In honor of my second favorite holiday (yes, I’ve turned this annual event into a holiday), I am sharing with you, dear readers, my all time favorite shark movies. Shark Week has both terrified me as a small child and made my day in the 25 years it h
as been on air. There is nothing more terrifying than going into dark water and not knowing what could be swimming around under you, but in the same sense, have you ever seen anything as cool as a breach attack from a Great White? This past week, I have been revisiting some favorites in celebration of Shark Week.
Jaws was released in 1975, way before my time and a good decade before Shark Week even started. A small New England beach town named Amity, a summer haven with a beautiful beach, is suddenly struck with tragedy when Sheriff Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) witnesses a young boy being attacked by a shark. The logical choice? Close down the beaches. Unfortunately, the town’s main economic source is the beach (tourist attraction) so Brody does not allow for the shut down. The victim’s grief-stricken mother puts a bounty on the shark, and soon thereafter, the small town is swarming with amateur hunters looking to make some money. Quint (Robert Shaw), a local fisherman who has had experience with hunting Sharks, offers to find and kill this shark, but it won’t be cheap. This classic horror film started the shark craze and put Steven Spielberg on the map. My favorite part of the movie has to be the open scene. The beach at sunset, a couple of teenagers straying away from a beach party to go skinny dipping and…well, you know what happens next….
The second movie is a more modern (and campy) take on the shark attack. Shark Night came out in 2011, and was also featured in 3D (it was awesome). It’s the typical set up, a group of college friends pack up and head off for a weekend at their friend Sara’s lake house on the Louisiana Gulf. The house in on a private lake in the middle of nowhere, and, obviously, there is no parent to supervise.
Yes, I said they were on a lake, so you assume there are no sharks, right? Well, it wouldn’t be called Shark Night without some sharks! As these kids begin to unwind and have some fun, they run into trouble after taking the boat out to water ski. Malik (Sinqua Walls) ends up falling into the water and losing his arm. Thinking he hit the propeller, med student Nick (Dustin Milligan) goes back into the lake to retrieve his limb (so he can put it on ice and get him to the hospital). What he finds is that Malik did not lose his arm in a freak boating accident.
The teenagers soon realize bloodthirsty sharks surround them, but what they’re not sure of is how they got there. Sara will come to realize that her ex, Dennis (Chris Carmack) is a little more mad about their break-up then she thought and that he is involved with the mysterious appearance of the animals.
The great thing about this movie was the sharks themselves! How they hell did they end up in a lake and why are they so hungry for humans? As sick as this sounds, the sharks had some amazing kills and they were even cooler in 3D.
Whether you’re looking for a more realistic plot-line or one with gratuitous blood and gore, shark movies have been scaring movie goers out of the water for decades. If you’re more into the real thing, Shark Week is still on for another few days.