Jaws is not only considered one of the scariest horror films ever, but one of the greatest films to make it onscreen — even if the enemy was a mechanical shark.
The movie was released in 1975, almost 50 years ago. Director Steven Spielberg co-wrote the screenplay to Jaws with author Peter Benchley.
The dramatic thriller falls squarely in the “man vs. nature” bracket of storytelling. In stories such as those, humans often find that manmade weaponry isn’t enough to defeat a lurking enemy.
The moviegoing pubic was all for it, shelling out about $476 million to watch the two-hour-long flick. Jaws ranked as the highest-grossing box office movie until 1977.
The movie’s sequels, however, are a different story. None of the subsequent installments in the franchise came close to the first film by any measure. Actually, they each managed to get successively worse.
Jaws: The Revenge Bites
By the time the fourth Jaws movie, titled Jaws: The Revenge, came out in 1987, it was destined to be a generator of laughs instead of shrieks.
In reality, Jaws: The Revenge drew an even more horrific response: anger. Film experts Gene Siskel and Robert Ebert roasted it so harshly, they nearly shouted during the taping of At the Movies.
Siskel also pointed out that Jaws: The Revenge was such a toxic film, it even devoured hugely respected actor Michael Caine. Specifically, he pointed to one of the worst continuity errors ever to make it onto a big screen.
Toward the end of the movie, Michael Caine climbs out of the ocean and into a boat — with dry clothes.
Talk about a franchise that went on way too long after jumping the shark.