It Comes In Waves: Jaws The Revenge – A Tale of Hollywood Folly

When John D. Hancock landed in Rome in the summer of 1977, cowed and bruised by his experience in attempting to turn Jaws 2 into a film apart from the Steven Spielberg original, he could hardly have known that one late-September evening, a decade later, Sid Sheinberg would pick up the telephone and announce his intention to revive the Jaws franchise and make a “quality people picture, not a shark picture.” […]

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Raft of the Medusa: The Untold Story of Jaws 2

Roy Scheider was not a happy man. He’d just left The Deer Hunter due to creative differences; the standard industry term for quitting or being fired. Unusually, in this instance, the differences were very much of the creative kind.

“It’s completely implausible that anyone would go halfway around the world to save a friend,” he declared. Scheider felt trapped. He’d signed a three-picture contract with Universal and, so far, he’d only made one movie for them. The man wanted out. He wanted to tear up the lousy contract and start anew. But what he most definitely did not want was to make another shark movie […]

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Rise of the Summer Blockbuster: The Birth of Jaws

Some films have such an influence on you it can feel like there was never a time in your life that you hadn’t seen it; you’d been born knowing its nuances and meanings, almost like a parent in the way it helped to form your beliefs.

I’m sure I’m not the only one for whom Jaws was their first experience in true terror. After its release, a whole generation of kids were suddenly petrified of going into the sea […]

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This Month in . . . 1983 (February)

The month of February would get off with a bang for horror fans. Released on the same day, The Entity would go head-to head with David Cronenberg’s body horror classic Videodrome. Directed by Palm D’or nominated director Sidney J. Furie (The Ipcress File), The Entity was based on the real life Doris Bither case and tells the story of a malevolent poltergeist who purportedly raped and tormented her for years […]

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This Month in . . .1985 (December)

The first week of December would see a limited theatrical release for Golan-Globus thriller Runaway Train. Based on a screenplay by innovative Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, the movie is also notable for the debuts of Heat’s Danny Trejo and Tommy “Tiny” Lister, who would become a professional wrestler for a brief time in the late 1980’s after starring alongside Hulk Hogan in infamous WWF stinker No Holds Barred (1989). So badly received was the World Wrestling Federation’s first foray into the movie business that CEO Vince McMahon . . .

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Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986)

Back in 1982, Tobe Hooper directed Poltergeist, a movie that was written and produced by Stephen Spielberg, and in all honesty it may as well have been him behind the camera. Everything about that movie screamed Spielberg, from its familial tone and grandiose set pieces to its high profile marketing strategy and tantilsing teaser poster. The grisly touch of Hooper – a wonderful director in his own right – was nowhere to be found.

Predictably, the movie was an unbridled smash […]

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