Category Archives: jaws

The Frankenstein Theory

The Frankenstein Theory ~ Shot similarly to The Blair Witch Project, a documentary crew follows the obsessed Professor John Venkenheim to the Arctic where he intends to prove that Frankenstein was not only true, but about his ancestor, and to vindicate his reputation once and for all. He believes he can find the Frankenstein monster.

This is a fascinating concept, and the film moves between actual movie and shaky cam documentary style well. Writer/director Andrew Weiner’s background is in Troma and low budget horror, but this is a step above. I liked it.

Kris Lemche plays Venkenheim with perfect obsessive creepiness, but just enough compassion that you care about him. It’s just this side of pity, but you do care for the buggy little fella. Joe Egender does him one better as the antsy paranoid meth-head and witness to the monster’s present day shenanigans.

Tiny role, but camera crewman Brian Henderson made me laugh doing a funnier Dane Cook than Dane Cook. Timothy V. Murphy playing the wilderness guide who channels Robert Shaw in Jaws wonderfully is pretty entertaining too. I absolutely love him and his campfire story. Beautiful.

Granted, the film does fall apart a bit toward the last act, but there are enough good parts here to push it above say, Sharknado. I really kinda dug it, recommended for horror fans.

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Richard Matheson 1926-2013

We have truly lost one of the legends of the writing game. Celebrated multiple award-winning author Richard Matheson passed away this weekend, surrounded by family and friends. He was 87.

Even if you didn’t know his name (shame on you!), you know his work. Here is just a sampler – the following movies are all based on his work – The Incredible Shrinking Man, Somewhere in Time, What Dreams May Come, Real Steel, Trilogy of Terror, The Box, Loose Cannons, The Legend of Hell House Burn Witch Burn, Jaws 3-D (hey, a paycheck is a paycheck), and the these last three, all based on the same novel, The Last Man on Earth, The Omega Man, and I Am Legend.

That’s not all, all of the good “Twilight Zone” episodes that weren’t written by Rod Serling, they’re all Matheson too. He wrote hundreds of short stories and books, and countless hours of television in many different genres, including episodes for “Star Trek,” “Combat!,” “Have Gun Will Travel,” “Thriller,” and “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.” Other than “The Twilight Zone,” possibly his two greatest contributions to television were the Steven Spielberg-directed Duel and The Night Stalker, which became a fondly remembered cult TV series.

We have lost another legend.

Shark Attack


Shark Attack ~ Seeking to cash in on the theatrical release of the clever horror flick Deep Blue Sea and the always bankable shark phenomenon, this 1999 made-for-TV rip-off doesn’t really have much going for it. Casper Van Dien is always at his best playing the same character he always plays, and the sharks are good, even when they don’t match the footage of the humans they are supposedly attacking. It’s a blatant steal from a much better movie. The only thing worth watching here is another brilliant performance from one of Hollywood’s most underrated character actors, Ernie Hudson. When are he and Samuel L. Jackson gonna make a movie together?

1941

1941 ~ Infamously known as Steven Spielberg’s only notable box office flop, this movie about the hysteria that strikes California days after the attack on Pearl Harbor is not really as bad as its reputation suggests. It rolls on with a madcap flair similar to that of Animal House and Meatballs and has many of the Spielbergian elements that would reappear in his later more successful films.

The best scene in my opinion is the opening, which is a parody of Spielberg’s own opening of Jaws. In this age of Scary Movies and other movie satires, it’s ironic that Spielberg may have been the first person to throw that spin on his own work.

While pushed initially as a Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi flick, they are barely in it, but what little they do do is entertaining. The real stars here are Slim Pickens and Nancy Allen who are just hilarious. Also good are the performances of Toshiro Mifume and Christopher Lee is surprisingly comedic roles in the Japanese sub lost offshore finding their way with a Crackerjack compass. Good stuff.

Roy Scheider 1932-2008

After an illness of a few years, Roy Scheider passed away today. He was probably best known for his roles in Jaws (above), All That Jazz and The French Connection. He’ll be missed.