|The Mothership |
Best one. Child death week is officially done, this can't be topped. At least in terms of film-making.
He was asking for it. Look what he was wearing.
|Binro the Heretic |
This was the movie that changed movies. It's hard to explain to young people how much impact this measly little monster movie with its crummy giant shark puppet had on the way people saw movies and how Hollywood made and marketed movies.
People make a big thing of "Star Wars", which came out two years later, but really "Jaws" laid the groundwork. There had been popular movies before, but there had never been that much popular movie merchandise before. Sharks were everywhere. It didn't even have to say "Jaws" on it. If it was a shark, kids wanted it, even little kids like me who weren't allowed to watch the movie. (It opened on my fifth birthday) The only official "Jaws" toy was the "Jaws" game where players tried to carefully lift random garbage out of a plastic shark's mouth and not trigger the jaws to snap shut.
Sharks were incorporated into television shows. Carol Burnette, Tim Conway and Harvey Corman hunted down a "sewer shark". On "Saturday Night Live", the "Land Shark" rang doorbells and tried to entice people to answer their door only to swallow them whole when they did. The Bionic Woman had to deal with a villain using weaponized sharks. Evel Knievel planned to jump a tank full of sharks only to scrap the stunt after he and a cameraman were injured during the rehearsal. The Fonz, who had been aping Knievel's schtick for a while, would go on to waterski-jump over a shark on "Happy Days" inspiring the phrase "jump the shark", a phrase used to describe the point at which a show has become so far different from its original premise it is no longer recognizable.
It's easy to imagine George Lucas looking at all the kids running around with "Jaws" screen-printed tee shirts playing with little toy sharks and deciding to make merchandising the cornerstone of his empire.
I wouldn't get to see the movie until 1979 when it was finally aired on ABC. It was, of course, heavily edited but it was still scary enough for a nine-year-old. I remember this scene getting to me because, really, kids didn't get killed on-screen in many movies back then. Adults would get picked off like flies, but kids would never get killed, only placed in jeopardy.
I should mention my mom, an avid reader, had the "Jaws" novel. After the movie came out, I asked if I could read it, but she told me it was "too scary" and tucked it away into her closet so I wouldn't sneak a peek. I would later find out she was less worried about me reading about people getting eaten by a shark and more worried about me reading the sex scenes, something I would discover when I read the book as an adult. Apparently, a lot of those trashy paperbacks 1970s moms acquired stacks of always shoehorned in some hardcore fucking to ensure middle-aged housewives would buy them.
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