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Jaws (1975)
Movie Review by The Mortician


Wow, someone mailed me this and all I can say is I AM WICKEDLY IMPRESSED! I'm a HUGE Jaws fan, of course, grew up with the movie and it's probably one of my top three favorite films of all time, if not NUMBER ONE! Saw it in the theater in its first release and have watched it in every format and incarnation since then over the last nearly forty years, so I've probably seen it over three hundred times by now. JAWS quite simply...rocks my world! And THE SHARKSPLOITATION EDIT is just a splendid good time if you love the movie JAWS and are also a fan of grindhouse exploitation flicks (as well as the entire niche market of animal attack movies that JAWS inspired). Basically, this "unauthorized" (but award winning!) edit is swimming around on the fringes of the Internet, waiting for you to reel it in. What exactly IS The Sharksploitation Edit? Well, it's the movie JAWS re-edited very carefully and lovingly by a fan going by the name of The Man Behind The Mask. Now how do you re-edit a classic film without access to the raw footage and make it look, feel, and sound more like it was directed by William Girdler than Steven Spielberg? Well, quite simply, you cut out some of the long plot exposition and character moments that Spielberg magically offered us and replace that footage with more action and exploitation scenes, using outtakes and bloopers from JAWS and JAWS 2 as well as select key moments from ORCA, JAWS 4, THE LAST SHARK, SPRING BREAK SHARK ATTACK, BLUE WATER-WHITE DEATH, THE DOORS, PLANET TERROR and many National Geographic Specials. Let me tell you, NONE of the extra footage calls attention to itself; it's so professionally and lovingly blended into the movie that it feels...flawless, creating a hybrid exploitation experience that is worth viewing! Almost like a "parallel universe" version of JAWS (think the MIRROR MIRROR episode of STAR TREK, people!). Adding to the authenticity of this project is that classic drive-in "battered film print" ambience that has been superimposed over the imagery and sound (grain, sprocket glitches, dirt, missing reels, popping sounds, the whole nine yards)...There's additional music added to the classic John Williams score as well, to awe-inspiring effect, including some Metallica, Man O' War, Iggy Pop, and even a rendition of the JAWS theme by Lalo Schifrin recorded in 1976! Each new cue adds a grindhouse flavor to the movie and actually helps propel the story forward, especially in the tracks with lyrics like Unforgiven III, The Beach Boys' Surfer Girl, and Nana Mouskouri's Deep and Silent Sea. The best parts of these changes are we can almost hear Roger Corman standing over the editor, screaming "cut the talk scenes, add some action and music to keep people from falling asleep!" Not that anything in JAWS is bad, it's just that classic b-movie mentality---one that I love as a fan! The storyline remains the same: giant shark attacks a coastal community during the tourist season, the Mayor continually keeps the beaches open, Brody struggles to appease politics and keep the public safe, and after more and more attacks...Brody, Hooper, and salty sailor Quint go out to sea to do battle with Bruce. You know you're in for an exploitation feast when the opening shark attack sequence featuring the very naked Chrissy has been lightened like it was in the original 1975 theatrical release, and we can finally see every bit of her curvaceous bod again (including muff!) under water from the shark's POV! Oh yeah!!! (Over the years, this sequence has been oh-so-sadly darkened so much that you can barely see ANYTHING at all, even on the latest Blu Ray release, and let's not even talk about the censored poster art with bubbles that obscure the swimming damsel's nipple, which was so prominently erect on the original theatrical one-sheets back in the day!) But here we see all Chrissy's goods, GRINDHOUSE STYLE, and it's a blessing! From here, the narrative marches on with so many surprises that I don't want to ruin things for you, but highlights include liberal use of JAWS outtakes and bloopers, including the classic scene where Quint humiliates a young clarinet player in a store and a sequence where Hooper talks about chatting up long-distance sex with a girlfriend! There's new attack scenes expertly added to the beach sequences, a nifty bit with the fishermen of Amity hunting down the hapless tiger shark (to the tune of Dollar Bill Blues, by Townes Can Zant!) and Quint's Indianapolis speech is peppered with flashbacks from the event---with chillingly good effect! I was blown away by that addition, even though the scene also plays eerily perfect with just a close-up of Robert Shaw talking. In addition, there's a brand spanking new ending that I did not expect, and this was also brilliantly clever and killer! This movie was assembled with such loving attention to detail by a die-hard fan who really thought this thing out to almost SCARY extremes that I can't believe Hollywood hasn't caught up with him for some SERIOUS postproduction work! It's truly amazing what you can do these days as a fan with a computer and a lot of extra time on your hands! Anyway, this incredible grindhouse alternative reality version of JAWS breathes fresh b-movie life into a classic film and it's GREAT STUFF, well worth tracking down and watching. If you're like me, you'll be viewing it over, and over, and over again! I'm even seeking out the nifty musical cuts added to the score and making my own soundtrack of it! Universal needs to give this thing a legit release, in my opinion! So if you love JAWS and the whole style of old drive-in movies, you'll most definitely LOVE The Sharksploitation spin on it!

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