Director: Joe Alves
Written by: Richard Matheson, Carl Gottlieb
Weapon of Choice: Teeth
Based upon: nothing
Other movies in this series:
Jaws: The Revenge
I wanted to see this pretty bad in 1983. But living out in Infected Cyst, Wyoming, we didn't have a theatre near enough to go see everything. I had to satisfy myself with some of the Topps trading cards.
But the thing is, when I did see it (I've only seen Jaws Not-In-3-D, never the theatrical version*), I recognized that it was not a good movie, even as a kid. It's funny, the Jaws series got worse with each installment. Kinda like the Planet of the Apes and Superman series, huh?
Dennis Quaid stars at the-all-grown-up Mike Brody (did Dennis Quaid become a Celebrity before or after this?), far from Amity Island and now the designer of a sea-themed amusement park. Bess Armstrong plays Mike's pretty vanilla scientist girlfriend. Lou Gossett Jr. is the greedy Sea World park administer. Lea Thompson plays a cute and horny teenager (you were in love with her also, weren't you, tyranist? [Oh, yeah. But weren't we all?]), and some nameless dude (John Putch) plays Sean Brody. Oh yeah, and some gimpy guy with an accent as the arrogant prize hunter Fitzroyce . . . zzzz.
Directed by the production designer of the original Jaws, and written by the original screenwriter, plus Horror icon Matheson, the pedigree is here. But something went wrong somehow. As these flicks often do, it has a few silly 3-D shots for their own sake, especially toward the end. They really distract from the story, what little there is. Often, the underwater scenes are a) so poorly executed, and b) so hindered by Pan&Scan that it was impossible to know what was happening. The special effects are often astoundingly bad (and can that all be blamed on the non-present 3-D stuff?). The shark looks pretty phony most of the time, whereas in the previous two films, it only looked fake occasionally. This movie is quite low-brow and campy. It even gets boring really quick. Although there's a lot of danger, there's very few actual deaths.
This is something of an important film, though, because the mentally-deficient dolphin subplot is responsible for our Dog/Pet Miraculously Survives cliche. And oh, those dolphins. "Cindy" and "Sandy" are worse than terrible. Jaws Not-In-3-D has one of the gayest endings in film history. The way many people feel about Jar-Jar Binks, I feel about them frickin' dolphins.
As bad as this movie is, there's a certain nostalgic fun to it--a bit of simple enjoyment and stupid thrills. It would be a blast to see in the theatre.
Best Scare: None. But sharks are still scary.
I'd Recommend It To: Those easily amused and/or those who absolutely have to see all the Jaws films.
Line To Remember: "Our shark couldn't have killed Overman. Its MOTHER did!!"
*In fact, any time there was a tri-dimensional release in the theatre and not on video, I call the movie "Not-In-3-D".
Total Skulls: 15
|Rips off earlier film|
|Horror film showing on TV/in theater in movie|
|Future celebrity appears||Lea Thompson|
|Former celebrity appears|
|Girl unnecessarily gets naked|
|Death associated with sex|
|Unfulfilled promise of nudity|
|Characters forget about threat|
|Power is cut|
|Phone lines are cut|
|Someone investigates a strange noise|
|Someone runs up stairs instead of going out front door|
|Camera is the killer|
|Victims cower in front of a window/door|
|Victim locks self in with killer|
|Victim running from killer inexplicably falls|
|Toilet stall scene|
|Car stalls or won't start|
|Cat jumps out|
|Stupid discovery of corpse|
|No one believes only witness|
|Crazy, drunk, old man knows the truth|
|Warning goes unheeded|
|Music detracts from scene|
|Death in first five minutes|
|x years before/later|
|Dark and stormy night|
|Killer doesn't stay dead|
|Killer wears a mask|
|Killer is in closet|
|Killer is in car with victim|
|Villain is more sympathetic than heroes|
|Blood spatters camera/wall/other|
|Poor death effect|
|No one dies at all|
|Little kid lamely survives|
|Dog/Pet miraculously survives|
|"It was all a dream" ending|
|Unbelievably happy ending|
|Unbelievably crappy ending|
|What the hell?|