Friends, when Jaws was released back in ’75 I was far too young to catch it in theaters – even if I was raised as a Monster Kid, there were quite obviously certain films that even my Father wouldn’t take me too. I do recall though seeing that iconic poster for the massive blockbuster in the lobby of the Ozark Theatre – this is the same place I caught The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie by the way. I wouldn’t have the chance to see Spielberg’s epic thriller until around 1978, watching it over at my Grandparents with my Uncle on the Movie Channel. It was just in the nick of time too as Jaws 2 was set to play at the Drive-In theater of my youth – being 100% truthful I was more interested in the aquatic horror elements of the film at that time than the bureaucratic troubles of Police Chief Brody (Roy Scheider). It wouldn’t be until I became a teenager that I started to pay more attention to the fantastic characters – in particular with the first film, like with Robert Shaw’s exceptional monologue as Quint.
During the Summer of ’83, five years after Jaws 2, I found out that a third Jaws film was coming out – I very much remember seeing the poster for it in the lobby of the Razorback Theater that I’ve talked about on the Saturday Frights podcast. That poster is pretty good I think but what really made me excited to catch the movie was that it was going to be in 3-D… then I saw the teaser trailer and there was just no way I was going to miss it!
When Jaws 3-D hit theaters back on July 22nd of 1983 I had turned 11, so when I asked my Grandmother to take me to see it there wasn’t any real push back. Two things made seeing the film even better:
1) My Cousin Brandon was in town for the Summer break so we could see it together.
2) The fact that my Grandmother can’t stand horror films – I will share my Silver Bullet story with you one day.
Right out of the gate, my Grandmother was grabbing either my arm or Brandon’s and while it would be honest to say that Jaws 3-D is nowhere as awesome as the first film – I prefer it to Jaws 2. I still think it is a lot of fun and how can it not be with the likes of Dennis Quaid, Lea Thompson, Bess Armstrong, Louis Gossett Jr., and Simon MacCorkindale as your leads – or that small matter of shark attacks in 3-D?
Which brings us to both the point and closing of this article, the HBO Jaws 3-D featurette – while being shot during the filming of the ’83 film, I have found another broadcast of it online that has a 1984 copyright. Which I do believe is when the third movie in the Jaws franchise was being broadcast on the premium TV channel – it contains an interesting behind the scenes look on the set featuring interviews with Louis Gossett Jr., Lisa Maurer, as well as Director Joe Alves and Producer Rupert Hitzig.