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MONDAY, MAY 27, 2019
'Fuckin' fear me!'
When I was five years old, my Mother and I would frequent the Vancouver Aquarium, like many families tend to do, every other Month or so (yay for Memberships!). One day, I don't know the exact date, after a long day of wondering around aimlessly and watching the Sea Otters whack-off I picked up a nifty book about Sharks at the Gift Shop. I was drawn to it because it had a picture of a Great White on it and the only thing the Aquarium had in the way of these underwater death-machines (I developed my morbid taste in animals early) were blacktip reef sharks, which were rarely, if ever, seen devouring smaller animals without mercy. I sat down and read the book, which is something special because I never voluntarily read at that age. My Mother bought me the book without me even asking and it became my favourite non-comic reading material. However, this would be the first and last time I came close to "written facts" about sharks, seeing as how for every book about sharks there is at least 20 different shots of sharks on television, film and even the internet, doing something strictly badass.
Whatever you choose to refer to the sea-dwelling creatures commonly known as sharks, nothing can change the fact that they rule, hard. For as long as cameras have been around there have been crazy assed men in shorts willing to risk their lives to document some obscure behaviors of these underwater badasses. Any animal that annually has a week of broadcasting dedicated purely to them deserves accolades from all walks of TV viewing life. However, over the many, many years of sharks being captured on film, sharks have evolved to the point that they are equal parts flesh and myth (and couple rows of teeth for good measure).
Thanks to the powers of crazy film makers and some really high television writers, it is safe to say that "sharks on film" have carved themselves a little niche of Hollywood fame based purely on the "what the fuck" reaction of the average media-viewer public. To anyone that lives their life believing that everything displayed on television and film is 100% fact, Sharks come off as either human-hungry assholes bent on ruining summer vacations at the beach or seemingly mindless creatures that regularly swim into large steel cages.
I have gone out of my way to bring you the higher points of Sharks on film. I give you the best, the gritty and the downright amazing. A Testament to the enduring awesomeness of Sharks on Film.

Exploding Shark
For as long as man has had gunpowder man has loved making shit blow up. Thanks to the Myth Busters, explosions in recent years have become something cool that science can use to get in touch with "the kids." However, half the fun of at least 87% of all movie and television explosions has been the mind fucking aspect of them � in other words, the more random and inexplicable, the better.
Thanks to the Jaws series, it is now known that a shark's most dangerous enemy is an explosion. In fact it appears to be the only coherent way of killing them. The first film ended with an oxygen tank exploding in the Shark's mouth (thank Mythbusters for ruining the fun "facts" with that one). Leaving reason out of the equation, it was a cool way to end a film. However thanks to the first Jaws, every subsequent film has had a similar, if not identical ending: the shark explodes or suffers some equally violent death. This all reaches a high point (or low point, depending on your IQ) in Jaws 4: The Revenge, where not only does the Shark roar (which isn't as cool as it sounds) but it explodes from being stabbed by a plank of wood. That's it. There isn't even an oxygen tank.

What I love most about this film is that Michael Cain is in it. You heard his voice. You saw him. You can't deny it. It�s him. He took time away from accepting awards to do this film, I shit you not.
Having said that, it still backs up the theory (or fact, in the case of cinema) that sharks are pussies against explosions. Another example of inexplicable explosions being a shark's Achilles' heel can be seen in the late 1960's television series Batman.

What the fuck is Christian Bale going to do about sharks when he can't even fight off dogs properly. The guy doesn't have any Oceanic Repellant Bat sprays. What is he going to do if a Manta-Ray jumps him? Not even all the critical acclaim in the world will get him out of that situation.

Sharks as Threat of Death
This scenario is the closest to sharks and humans living harmoniously: one enslaves the other as a pet in order to threaten someone else with some "Death by Shark."
Sharks tend to be a favourite for crazed Evil Villains hell bent on killing protagonists in the most oblique manner possible. How many times has James Bond kissed sweet Death in the face thanks to a Shark? At least four, by my count. Austin Powers even satirized the concept when Dr. Evil stated he wanted Sharks with Lazerbeams attached to their heads, which he gets, eventually.

Sharks tend to strike fear in the hearts of men about to be dropped into a pool of them because they tend to fuck your shit up. They strike an extra bit of fear into the hearts of the protagonist, because they feel that they aren't just going to die, but that a shark will fuck around with them for a while before they pass out from the pain.

Jumping a Shark
As previously stated, sharks are threatening and scary as shit because no one wants to be an underwater chew-toy. Jumping over a shark would take balls the size of tangerines. Yet, Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli, history's greatest Italian, jumped over a shark in the 1977 season premiere of Happy Days. The Fonz, wearing surprisingly tight and seemingly cumbersome shorts, water skiis over a shark and as a result saves Happy Days for another season. Or in other terms, sharks saved Happy Days!

Flying Sharks
I first became aware of this phenomenon during a Shark week episode about four years ago: turns out Great Whites can jump out of the water, body and all.
I don't actually have anything witty to say about this, I just felt that this clip was worth posting because it is pants-stainingly amazing.

Street Sharks
I give you the 90's half-assed answer to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Street Sharks. Unluckily for Street Sharks, which survived only a year of syndication (1994-95), Biker Mice from Mars ('93-'96) already beat them to the punch as the next lame attempt at TMNT. Regardless, Street Sharks existed, it may not have been awesome, but it tried its hardest to be (going as far to coin the catchphrase "jawesome").
For those who didn't obsess over the idea of having a fin on your head (Mohawks aren't your thing), Street Sharks fallowed four brothers who were turned into humanoid Sharks because an evil scientist was jealous of their Father, also a scientist, he also had a thing for underwater predators � it was something like that, I think. Swimming in concrete was involved, and something about splicing DNA with animals. All I know is that they had really cool action figures.

Sharks against Humans
Sharks' main advantage over humans is that they can swim better than humans can, in case you didn't know. They do. Accept it. Sharks can also swim in a much more subtle manner than humans can. They have also been known to be sneaky bastards that like to stealth kill people � a fact that Hollywood routinely informs the world.

In the film Deep Blue Sea, a group of sharks are subject to a similar, if not less retarded, fate as the Street Sharks were, in the sense that "science" has its way with them thusly making them meaner and faster (says the film's tagline). Because the whole "stealth" thing has been done, the film runs with the idea that Sharks like to boast and show off when killing humans. They routinely are shown jumping out of the water and eating the only actor with a career in mid heroic-speech.

Awesome?! I know. Not only that, but the film furthers the point that Sharks exploding is fucking rad. (Give it until 1:50-2:10)

The lesser known television-film series Shark Attack also runs with Deep Blue Sea's notion that Sharks are aggressive and they're willing to eat entire rafts full of people, as seen here in a clip from Shark Attack 3: Megalodon.

Sharks against Zombies
This scenario is simple math: you take two equally great things and force them to battle against each other to create something greater than the two. Okay, not that simple, or that mathematical but it is something that is truly inspired.
Zombies have monopolized the Dystopian-Gore-based-Horror genre, mainly because the notion that we will be over-run by a race of beings whose only advantage over us is the fact that they are already dead, and thusly don't care for the living, is scary. Having said that, a shark is not an underwater equivalent to a zombie, it�s not even similar. The only things they have in common is that they are good horror genre fodder, that and they both are awesome. A shark fighting a zombie, nothing really more to add. Here they are, together, in the 1979 Lucio Fulci film, Zombi 2.

This also appeared in my Youtube search for "Sharks"
Alamir

Alamir

2008-07-27 00:45:39

Wow.
This has just become my favourite article on Wordarc. You just kept pumping with the awesome shark facts like a machine gun. Everytime I thought the awesomeness of your article was going to fade you only turned it up a notch. I seriously loved every sentence of it.
Congratulations, you just mixed entertainment with pseudo-science and came out with a masterpiece.

Sorrel

Sorrel

2008-07-28 01:09:43

I'll read the rest later... feel free to shut down my writing all you want, but as much as I enjoyed what I read of this article, certain word choices bothered me. If you are going to use such vernacular, perhaps do it in moderation. For instance saying sharks are "strictly badass" is fine and dandy, but using the word "badasses" three lines later takes away from the initial usage. Also, writing: "Thanks to the powers of crazy film makers and some really high television writers" takes away from your credibility as a writer yourself. All in all, I quite thoroughly enjoyed what I read of it and saw. p.s. Alamir, you favoritist bastard!... I wouldn't go so far as to call it a masterpiece. Besides which, how would you ever hang it on the wall? It wouldn't fit in a shadow box.

Alamir

Alamir

2008-07-28 02:50:47

Writing is a mixture of content and style. And if the content is "badass" enough I tend to forget about little rules like repetition. The vernacular itself fit the context of the topic, as the title itself was about the "awesomeness" of sharks. If the title uses slang then it's not unreasonable to expect the rest of the article to use it. He started off with the article as a child going into an aquarium, so the childish tone was quite appropriate to keep throughout. It's almost through the eyes of a mature child. It reminds me of how I looked at "awesome" things when I was a kid. Yet, few people write that vision down at the age of 5... nor could they. Which gives the article a bit of nostalgic style.

alishahnovin

alishahnovin

2008-07-28 13:48:06

I once had an encounter with a shark when I was in Florida. A hurricane had hit a week earlier, which had brought the sharks in closer to shore. I was playing football in the water - without my glasses (the only prescription I have without my glasses is a prescription for disaster) - when two surfer dudes blew a whistle and called out shark. Being that they were surfer dudes, and Hollywood has taught me to not put much faith in what people who sound like Keanu Reeves, I shrugged them off.

Then people saw the shark. But of course, I couldn't. I started to make my way back to the shore, when I finally saw a blurry shaddow under the water. That's when I realized I was crossing paths with the shark. Fortunately for me, it turned out it was a baby shark... about the length of my arm. Flexing my bicep, the shark swam away scared...


...and then exploded.

TheMisanthrope

TheMisanthrope

2008-08-21 00:01:54

Amazing article. Thank you. Seriously. You threw the gloves off and went bare knuckle.

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