Jaws: The Revenge (1987)

jaws the revenge poster 1987 movie
1.0 Overall Score
Story: 1/10
Acting: 1/10
Visuals: 1/10

So bad it is good

Everyone should have known better

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Jaws:  The Revenge

Studio:  Universal Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  July 17, 1987

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

jaws the revenge shark attacks raft

This guy always ruins a nice day…

It is Christmastime, and Sean Brody (Mitchell Anderson) has been called to clear garbage from the harbor.  When he is killed by a great white shark, his mother Ellen (Lorraine Gary) thinks that her family is cursed.  Deciding to spend time with her other son Michael (Lance Guest), his wife Carla (Karen Young), and her granddaughter Thea (Judith Barsi) in the Caribbean, Ellen has a suspicion that their family is cursed and the shark is seeking revenge.  Ellen begin seeing a pilot named Hoagie (Michael Caine), but when the shark comes to the Caribbean, Ellen decides she has to end the cycle once and for all.

Directed by Joseph Sargent, Jaws:  The Revenge (also sometimes called Jaws 4:  The Revenge), is a horror thriller.  The film was panned upon its release but a moderate financial success.  The film was nominated for Razzies for Worst Actress (Gray), Worst Actor (Bruce the Shark), Worst Supporting Actor (Caine), Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, and won the Razzie for Worst Visual Effects.  Michael Caine missed picking up his Oscar for Hannah and Her Sisters while being forced into reshoots for the film.  Tragedy is also tied to the film…soon after the movie was made, Judith Barsi (who played Thea) was killed by her father.

jaws the revenge 1987 jake mario van peebles killed

Oh…maybe not my best decision

Jaws:  The Revenge is ridiculous on multiple levels.  First the idea that a shark is seeking revenge (the basic concept of the movie) is stupid.  It also manages to go all the way from New England to the Caribbean in a couple of days to eat the family which it somehow can track…it is a super-fish!

The super-fish however appears to be the worst of all the Jaws sharks.  The seams can frequently be seen, it moves slow and clunky, and has the ability to roar (you know those roaring sharks right?)  One of the better images of the Jaws series was the fin cutting through the water and above shots of the shark.  The movie featured barely any of it nor much of the classic John Williams music.  The shark despite its slow movement, it can manipulate a sunken ship to try to eat Lance Guest…Guess that the shark didn’t know he was the last Starfighter.

jaws the revenge ending boat kill

Now that’s how you kill a shark!!!

The cast really had to question what was going on.  The movie was so poorly planned.  A sub-plot of Michael Caine trafficking drugs is alluded to but deleted.  Lorraine Gary called it quits after this movie, and most of the actors in the movie were much better than this.  The sway of a big budget sequel must have called them in.  They should have checked out Jaws 3-D before agreeing to it to see how poorly it could go (which in the Jaws canon established in this film, Jaws 3-D never happened).

The ending of the movie also suffered a setback.  Originally the shark was impaled on the boat and died that way.  The test audience hated it, so in some versions, you see the shark get rammed, it randomly explodes, and somehow Mario Van Peebles character survives being eaten.  It almost feels like a dream ending since it is so unrealistic.  At least the Jaws video game for the NES made more sense.

Jaws:  The Revenge is definitely so-bad-it-is-good.  The movie can’t be looked at any other way.  It is embarrassing bad, and after Jaws 3-D, I can’t see why another film would be greenlit or how it could be worse…Jaws:  The Revenge succeeds in defying the odds.

Related Links:

Jaws (1975)

Jaws 2 (1978)

Jaws 3-D (1983)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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