Saturday, September 29, 2012
Jaws 2 (1978)
Before Freddy, before Jason and the same year as Michael, came Bruce the Killer Shark as Jaws 2 was released and officially transformed Peter Benchley's first novel to a slasher-franchise. Oh, this is not a new idea, I've heard Jaws 2 been called slasher many times over the years and even if it's the normal killer animal movie it (and the rest of the sequels) share some similar ideas with all the slashers that came during the eighties. But instead of a machete or a knife we have a set of big, sharp teeth!
A new season is about to start in Haddonfield... eh, I mean, at
It's been a couple of years since the infamous killer attacked the peaceful
town, but one who hasn't forgot is police chief Brody (Roy Scheider) and when
new disappearances occur he suspects Bruce is back! Like a wandering hornybord
(a Smörgåsbord, but with horny teenagers instead of bread and vegetables) a
bunch of kids takes their sailingboats out and soon finds themselves chased by
the serial killer shark! Amity Island
Like a typical slasher sequel Jaws 2 simplifies the story a lot, injects more deaths (I'm not sure about that in this case actually, but it has a nastier tone), more sexual innuendos and forces a couple of the original actors to join with the help of money and blackmailing. But it also has more spectacular shark attack scenes where you see the shark - sometimes way too much, but that's how I want my killer sharks. The killer is more rubbery, more unrealistic, but still have a lot more screen time. It makes a visually very interesting film who also borrows heavily from the style of Spielberg, but with less flair.
I actually think Jaws 2 is a damn fine sequel, mostly because of it's willingness to take a beloved super hit of a movie and make it a little bit trashier, a little bit cheaper. It has two of the best attack scenes in the franchise, the water ski-scene (which gives Bruce his - for this movie - trademark burned look) and one of the first sequences when he attacks the kids out at see at the end. It's a goody bag of sharkadelic awesomeness.
I'm even willing to say that Roy Scheider, who really didn't want to do the sequel, is really good and the supporting cast does a good job also. There's some small references here and there to scenes and characters in the first movie and it feels like a fair sequel that honours the original by this. The original vision of Jaws 2 was even more interesting:
would be almost
dead, abandoned, on the brink to bankrupcy, with boarded up stores and houses.
It was just the people on the real island, Amity
Vineyard, who refused to do this and the idea had to be scrapped.
Jaws 2 is a good, slightly exploitative, sequel, not yet in the same absurd league as Jaws 3 and Jaws: The Revenge (both of them worth watching if you know what's coming...). If you want good shark attacks and an army of teen clichés I'm pretty sure this is the movie for you.