My apologies for not updating for so long. I could give various excuses, but I’ll give just one…I’m a lazy fuck.
I’d like to start up again by talking about my lifelong love for the horror genre. Since the hollowed month of October is almost upon us, I felt it was a good time to start my series talking about said lifelong love.
I start with a movie with a killer shark named Bruce. Of course I’m talking about Jaws. Sure, its not a straight horror movie, but Steven Spielberg does owe a big debt to the monster movies of the 50s with this holy grail of giant shark movies.
As is typical with many families, my parents would take my brother and I to the video store every Friday night to choose movies and video games to entertain us for a few hours that weekend. I nearly always found myself magnetically attracted to the Jaws tape. I was entranced by it. The gigantic shark, the swimmer ignorant of the terrible, razor sharped teeth death just beneath the surface. It was terrifying, yet I was drawn to it time and time again.
I finally convinced my parents (they used to be pretty strict about what I watched and thought Jaws was too scary when I was little) to let me watch the damned thing. I don’t recall what else I did that night, but I know I had to wait for my brother to go to bed.
After watching his movie (possibly some retarded “animal doing cute human things” movie…we used to love those), it was finally time for one of the greatest events of my young life. Oh and how glorious it was. The terrible screaming woman performing a gruesome ballet in the beginning. The excellent entrance of the roguish Quint. The utter suspense of the final game of mouse and shark between the killer great white and the Orca. All leading up to one of the most amazing deaths by oxygen tank ever put on film.
Roy Scheider goes into water. Bruce is in the water. Roy Scheider shoot oxygen tank. Ocean filled with Bruce’s guts.
Throughout all this, I was completely convinced the shark would show up at any moment. Richard Dreyfuss dives into the water to search a wreck? I thought the shark would show up. People on a dock? I thought the shark would break through and eat them all. Brody driving in a car in the middle of the street? I was absolutely convinced the fucker would all of a sudden make a huge evolutionary leaps, grow legs, and eat Brody…car and all.
I had been scared by movies before, but this was all new. I had never experienced such irrational fear before. The fear that the shark could strike at any second was so deep that the movie has saddled me with an irrational fear of sharks. Never before did a movie have such a deep effect on me. There are movies that I have fond memories of; ones that bring me to another time, much like a certain smell or taste. But this was the first one that truly affected me on another level. It was the first time I really felt the power of cinema. Because of this, I consider this movie to be one of my favorites if not my all time favorite.
On a sidenote:
The day after I watched Jaws, my family went jet-skiing with some friends of ours. It was honestly a load of fun…except for the times I got flung from the jet-skii into the water. I would be in the deep water and all of a sudden hear that memorable theme. I still haven’t asked anyone if they could smell the poop in my swimsuit.