Why Jaws Is The Only Good Shark Film Ever Made

I’m prepared to be proved wrong – please, please prove me wrong – but there has only been one good film made about sharks ever. I’m sure even someone with the slightest of interest in movies can tell you it isn’t Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus.

That said, this clip – in which a shark fights a zombie (or at least a diver wearing rags and a prosthetic arm) – taken from Lucio Fulci’s 1979 horror Zombi 2 is undoubtedly mankind’s single greatest achievement.

Man, the invention of Penicillin has nothing on that shit.

Yet the legacy of Jaws hangs heavy over Hollywood – it’s the film that essentially invented the notion of a ‘summer blockbuster’, yet it basically raised the bar so high for sea-based-monster-movies (that’s a genre I just invented, so save your time looking for it on IMDB) that I can’t think of any film involving sharp teeth and the open seas that has come anywhere near it, let alone better it.

I mean, the closest I can think of is that – and that’s like comparing Cast (the above) to The Beatles (Jaws).

Recently it feels like moviemakers are having another stab at the genre with a renewed zeal. They’re favouring piranhas over sharks, sure – as the recent releases of Piranha 3D and the distinctly lower budget Mega Piranha will testify to – but add screaming teenagers, sandy beaches and a couple of inches of salt water, and you’ve got a studio exec leaning back in his swivel chair somewhere saying, “please do a Jaws, please do a Jaws, please do a Jaws…”

Problem is, most of them end up like Megalodon.

It doesn’t help that Jaws is basically the greatest movie ever made. More than just a sea-based-monster-movie, it’s also a superb black comedy (see: any scene featuring Murray Hamilton, the Mayor Of Amity Island), a gripping thriller, and features my favourite scene in any movie ever (Robert Shaw as shark hunter Quint, retelling the true story of the World War II sinking of the USS Indianapolis).

The point being, unless you’ve got a script and cast of that caliber, you’re never going to score a hit of its magnitude with the ropey CGI goblin sharks in Mega Sharks Of The Malibu. Not that it seems anyone has cottoned on to that yet.

Like I said, I’m happy to be proved wrong. Please prove me wrong, y’all.