Peter Benchley

jawstruth-1

We learned that there are few things in the world that are more dangerous than a 25-foot-long great white shark in Steven Spielberg’s Jaws. Namely, aluminum SCUBA tanks. Why someone would strap on a mini-bomb of such design to their backs is beyond me, but divers do it every day. Of course, they rarely spontaneously explode, most likely because there isn’t a small-town sheriff firing a rifle at them while they dive. As Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and Chief Brody (Roy Scheider) begin their mission aboard the Orca, one of Hooper’s SCUBA tanks falls over. Hooper immediately explains how dangerous this is and how the compressed air inside the tank could basically ignite the entire ship and wipe out life as we know it on planet earth. Okay, so he maybe doesn’t say those exact words, but the implication is clear: SCUBA tanks are hella dangerous and have the potential to explode. Fast-forward 45 minutes, and we find out that Jaws has sent Hooper fleeing to the continental slope, snacked on Orca captain Quint (Robert Shaw), and left the Orca sinking in a slick of oil and chum. In a last-ditch effort to save the day, Chief Brody climbs to the tilting mast and starts firing a rifle at the charging shark. With one of the best final dispatching lines in movie history (“Smile, you sonofabitch!”), he shoots the SCUBA tank lodged in Jaws’ jaws, and the shark explodes like a trailer park meth lab. So it got us wondering: […]

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Boiling Point

AMC’s The Walking Dead and I have a strange relationship in that I watch it but don’t particularly care for it. I can’t really tell you why I tune in every week, but it has something to do with my great love for the comic books and a desire to see horror on television, mostly regardless of quality. The books by Robert Kirkman have always had a bit of melodrama about them, but the show has often taken that to obvious, soap opera levels. “The Walking Dead” comics feature a great cast of characters with complex motivations and relationships. Many of those characters made it to the television show – well, at least characters with the same names made it in. Things have changed so drastically from comic to screen that one has to ask – when does an adaptation stop being an adaptation?

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