Sorry about the delay between reviews, I'm finally outta the hospital and back at the front lines of fear, once again. As we take the last few drags on a summer cigarette here at the Wop, let's look at a made-for-television movie documenting the historic New Jersey shark attacks of 1916 that would eventually inspire Benchley, Spielberg and company to change the game forever with the horrific (PG-rated, which is still unbelievable to me) Jaws sixty years later. In the directorial chair was Jack Sholder, who you'll remember from genre efforts like 1982's Alone in the Dark, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985), and The Hidden (1987), while script duties were shared by none other than Tommy Lee Wallace of Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) and television miniseries It (1990) fame. In front of the camera, you've got soap opera heartthrob Colin Egglesfield and Gimli himself, John Rhys-Davies, who only agreed to appear if Animal Planet (where tonight's review was first broadcast) gave his beard it's own reality series. Just kidding about that last part...
"You're such a blatherskite. I don't pay any mind to your balderdash or your poppycock."
From July 1st to the 12th of that particular month in the year of nineteen and sixteen, long before it would be overtaken by ab-obsessed guidos and meathead paisan chicks that make the shallows look like the Mariana Trench, the shores off of the state of New Jersey were terrorized by unseen cartilaginous terror from the murky ocean depths. Alex (Colin Egglesfield) is a lifeguard plagued with good looks, a complex love triangle with his best chum (Mark Dexter) and his current bride-to-be, Alice (Jenna Harrison), who he may or may not have shared some fluids of the non-sarsparilla variety with, and the current climate of beach bathers leaving the surf with large tell-tale bites taken out of them he also shares with his fellow Garden Staters. Shark? Who's ever even heard of those in this era of the Black Tom explosion of '16, in Jersey City, no less? Those damned Germans!
"Since you won't be wearing those swell new calfskin loafers again, you can always hand 'em over to this fellow."
Naturally, the first attack falls upon ignorant ears in town, and even the second one merits only the most minor of precautions in the form of a flimsy off shore fence that wouldn't keep Kevin Smith out of a box of Devil Dogs. Then there's the grizzled Captain (John Rhys-Davies) who's reluctant to sign on and fish the horrible beasty out of the drink so folks can try that new beach bathing lotion on, in their full form bathing suits, usually striped. He later notices it swimming upstream into a Matawan creek towards your obligatory oblivious boys in the water, splashing about in their youthful quest for aquatic horseplay, but no one puts too much faith in the word of a drunk. The lifeguard meets the same resistance, taking it personally when the shark bites off a sizable portion of his best mate, killing the poor chap. Still, the authorities refuse to close the beaches. You can figure out where this one is gonna end up if you've read the book of the same name, or seen Jaws (1975).
"Northern Fur Seal or human gastrocnemius muscle? I'm terribly confused, indeed..."
The producers of the film would have you believe that a Great White was the culprit in these historic attacks, but the laziest of research will inform the reader that at least one of these must have been perpetrated by it's smaller, more aggressive, more adaptable cousin, the Bull shark. Hell, they even murder in fresh water if the fancy arises. All in all, the effects weren't half bad for a tv movie, especially a made-for-AnimalPlanet movie.There's nothing particularly memorable here, though, for genre fans, and with chicks wearing era accurate bathing suits, there isn't much in the way of cheap thrills to be had, either. It may have taken me two sittings to watch all the way through, but the anesthetic and pain meds I had flooding my system all week have left me slightly cloudy on that detail. Still gotta be better than Sharknado (2013) or Three-Headed Shark Attack (2015), obviously a sequel to Two-headed Shark Attack (2012). What the fuck happened...What in the actual fuck, as today's snot-nosed punks have been heard saying. Two Wops.
"I fancy sunbathing with knock-kneed women.", says Not-Clint (John Rhys-Davies).