Jaws The Revenge: Jake dies…or does he?

The wonderful alternate endings to Jaws The Revenge

The first time I watched Jaws The Revenge I was left aghast when one of the best characters was dragged to his death by the shark right at the end of the film. I am of course talking about Jake, played by Mario Van Peebles. Jake had brought some much needed light relief to the film, with his laidback approach to his work and good humour. The fact that Ellen and Michael Brody had survived and even clumsy Hoagie escaped unscathed just didn’t seem fair.

For years I went completely unaware that somewhere there actually existed a completely different ending to the film. Imagine my shock when watching the film on DVD release to discover Jake being found alive, despite several shots of him actually in the shark’s mouth and being mauled within an inch of his life. The scene where Michael finds Jake alive was equally unbelievable because Jake seemed to be in relatively good spirits. But if the shark had bitten him as much as we had seen, he surely would have lost tonnes of blood, several limbs and be unconscious. But no, here Jake is doing his wisecracks and on good form!

I was of course delighted that I had located a version of Jaws The Revenge that kept Jake alive, when for all those years I had assumed he was rotting at the bottom of the ocean along with the shark’s corpse.

Here are some facts about those Jaws The Revenge endings:

  1. In the original version the shark is impaled by the front of the boat and sinks to it’s death. Jake dies in this version.
  2. An alternate ending to the original version has the shark being impaled then curiously exploding. What made the shark explode? We shall never know, maybe he had just had enough or took in too much air! It has been suggested that test audiences wanted more excitement from the ending and the shark just sinking wasn’t quite exciting enough. Jake survives in this version.
  3. The AMC, BBC, and Theatrical Releases all have Jake dying.
  4. The Encore and DVD Versions (Universal and Goodtimes DVDs) have Jake surviving at the end.

To further confuse audiences, depending on which release you watch, it may have the shark being impaled or exploding on impact. Oh yes and some versions have additional ramming footage and some have shots edited in from the original Jaws, oh and some versions have sped up shots too. Confused?!

But at least we know there is a version where Jake survives and I like to think that is the official ending!

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A brief guide to the Star Wars universe: Ickabel G’ont

Ickabel G’ont

It’s another one of those weird musician people who all look exactly the same! This time it is Ickabel G’ont. But here is something that may surprise, the group wasn’t just made up of males, Ickabel is actually a female, though you wouldn’t know it from first glance.

She plays an instrument called the double jocimer, played through a reed.

Character cool factor: 6

Most likely to: be mistaken for a male musician

Least likely to: launch a solo career on her double jocimer instrument

Move over Scrooge…for Ebbie!

A Christmas Carol gets a 90’s twist

I have lost count of how many film versions of A Christmas Carol there are. There’s that one with George C. Scott as Scrooge, a musical version with Albert Finney, then wasn’t there one with Patrick Stewart as well, oh and an animated version.

A few years back while flicking through Christmas channels I stumbled on Ebbie, also known as Miracle at Christmas: Ebbie’s Story. Gloriously nineties with Susan Lucci in the lead role as a female version of Scrooge, but working as a target driven hard-nosed department store manager.

Lucci is nothing short of fabulous in the role, clearly relishing playing such a mean spirited soul. The supporting cast are all dependable and there is a genuine Christmassy feel throughout the whole film. It stays pretty faithful to the Dickens original and never gets too schmaltzy.

It is worth watching just to see how Lucci manages to look exactly the same age playing both her younger and older selves. But suspend your disbelief and enjoy this heart warming rendition.

 

The Devil Rides Out is essential Halloween viewing!

Join Christopher Lee for a night of satanic worship

Each Halloween I find myself thinking what is the most suitable film to watch on this ghoulish night. My first thought is to turn to John Carpenter’s Halloween. But this year I feel going back to 1968 is in order, for the horror classic The Devil Rides Out.

Directed by Terence Fisher, one of the most notable gothic horror directors, the film plays out in an unsettling slow-burning fashion.

Christopher Lee plays Duc de Richleau (great name!) who is investigating mysterious goings-on that may be linked to the occult. Cue an extremely creepy house, some devil worshipping, the angel of death and Charles Gray being fiendishly sinister with a slight element of camp.

It’s powerful, well shot and the scenes of evil beasts being conjured up through black magic still have a chilling effect to this day. Just make sure you watch this at witching hour…