Traumafessions :: Reader Nat on Jaws 3(D)

Another terrifying childhood memory just came to me. (I say “just” with the implication that it came to me hours ago, and I’ve just now crawled back out from under my desk). It’s from… (wait for it)… JAWS 3.   I’m sure everyone has their traumatic JAWS moments, and I hope I find I’m not alone in being affected by the third chapter in the saga. Especially considering that the scene in question is one of the most laughable scenes ever filmed. Maybe it’s like SUPERMAN III: JAWS 3(D) is the cinematic equivalent of a steaming cup of liquid poo, but it came out at the right time for many of our generation, and was played frequently enough on cable as to be caught out of context and to stick in our stupid little minds. ‘Cause looking at it now, this movie is b-a-d, craptastic, but when I was young and impressionable, this following scene was responsible for many moments of terror. Any time I was in the pool, this is what would flash in my mind:

Awful, right? But, there’s something so eerie and unsettling about it, too. The way the shark just kinda glides towards you–not moving, just approaching. Almost like the gentlemen in that BUFFY episode, “Hush.” It’s so calm and malevolent and unnatural that it almost approaches the level of high art: an animal behaving in a very mechanical, false, alien way. (And I’m sure that’s what the filmmakers were going for. I mean, they had LOU GOSSETT, JR., after all, so it’s already practically an art flick.) Every time I was in a body of water, I would picture that shark slowly getting closer, and I could struggle and swim as fast as I could, but it would just. Eventually. Get. There.

Earlier: Nat’s not-so-fond memories of the VHS Cover of Fright Night and “Maneater” by Hall & Oates.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Amanda By Night
13 years ago

Man! I was actually coming up with my own Tramafession and this was one of the ones I was considering!!! Although, the scene for me is the one with Simon MacCorkindale in the sharks mouth. I saw it when I was 12 and NEVER forgot it.

This week in Los Angeles, one of the local channels actually showed a Jaws a night and my co-worker watched them all, came in and expounded upon the treasure he’d seen the night before. I’ve seen the first 3 Jaws movies about a bizillion times. I like this one – sometimes – depending on my mood. I think the acting kind of saves this movie. A lot of great actors showed up for whatever reason (i.e. money!). I also sometimes like Part 4 depending… but it’s pretty stinky. Although, it was the first Jaws my nephew saw and he wouldn’t get in the pool afterwards, so it had an effect on SOMEONE!

Also, to actually talk about this scene. The guy who gets munched after the shark breaks into the observation area is supposed to Lou Gossett’s character’s cousin and after the movie, I was all “What could he have done to deserve that!”

I know… I’m sensitive and stuff.

And the dolphins made it! YAY!

This is one of my favorite tramafessions so far, because it brings back SO MANY MEMORIES!

PS – I fantasize about a Jaws 5 with Officer Hendricks playing the lead (Jeffrey Kramer from the first two) because I think he’s adorable and because it’s a weird enough to hook to work. I mean, now the shark goes after FRIENDS of the Brody’s! It’s GENUIUS!

PPS-I just did a list of the best shark movies for Pretty Scary (please delete is this is inappropriate):

I love, love, LOVE these movies!

13 years ago

I remember going to see this movie in the theater with a kid in my class. We were in Elementary school and I guess we thought the movie was rated R and there was no way they were gonna let us in (after all, when we tryed to see PSYCHO 2 in our Catholic school girl jumpers they had turned us away). But they let us in….and we had a friggin’ ball! There was just something about 3D that made bad movies GOOD!

13 years ago

“Oh God, it’s Hawold McMillan!”