JAWS LAWS

Jaws fan? Of course you are, why else would you be here? The great thing about the likes of The Daily Jaws and Twitter, Facebook and Instagram is that it is a great way of finding other Jaws fans across the UK and the pond. (Michael's in the pond).

Sure, every film has its fans but it has always seemed that - unfairly - Jaws and its fan base has played second fiddle to the likes of Star Wars. (Great film, but it isn't Jaws).

So, in true Matt Hooper style, what behavioural traits should you be looking for to be diagnosed as a true Jaws fan? Jaws fan and Chief The Daily Jaws scribe, Dean Newman, investigates.

#JawsLaws 1: If Jaws is on TV you have to watch it...

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It doesn't matter whether you own Jaws on VHS (pan and scan and widescreen), laserdisc, DVD or Bluray, nor how many times you have watched it. If Jaws is on TV you will be drawn to view it, mattering not at what point you enter the film - you know it back to front dialogue wise anyway.

Best demonstrated by the popping into the kitchen to make a cuppa whilst quoting the film for you to return to the fray with tea, possibly biscuits but definitely still in perfect synch with what is being said. You are like the Jaws equivalent of Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, primed for every sound and dialogue, even if it's a minor character.

And that version of the film you are watching in TV will be peppered in badly placed advert breaks. Even though your version is sat nearby on the shelf or under the TV fresh from (another) recent viewing you will still watch it.

And you get a warm fuzzy feeling when you see it in the listings, especially if it is being screened at a sensible prime time on one of the main channels. There's not many films from 1975 that get scheduled with such reverence. Extra goose bumpy points if we get a screening over Christmas or a Bank Holiday...or 4 July.


#JawsLaws 2: You have a Jaws related t-shirt...

Jaws fans wear it loud and proud, so that means we aren't averse to donning a Jaws related t-shirt or two. Last count, I had six.

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It could be one with the famous poster, one featuring a line of famous dialogue or even one related to Amity or the Orca.

One of the places to find the widest range of Jaws related t-shirts is Last Exit to Nowhere where you can get everything from an Amity Island top to Amity PD and even Ben Gardner's Sea Fishing. I interviewed them last year re all things Jaws here: Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Step Back Into The Wardrobe
Don't expect to see a Hoagie related one anytime soon though.


#JawsLaws 3: Jaws is your favourite film…

When asked your favourite film you answer Jaws without hesitation. In fact you've probably answered them before they have finished asking the question.

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I was asked this very question when I had an interview for Blockbuster, I then had to explain why. Hands down my most fun interview.

I also wore the Jaws name with pride when I worked at Odeon Cinemas as at that time above your name on the name badge you had to feature your fave film. No contest.

Although mentioning it as a favourite film always used to be a cause of surprise for most people. I don't know if it was because it was seen as an old film or supposedly had a 'dodgy' shark. "Oh, right" seemed to be the most common retort. And you also get annoyed when they refer to it as 'Jaws 1'.

I can't remember when it wasn't at the top of my favourite film list and I've certainly watched it on my birthday every year since 1987, starting with my still cherished CIC video. Over 40 years old and it is still top of my blockbuster food chain. Bill Boswell discusses why it is still his greatest film of all time: Why Jaws

#JawsLaws 4: You quote Jaws in your everyday conversations...

Jaws is oh so quotable, I don't think there is any character or hardly any line of dialogue (24 hours is like three weeks) that doesn't say something that is quote gold. Of course, I'd love to prove that and get my name into the National Geographic.

Do it often enough and it almost becomes second nature, plus it’s fun trying to get them in conversation at work. My favourite line? There really is just so many to choose from:

‘I ain't got no spit’, ‘oh boys, I think he's come back for noon feeding’ and of course ‘smile, you son of a bitch!’ Just don't misquote Jaws to us with 'we're gonna need a bigger boat.'


#JawsLaws 5: Shark Week on The Discovery Channel is like Christmas...

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Or any shark programme or documentary for that matter. We want to hoover up all the shark information we can, whether it’s about shark attacks, avoiding shark attacks or shark conservation, we are there. When I was little though I was always somewhat disappointed to not hear an approaching shark be accompanied by the Jaws theme.

For me, notable ones include Sharkwater, Jaws in the Med and anything featuring Ron and Valerie Taylor (probably in her chainmail suit), who of course shot the real shark footage in Jaws and Jaws 2. And we aren’t the only ones, if it’s a documentary featuring either sharks or big cats then they automatically command a greater viewing audience.


#JawsLaws 6: Seeing Jaws on the big screen is like a pilgrimage…

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Having been born the same year as Jaws I’d never been lucky enough to see it where it should be seen, on as big a screen as is possible. I’d attempted to right that wrong in 2002 with a screening of Jaws on Newquay beach in Cornwall, alas finding out it had been cancelled when we reached the beach.

I would have to wait until 2015…2015…to finally get to see it writ large for its 40th anniversary re-release. And that experience did not fail to disappoint, in fact it is safe to say that Jaws on the big screen is almost like seeing it anew for the very first time.

And that was it, or so I thought, until Jaws live at The Royal Albert Hall came along. Jaws with a live orchestra takes it to a completely different level. It’s just cranked up to 11, all three tons of him. I might just be a little bit excited about it here: Scores

It was no less exciting getting to experience it live for a second time, this time in more intimate venues as it toured the UK under the leadership of Ben Palmer, I was lucky enough to interview him here: JAWS IN CONCERT - Interview With Conductor Ben

 

#JawsLaws 7: Your dream is to one day visit Martha's Vineyard…

Martha’s Vineyard IS Amity Island, even if it is only an island if you look at it from the water. So, if seeing Jaws on the big screen is like a pilgrimage then its Mecca is surely Martha’s, especially as it still looks as it did back in the summer of 1974 when they filmed the first summer blockbuster.

And, yes, the car ferry still runs – no doubt full of people re-enacting the “You yell Barracuda” scene.

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#JawsLaws 8: Like Matt Hooper you are ‘in sharks’…

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For me, it was taking each and every shark book out of the library when I was in secondary school, I'd keep getting them out until the books practically fell apart.

It was where I of course read about the Jersey Shore shark attacks for the first time and stared for hours at the injuries sustained by Rodney Fox in 1963, several other less fortunate attack victims, as well as discovering more about conservation.

 

#JawsLaws 9: You'll give any new shark film a go...

Currently whilst typing this I’m watching Open Water 3: Cage Dive. Jaws is, and always will be the apex shark film, no question.

But that isn’t to say that there aren’t some other gems out there, in fact of late the shark movie has had something of resurgence beyond the b-movie schlock of Sharknado and 3-Headed Shark Attack.

And people know you are into shark films, so they’ll beat a path to your door to be the first to tell you about a new release, or ask your learned opinion about it as a gauge as to whether they should bother or not.

Outside of the Jaws sequels my favourites include Deep Blue Sea, Bait, The Reef, The Shallows and 47 Meters Down. And of course 2018 brings us The Meg and Great White, the latter from the same people that brought us The Reef. Sarah Buddery dives in with her top ten shark movies that aren’t Jaws here: Top 10 Shark Movies That Aren't Jaws


#JawsLaws 10: But despite all that you still know someone who has never seen Jaws

A whaaaaaaaat? I know!

 

By Dean Newman 

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