Speaking of Jaws…
A while back, my wife and I decided to watch all the Jaws movies. When we got to Jaws: The Revenge, mid-way through my wife said, “This is really stupid. Sharks don’t have telepathy. They don’t target specific people.” And she’s right about all those things. So I got to thinking… What if there was no supernatural element to this move? What if the shark wasn’t hunting Brodys? What if there were no telepathy and this was just a regular Jaws movie? What would that movie even look like? Would it even make any sense? I decided to find out.
My first step was ripping the video files off the blu-ray disc, something I’d never done before. I had to google how you do that and download some software, but eventually I had some video files that I could work with. Next step, convert the files to a format my editing software could read, which required another software download. After fiddling with the settings, I was in business and ready to edit.
Digital scissors in hand, I began mercilessly hacking away at the film, removing everything I thought was stupid. Not just every single reference to telepathy or vengeful sharks, but needless padding like Mike and Carla arguing about garbage, a seemingly endless casino scene, and Jake giving Mike a hard time the day after his brother’s funeral. The end result was barely over an hour, really lean and to the point. When my wife and I watched it together, we agreed that it was an improvement over the official version, but it was a little too short to be satisfying. So I went back to the drawing board. In the end, I added back in pretty much all the padding, leaving the original storyline intact, minus the psychic shark stuff. However, I did make a few other minor alterations to two scenes.
The first is Sean’s death scene. When the shark initially attacks him, we see the shark thrashing about and hear the tearing of flesh as Sean screams. Then, a moment later, he pops out of the water looking no worse for wear. I thought that was silly, so I cut that bit, ending the scene with the boat sinking and a shot of the shark’s fin lifted from Jaws 3-D.
I also recut the sequence where the shark attacks Mike in the mini-sub and then pursues him into a shipwreck. Some of this footage actually wound up in a completely different part of the film. The result is more realistic and more consistent with the tone of the first two films. I don’t want to say exactly what I did, though, because I think you’ll get a kick out of it.
Finally, I fixed the ending. All home video releases of Jaws: The Revenge have featured the ending from the international cut where the shark inexplicably explodes and then Jake pops out of the water, still alive. I got rid of that nonsense and restored the original ending from the theatrical version where the shark just gets impaled and Jake stays dead – except in my version, the shark no longer roars. Oh, and I replaced the main title card, retitling the film Jaws 4 and using the proper Jaws font. And I made a minor tweak to the Universal logo that probably only die-hard Jaws fans will notice.
The end result is… well, it’s still bad. After all, I could only do so much. But it’s slightly less bad than it was. Like by about 20% or so. If you’re interested in checking out my work, feel free to contact me.
I want to stress that I do not condone piracy and will not sell my fan edit in any format. The typical way it works is that you will need to send me a photo of yourself holding a legally-purchased copy of Jaws: The Revenge on blu-ray and I will then be happy to share my fan edit with you at no charge.