the Hills Have Eyes. I plan on watching some of the other ones this October. I hate how I asked the question because it’s a question of am I asking for film quality or horror quality. Those are separate things. I’ll give a top 10 and immediately regret my decisions. Honorable mention for Salo, and no, I am not recommending that film to any of you. Don’t do it. 10. Halloween 9. Black Christmas 8. The Exorcist 7. Suspiria . 6. Phantasm 5. Jaws 4. Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3. The Wicker Man 2. Carrie 1. Alien
(We are in trouble if we do a top 10 of 80’s horror.)
- One of the things that Jaws is most beloved for, is the music. It’s definitely iconic. Where would you rank this all time for horror? (A few examples of other classic music would be Psycho, Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, The Exorcist, Saw, Devil’s Rejects although that’s more of a killer soundtrack, etc.)
Tom: Well it may be the most recognizable, close with the “shh shh shh shh ahh ahh ahh ahh” of Friday the 13th. I love how it’s used in the movie to represent the presence of the leviathan even though you can’t see it beneath the water. Its simple but still somehow raises your anxiety level. Number 1 for me. (Is this because of the F13 video game?)
Kristi: Again, don’t really consider it horror but this is most definitely a soundtrack that is highly recognizable.
Chris: It’s definitely number 1. While a lot of the other ones you posted are also iconic, Jaws theme became a cultural phenomenon. My wife uses it to scare my kid in the pool 40 years later. Mr. Mom used it to mock a vacuum cleaner. While the Halloween theme and Psycho’s shower “music” come close, none have become as iconic as Jaws (I’m just enjoying the great stories here of scaring children.)
Sara: As far as the epic-ness of the music, it’s #1, but I think that it really gives too much away about when the ‘scary stuff’ is going to happen. (I hate to have the same answer as Thomas, but he’s right. lol) (Let’s face it, it was the way that horror did it. Throughout the 80’s, a lot changed and evolved.)
Thomas: This ranks second for me, after Freddy. I almost wish that it wasn’t used that way, because it took the surprise out of the gore for me. (That’s an interesting perspective. I’d guess the vast majority of us had seen this many years ago. Nowadays, you get the foreshadowing music, and you know what to expect. All I can say is that it used to be an art form. Then Insideous happened unfortunately.)
Dom: I don’t have a favorite in terms of Horror music. They emotions each of them stir up are different. If I was ever in a real life moment where any of those movie stories are happening to me I would hope that the correlated theme music would play so I’d know what to do or expect. (So, your theory intrigues me. In my head, I picture you in the woods near some water. You then hear the the Halloween song, so you acknowledge that it’s a good thing it’s not October. Then you hear the Friday the 13th sounds, and you’re like “aww crap”. So you head into the water only to hear the Jaws song. You get out of the boat and hear Dueling Banjos. You then get back in the boat and take your chances.)
Kent: I’ve been playing a lot of the recently released Friday the 13th video game and the music and sound effects are such a huge part of the overall presentation. Dom’s answer is along the same lines of my thought process. I’m torn between Psycho and Jaws. I think I will go with Jaws because I think it spans so many generations and it so attached to water and sharks. I never listed Deliverance, and while people may not consider it a horror, it has horror elements, and Dueling Banjos may even top Jaws. I’m surprised nobody went with Tubular Bells from Exorcist. Props to Freebird in Devil’s Rejects because that scene is iconic.
- This film has a lot of great, memorable scenes. Name your favorite and tell us why if you wouldn’t mind.
Tom: By far, the scene where Quint tells the story of the USS Indianapolis. May be my favorite scene in any movie. No matter how many times I’ve seen it, I get hypnotized and drawn into the story.
Kristi: When they see Jaws in the pond. The part where the dude is on the little boat, the music starts, and you see his fin in the background. It gets my heart racing every time. (It’s cool that certain scenes can still elicit feelings so many years later.)
Chris: To not plagiarize any of the others (who picked great scenes), let’s go with the scene on the boat where Brody is going to chum the water and the shark pops up. “You’re going to need a bigger boat” is one of the most famous lines in film (You are like the anti-Russ of my blogs with not plagiarizing. Much obliged. I always feel that boat line is considered to be the best known when people talk about the film.)
Sara: My favorite bit has always been the ending sequence, from about where they push the boat to breaking on. Quint is my favorite character, but his death is sort of poetic justice in this film.
Thomas: The drunk boat scene is my fav., along with the quote “Cheers to swimmin’ with bow-legged women!” because it’s just all out funny. (Bow-legged women are the best.)
Dom: the first death scene with the girl. What a great way to start a flick. I also enjoy the whole Jaws attacking the boat and getting blown to shreds as well. You feel for these guys trapped on this boat (which seems to be about the same size as the shark) as they battle for their lives, watching this vessel get torn smaller and smaller hoping to God they make it. (It’s rare for a horror film to have such a great beginning and ending sequence, but this one pulled it off.)
Kent: I alluded to it before, and Tom already said it. Still, I listen to the “Show Me the Way To Go Home” scene monthly. You have the story and then this brief moment in time of bonding and not sure if there is impending doom, it feels so surreal to watch it.
- Speaking of scenes, this has a very underrated opening scene. Name your favorite opening scene in a horror film.
Tom: Chrissy’s death is quite something, violent yet you never see what’s tearing her up beneath the water. I also like it goes back to an eerie calm after she’s pulled under. If I had to pick another opening horror scene I might go with the Twilight Zone Movie. “You wanna see something really scary?” (Cue me singing “The Midnight Special” by CCR. Great opening and always entertained me, especially as a kid.)
Kristi: Halloween. Little Michael Myers becoming the psycho I love so much. (The original or remake?)
Chris: It’s been awhile since I’ve seen it, but I really liked the opening in The Conjuring. Annabelle was creepy as fuck before the movie Annabelle ruined her. (Annebelle never happened. At least that’s what I tell myself because it was just so bad. The Conjuring may be the best horror film of the past decade. It’s up there at the very least.)
Sara: The opening of Scream. While not my favorite horror movie by any stretch of the imagination, the opening is killer. (It really is, from my perspective. I rewatched it like 2 weeks ago. I was not disappointed.)
Thomas: (Keep in mind, I have a limited knowledge of horror movies, but my mom’s working on that.) I really loved the opening of IT. I loved Pennywise popping out from behind the clothes. (Kudos to your mom for working on this with you. Also, great choice. I now am a proud owner of a Pennywise shirt, thanks to the other Tom. I still may get a Pennywise tattoo someday.)
Dom: This beginning scene is fantastic. The unknown scares us and the fact that she’s being attacked by something unknown should slightly terrify you. That being said, there’s so many good opening scenes I can’t decide on just one. (Please tell me that you remember Sleepaway Camp 3.)
Kent: Seriously, nobody said Scream? (Sara responded after I wrote this, so not my fault.) How is that possible? I even asked other friends this question and Scream was universally one of the first 2 responses. I’m happy because I so rarely get to give an answer that somebody else hasn’t provided. That opening set the bar for openings. Also, a major shout out to The Ring. That opening is one of the all time greats and doesn’t get enough recognition. Both incarnations of TCM belong, as does Sleepaway Camp 3 for cheesiness, The Stand with Don’t Fear the Reaper, and all of the Nightmare films.
- The mechanical shark, “Bruce”, malfunctioned a lot during filming forcing Spielberg to come up with creative ways to film scenes with it. Do you think this helped or hindered the movie?
Tom: Helped. It may have been advanced for the 70’s, but the mechanical shark is almost laughable in appearance. I think it was way more effective to find ways to represent the shark while it remained unseen, fear of the unknown. Like the barrels, or the section of dock following the fisherman as he swam in. “Swim Charlie, don’t look back!”
Kristi: I don’t know how the movie would be different so I guess I don’t have much of an opinion.
Chris: If you count the number of scenes the shark actually appears in it isn’t many. Yet the movie is still close to perfect. So I think it worked
Sara: I think that Spielberg is a master at his craft, and even then made the best of a bad situation. If it were re-done, (though I hope that never happens) I’d hope to see even more of it shot w/o the shark, or possibly from the shark’s perspective.
Thomas: I think it made it better, and it made Mr. Spielberg a better director to have to figure out how to give that illusion.
Dom: Both. It forced him to film things in a different way which hopefully translated into his later work, but then on the other hand all that malfunctioning didn’t allow him to get the shots he wanted, which may have given us a slightly different movie.
Kent: I would like to know how much this altered what Spielberg had originally planned. If it mean keeping the shark out of more scenes, then I consider it a success. Let’s face it, this is the type of film that thrived on the idea of the less you see, the scarier it is. Anyway, some of you alluded to how it made Spielberg get creative, and that’s a good thing as it probably helped him down the road. Consider 3 of his next 4 films were Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and E.T., I’d say it helped.
- What do you feel Quint’s motivation was in overworking the engines around the 3/4 mark of the film?
Tom: Well I think it was the same reason he busted up the radio. He reveals his torrid past with sharks in his old war story. Now he has built a life catching and killing sharks. I think he sees this shark as his nemesis and aims to take it out himself, like a fight to the death, him or me. He doesn’t want to retreat or call for backup.
Chris: Calling Captain Ahab. Points at Tom’s answer. Or maybe since it hasn’t been mentioned yet, he was going to try to use the broken parts to be an aquatic Kevin MccAllister, but the shark ate him first. (Slow clap worthy. We must keep bringing up Home Alone in some capacity. I am so proud of everybody who keeps that funk alive.)
Sara: While I hate to copy anyone else’s’ answer, I think Tom and Chris nail this one. I like to believe that it was part PTSD, and part that Quint knew his doom was imminent, though I’m unsure as to why he felt like he should take the other 2 down with him.
Thomas: It was definitely a fight to the death, and it was definitely an issue of pride for him. No matter what it cost, he was going to kill that shark.
Dom: I agree with Tom. Quint made it personal and all be damned if someone else was gonna kill that shark (aka his Moby Dick)
Kent: While Tom’s point makes way more sense than the drivel I am about to write, I’m going to give a slightly different perspective while acknowledging how wrong I am. Sometimes people know that they are in way over their head with a task, and at some point, the LeBron James of the world look for excuses, sometimes even self sabotaging. Yes, we know that Quint is super bad ass, Captain Ahab. Could it be possible that he at least considered having a built in excuse for his failure to capture it once he realized what he was dealing with? Nah, probably not.
- Regarding Bruce Gardner’s death, did everyone that he left the docks with die or did he go out solo afterwards and meet his end? If his body was still in the boat, how did he die? How did he lose his eye? Let your theories fly.
Tom: Well I’m gunna say he went out alone later because no other victims were ever discussed. Now when they find the boat a chunk is missing out of the side, almost like a big bite mark. Maybe while he was fishing the shark lunged up getting his arm and the side of the boat. After losing his arm he went into shock and bled out. Once dead and adrift at sea, it is pretty feasible that seagulls came and pecked out his eye. I think the missing eye was just for shock value, but that could account for it.
Kristi: He went out alone. I think if everyone was missing, there would have been some word of that. As far as his eye, Jaws left some of him for other sea creatures and something else got to his eye. Or Jaws squeezed him so hard, his eye couldn’t handle the pressure. 🙂
Chris: It’s like the Lost World:Jurassic Park 2. If the Tyrannosaurus was still captive in the hold how did everyone on the ship transporting it die? We may never know. (Another Spielberg reference. Nice. Maybe that is part of his charm, leaving random things left unknown.)
Sara: I like to believe that everyone died, and that the shark left him behind like leaving a coin for One-Eyed Willy. (lol) My father always said that you’ve got to leave at least one, “to tell the story” (Points for One-Eyed Willy reference!)
Thomas: It could be from swimmin’ with bowlegged women? (*Mom-note; I wanted to make him really answer this, but his answer made me giggle, so I let it go.*) (Yup, and I am laughing reading it, so I feel the answer is apropos.)
Dom: Solo, or else more people woulda been out there.
Kent: I love me a good conspiracy theory, so allow me to create. I feel that him and one other buddy got to drinking, possibly some shine or whiskey. They get to talking about the damn shark. Bruce’s buddy is pissed at the shark but acknowledges that there’s nothing that they can do about it. Bruce then takes another swig and asks why the hell not? His buddy sits there, thinks on it a moment, takes a swig, and asks: “What’s the plan?” They go out and the boat start a rockin cause Jaws came a knockin. Bruce gets the adrenaline sober going on while his buddy is tanked. He pushes his buddy overboard to buy him time. While trying to push his buddy out, buddy grabs his eye, doing some 80’s wrestling eye gouge mixed in with The Bride in Kill Bill. Bruce succeeds in pushing the buddy over and heads back to the dock. He died of a panic/heart attack because his eye was ripped out and he feared that the shark was gonna get him. Come on, it’s not a bad theory, and we’ve all been drunk and been talked into really dumb things, or came up with really dumb tasks to perform. I await people finding holes in my plot.
- If you are the mayor, Larry Vaughn, would you: A) shut the beaches down entirely, B) would you let people know and swim at their own risk, or C) Not say anything and hope to make more money?
Tom: Choice B. If you make people aware of the shark, why not let them swim at their own risk.
Kristi: Shut that shit down! (Negan would approve.)
Chris: D. Shut down the beaches and then invite the media to town bragging about how we have the biggest goddamn killer shark ever, and try to recoup Amity’s tourist money through 15 minutes of fame. (And this is why option D for Other is always so much fun. I like it, but now I don’t feel right stealing it.)
Sara: I say B. He’s not their mom, or in charge of deciding what’s in their best interest.
Thomas: A; shut down the beaches. It isn’t worth people dying from a blood-thirsty shark ready to kill EVERYONE.
Dom: Choice A
Kent: B is probably the right answer, but I say go with C. You gotta make money, right? Giving people a choice i nice, but that choice isn’t really going to benefit you too much. Stubborn people would stay, but a lot would just leave. Something big like mysterious deaths to tend to attract some weird people, and also know it alls who think that they can figure it all out or save the day. I feel that Larry isn’t going to be re-elected no matter what option occurs, so make as much money, and try to keep some for yourself.
- If they remade the film today, who would you cast as the 3 leads? This isn’t asking if you want it remade, because that answer is no. If the film definitely was being made, who would you choose? Just for reference, I’ll provide their ages. Hooper was 26-27, Quint 46-47, and Brody 40-41. Also, ff they remade this film with the lead characters all being female, would you watch it?
Tom: Tough question. Quint has to be that tough old sea dog with a touch of crazy. I think Tommy Lee Jones might fit the part. Chief Brody must be kind of naive but well-meaning. Possibly Ed Norton or Jim Caviezel for that role. Lastly, Hooper needs to be that snarky intellectual and I could see Robert Downey Jr. playing that part quite well.
Kristi: I’m not sure about who to cast. I feel like it would need to be some people I have not heard of. All female leads, No thanks… On that note, I just saw a preview for a new shark flick. It doesn’t look horrible. (Hopefully it wasn’t The Shallows because fuck that movie.)
Chris: Brody-Liev Shrieber, Hooper- Oscar Isaac, Quint- Ian McShane. Although Dom’s answer is kind of awesome. So to kick it up a notch we get Mario Van Peebles to play Hooper (Jaws the Revenge) Dennis Quaid to play Brody (Jaws 3-d) and Mr. Dreyfuss to play Quint. (Ian McShane is a solid choice. I really like that one.)
Sara: No to an all-female cast. Even as a chick myself, there are some things you just don’t do. Like lady-ghostbusters. Or lady-sailors. Just no. As far as re-casting, I’m not playing this game, because I feel as though we’re tempting the film gods to ruin yet ANOTHER movie with a re-make. (Rest assured, the film gods pay no attention to anything that we have said……yet. Still, it is wise to play it safe.)
Thomas: (I can’t necessarily choose actors, because I don’t know many of them by name) The second part of this question; if it were all -female, I would not want to watch it, most especially because (if it’s set in the 70’s still) it wouldn’t make sense for them to be women, and it ruins the ‘swimmin’ with bowlegged women’ quote for me too. (Yeah, I mean, he’s got a point. You can’t take that line out, so no all female cast. )
Dom: Quint would have to be Richard Dreyfuss. You can’t remake without an original actor being in it. Brody would be Matt Damon or Ben Affleck. Hooper could be played by Jonah Hill. (I like the idea of Dreyfuss being involved, just not sure about that role for him. I admittedly haven’t seen enough of his films to form an educated opinion. Just no Affleck. He can direct it! I know that I need to give him a second chance, but I don’t know where to begin.)
Kent: Quint would be played by Viggo Mortensen, Ron Perlman, or Michael Rooker. Beyond that, I have been thinking about this for a damn month. Some of that time was spent watching people do cocaine in a Stewarts parking lot. Seriously. I guess Brody could be done by Edward Norton, Michael Cudlitz, or Andrew Lincoln because I will cast Edward in anything. Hooper is the problem. I don’t know many young funny actors, especially ones that I like. Evan Peters might work because he has a smaller stature and could be funny. Maybe Leigh Whannel, who played Adam in the original Saw movie and was trapped in the main room with Cary Elwes. If Joaquin Phoenix was available, make him Larry Vaughn. I won’t ever watch an all female cast of anything unless it involves prison.
- When Jaws came out, it scared a lot of people. We know that this kept people away from water for a bit. Has a film ever scared you so badly that it bled over into your everyday life?’
Tom: Well as a child I saw the cover to the film Ghoulies in a video store. For a while I could only use toilets when it was absolutely necessary. (Hearing this story has entertained me.)
Kristi: That damn Final Destination scene with the log truck. Everytime I see one I do my best to stay away from it! We have log trains out here. When I see one, I turn around and get further back. (I think that was part 2, and it was good. I think the plane crash in part 1 actually prevented some people from flying for a bit.)
Chris: Fuck yeah. This and a short I saw on HBO when I was a kid. The short had people diving into a pool that had a shark in it. And the Raft segment from Creepshow 2. I fucking hate swimming when I can’t see the bottom. (Holy balls dude! The raft thing I can absolutely agree with you on. Still, that segment also had the only nudity and the best line at the end when the) dude tried celebrating.
Sara: I thought about this really hard last night. This movie doesn’t scare me, partially for the reason Thomas listed (my mom did the same for me.), but also because we’re nowhere near the ocean, and while the Mayfield lake is said to have some gross shit in it, a man-eating fish is not one of those things. In general, though, while there were plenty of movies that made me jump-kinda scared, I’m yet to come across a movie that scares me after the fact. (The only one that did was the book version of the Amityville Horror; I had nightmares about that book for weeks afterwards, but the movie was ‘meh’ in comparison.) (I saw Amityville when I was way too young for it, and it never really bothered me. It was neat, but not scary. Jump scares are cheap. I will argue that point until I am blue in the face, then die, and come back to haunt those who oppose me.)
Thomas: No, because my mom taught me before we started watching horror movies that it’s JUST a movie. (*Another mom-note, we’ve yet to find a horror movie that has REALLY scared him, so this is sort of a moot point.*) (BUT it does give me hope that at some point you will find one that does. Everybody should have a bit of terror from a film in their childhood. I feel like The Strangers may have frightened me as a child, or Them, which is the original French film which doesn’t have Liv Tyler.)
Dom: Yes and partly still does
Kent: Candyman is my obvious choice. I’m telling you, the first time you see it, you inevitably go to the bathroom within 2 hours of it ending. Don’t lie to me and tell that you don’t think about it, even for a split second. That was awesome. Then sometimes you decide to say Candyman repeatedly in hopes of meeting Tony Todd. The Blair Witch made me want to go camping. I regret that decision to this day.
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