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Wednesday 14 August 2019

Burl reviews Jaws 3-D! (1983)

Dumb-dumb, dumb-dumb, it’s Burl approaching from the starboard side! I’m here today to review one of the dumber of the Jaws pictures, Jaws 3-D! Ha ha, has there ever been a series of pictures with a steeper downward slide than these fish movies? I think not! Look at Jaws, which is so great, and then have a look at this gobbler, and you’ll feel your gorge rise as though you’re on the downslope of the world’s biggest roller coaster!
Jaws 3-D was directed by the production designer of the first one, Joe Alves! I’m afraid he learned nothing about filming effective shark attack scenes, as there aren’t any of them in this movie! Oh sure, there are shark attack scenes, but they’re really just someone getting faked out, and then the next time they turn around, there’s Jaws! Cue the bubbles and the bluh-bluh-bluh!
And in this picture, cue the things that are supposed to stick out into the audience because it was originally in 3-D! I recall the 3-D being pretty effective, but on home video we just sit and puzzle at all the instances of fish heads and spear guns floating, thrusting and poking toward the lens! There’s one nice gruesome bit with a floating severed arm, but that’s not much to hang your hat on! It’s no Parasite, ha ha!
Our setting is Sea World in Florida, owned and operated by flashy slapheaded impresario Louis Gossett Jr.! Working for him he’s got Bess Armstrong, last spotted taking the High Road to China, and Dennis Quaid, whom we know from Dreamscape and Innerspace! When a big shark comes to threaten the waterski pyramid, everyone knows something should be done, but nobody knows quite what!
Well, Simon MacCorkindale, the poor man’s Michael York, whom we know well from The Sword and the Sorcerer, has an idea! So far as I can tell he’s playing a sort of bloodthirsty Jacques Cousteau, and he wants to blast the shark with grenades! Quaid and Armstrong are of a different mind, and Louis Gossett Jr., well, he’ll go with whatever sells the most tickets! But the big shark turns out to be just a baby, and the mother is roaming around the underwater hamster tubes of the artificial lagoon!
It all builds to some hilarious scenes of MacCorkindale being eaten and a fantastically terrible trick effects sequence of the shark busting her way into the underwater control room! Poor Fred, the affable technician, is eaten, but then later somehow the previously munched-on MacCorkindale is partially regurgitated back up past Fred so that his hand, clutching one of his grenades, is lifelessly waving within Quaid’s reach! Ha ha, you can guess the rest!
It’s all exquisitely terrible in the way only a 1983 release can be! With the sea park setting, the flamboyant Gossett Jr. performance, the 3-D and the terrible script, it should be so much more entertaining than it is! I give Jaws 3-D one game of stand-up, whatever that is! Ha ha!


  1. This is farcically bad, but as you say, the 3D was good. The one big laugh arrives with the little girl calling to her father, "Daddy, daddy, look at the fish!" - his two word response is worth the entire movie. All in the delivery.

    1. Ha ha! My son is just watching this movie again in the next room, and the little girl's cry, and the father's response, just drifted in! Hilarious, just as you say!