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They Swim. And They Eat. And They Make Terrible Movies.

Deep_blue_sea Some people equate summer with sunshine, warm weather and good times. These people are stupid. Summer, as all right-thinking humans know, is the time when we all take to the water to redress the humid press of days... and, in the process, confront the inevitability of being eaten alive by giant, bloodthirsty sharks. It's not a question of if: it's a question of when. Every time you go in the water, a tiny little dinner bell goes off in the brain of every shark within a 400 mile radius (for our Canadian friends, that equates to roughly 10,000 km). Obviously, if you're going in the ocean you might as well be basting yourself in a particularly savory marinade (hint: sharks love cocoa butter) but realistically you're not safe anywhere. Rivers, lakes, ponds, backyard plastic kiddie pools: all shark-infested deathtraps.

To prepare you for this greatest of all summer joys, the good people of MamaPop offer the following training videos. To the best of our knowledge, these are all documentaries and everything you see within them is completely real. And while we admit this is not a comprehensive list - by God, someday we'll make our way clear to seeing Mega-Shark Vs. Giant Octopus - it's enough to help you on your way to enjoying beach season.

1. Deep Blue Sea
You may know and love him from Hung - in which he plays a man who fights crime pays his rent with his giant penis - but for millions of non-HBO subscribers worldwide living in chondrichthyan terror, Thomas Jane will always be synonymous with Carter Blake, the man who swims with sharks (which is similar but not identical to women who run with wolves) in the Nobel Prize-winning Deep Blue Sea. Why does he swim with sharks? Because Saffron Burrows is a brilliant geneticist (apparently, she went to the same grad school as Denise Richard's Dr. Christmas Jones) who figured out that the key to curing Alzheimers is breeding giant, insane mutant mako sharks in a huge, largely underwater research facility out in the middle of the Pacific... and she needs somebody with a giant penis to go swimming with them. It's in the job req and everything.

Anyhow, these giant, insane mutant mako sharks have some chemical in their brain that blahblahblah... and that's why Thomas Jane's giant mutant penis has to lure them inside the facility. To everyone's enormous surprise, this goes terribly awry and - after a pair of particularly memorable sequences featuring everyone's favorite Swede Stellan Skarsgard 1) having his arm ripped off; and then 2) being used as a shark-propelled projectile through a huge wall of glass - the sharks proceed to eat virtually everyone, including Michael Rappaport and LL Cool J's parrot. We should also note that the film contains Samuel L. Jackson offering what may be the single most inspirational speech ever delivered in a movie. Especially the ending.

In review, this movie has a lot to teach us: science is bad, money doesn't buy happiness, smoking kills, and the only thing that can save you from a giant insane mutant shark is, apparently, a giant penis. Plan your summer accordingly.

2. Open Water
An obnoxious American couple takes a break from fighting their way through a Caribbean vacation to join a group scuba trip out in the middle of the ocean. Except that they're so obnoxious that the locals play a trick by gathering everyone else together - while the couple is down exploring something underwater - and taking off. Leaving them alone, together, in the middle of the ocean. Eventually, sharks show up and... uh... nature begins to take its course.

I know, I know: you're thinking: "Another comedy? But I already spend too much of my life laughing!" But try to look beyond your natural comtempt for humor and joy and focus instead on the core lessons of the flim:

  • Sharks eat people
  • The ocean is full of sharks
  • Married people go in the ocean
  • Therefore, marriage leads to being eaten by sharks.

3. Jaws IV: The Revenge
One of my favorite film tidbits of all time is the fact that when Michael Caine finally won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Hannah and Her Sisters — he wasn't in Hollywood to accept in person. Why? Because he was in Nassau, filming Jaws IV. The really awful thing about it is... well, okay: it's all awful. But it actually starts out quite well, with an opening scene in Martha's Vineyard that's legitimately chilling: one of Chief Brody's sons being eaten by a shark as the sound of his screams are drowned out by a children's choir singing Christmas carols. Fa la la.

It's all downhill from there, however, as it turns out that this shark is actually a stalker targeting the Brody family. After eating Brody son #2, the shark follows Mrs. Brody down to the Caribbean where she's visiting Brody son #1 and proceeds to hunt them across the deep blue sea, literally and figuratively chewing his way through the scenery, a banana boat, Mario Van Peebles and any resemblance to reality.

The film ends with the shark being repeatedly tasered, which apparently pisses it off to the point that it starts making elephant sounds, before it finally jumps out of the water, impales itself on the front of the boat, and explodes into a million bloody little sharky pieces. In many ways, this film is the Fatal Attraction of the Jaws series, featuring a 40-foot great white shark in the Glenn Close role: it will NOT be ignored, and it will eat it's way through your entire family to get to you if necessary.

I'm not sure what that means, but keep it in mind while you're cruising the bars this summer.

4. Spring Break Shark Attack
In this nuanced and complex portrayal of the lives and loves of American youth, the metaphorically rich shark-infested waters are emblematic of the dangers of giving one's heart too quickly, too generously and too foolishly to those who do not deserve it. Heartbreak in all its many forms comes to the forefront as scantily-clad (but only, tragically, in a broadcast-TV-friendly sense) coeds find their hunger for acceptance and companionship met by betrayal, confusion, and ultimately a bloody death at the hands fins teeth tender mercies of our cartileginous undersea brethren.Spring_Break_Shark_Attack

In many ways an indictment of both corporate greed and the American collegiate sorority and fraternity system, Spring Break Shark Attack serves as a stern warning to those who might go searching for summer love above or beneath the waves: here there be monsters. Proceed with caution.

5. Eagle Vs. Shark
While not a shark movie in the strictest sense, it's a scientific fact that the greatest pleasure you'll derive from watching this alleged comedy will come from your ongoing hope that at some point all the characters - in particular, Jemaine Clement, undermining all the goodwill that his miraculous work in Flight of the Conchords engendered worldwide - will be torn to shreds by sharks. Did you watch the preview embedded in the title above? It looks charming and funny, right? Now take all that charming and funny, and then turn it inside out like you're flipping an inverted pillowcase. Suddenly, it's all charmless and unfunny, and you're left with nothing afterward but bitter memories of what might have been... and how awful it turned out to be.

Which, actually, isn't a bad analogy for the way most summers turn out.

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This post is the greatest thing ever. However, I think the formula for Open Water is more like: "Anti-shark wife? You go inside your wife. Wife goes in the water. Shark's in the water. Our shark."

p.s. Jaws IV is one of my favorite movies because it's so personal this time.

Snarky Amber

This is perhaps one of the greatest debut posts in MamaPop history. *hat tip*


Woah. Snarky Amber summed it up nicely. Well done, well done.




(blushing more)


(blushingblushingblushingBLAM! head explodes from overblush; hungry predators converge to feast on carcass)


So now apparently I have to kill myself because I'm married and I would rather die by taking a bunch of pills than by being eaten by Jaws. The only thing that could have saved me is if Spring Break Shark Attack actually showed boobs. Because then my husband may not have left the house. Fuck him - his fault. Apparently I should kill him first. Because I'm nice like that and I don't want him to be eaten by sharks either.


Ok, I hired Deep Blue Sea TWO DAYS AGO and rang my friend insisting that it was "the BEST crappy movie EVER. Like EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD"


Seriously, what Kelly and Amber said. HOLY CRAP DO I KNOW HOW TO PICK EM'. (heh.) (not patting myself on the back, no no no, not at all.) Gold star on your chart, dude.


Awesome post.

That Samuel Jackson clip. That is a METAPHOR FOR MY LIFE.

Everything's going to be OK. Going to take control of the situation. Yeah!


I feel like I learned a lot here tonight. This was better than EST.


There's a sequel? Dear God... THERE'S A SEQUEL?


I'll be the first to admit that Spring Break Shark Attack is tragically boob-free... that being said, it is nonetheless saturated with bad actresses in teenie weenie bikinis doing their best to show off their artificial floatation devices.

I have no idea how this affects you, your husband and your handful of pills... but I felt it needs to be said. Clarity is important.


You can even take bathroom breaks in the middle of reading the post. Why? Because it helps you to become a better person. That's what my writing is all about.


The good news is that it's all downhill from here.

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