Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Facing the Fear Part Two

I'm not sure what demon got inside my head and told me that it would be an awesome idea to jump into my fear face first, but whoever they are, I hate them. I come to you friends to tell you some disappointing news. I closed my eyes at least 10 times while watching Jaws last night. Yes I know, I can hear your groans of disappointment and sadness but know this: I sort of tried.

For anyone just joining us today you can read part one here. Basically for the month of August, when Shark Week is in its prime, I vowed to watch all 4 Jaws movies without closing my eyes. A feat that had never been done in my life due to my insanely irrational fear of the shark in Jaws and all Jaws movies period. Since my Clockwork Orange chair was in the repair shop, I had no choice except to just try really hard. This was inevitably a failed plan as I am the queen of not trying really hard when I really don't want to do something. For anyone who thinks I'm exaggerating about my fear of said shark, just ask my sister Emmy Doomas who was a witness to my catatonic state. More on that later.

So we'll begin at the beginning of my tale. Let's just say that I was happily cruising along through the beginning of the movie. Since the shark does not make an actual appearance until later, I was quite content in my head and could enjoy most of the film. In fact I've actually seen most of the part before the shark makes its entry several times before, so this was easy. It should be said however that those parts are still terrifying. Perhaps even the most terrifying for those normal people that aren't afraid of mechanical sharks. During this time I was able to make my usual astute observations like how mayor Larry Vaughn's good looks multiply by 10 fold when he wears his nautical suit jacket adorned with anchors.

And then we arrive at the salt pond incident. Unfortunately I was under the false impression that the first glimpse of the shark we actually get comes during the chum bucket scene. Which means that I was fully prepared to be shark mouth safe at this time. WELL THAT'S GREAT because actually he does pop up then and nobody warned me. Which I suppose is better because that means I didn't have time to close my eyes. But seriously mean joke people, mean joke. I would have to say that this particular scene wins the award for fucking scariest thing ever.

After this mishap my stomach started making knots and I began to feel weak. I had been dreading the moment that the Orca sets out to sea and the time had arrived. For many people, what happens out there on the sea; the Indianapolis speech, the chummy singing and moments of brief happiness as noted by the shift in chords, are some of the greatest and most memorable parts of the film. I couldn't enjoy them however and that may be where my real frustration lies. People tell me everyday that Jaws is a great movie and Jaws is the best movie and Jaws, Jaws, Jaws. What they don't understand however is how unenjoyable the film is to me despite the fact that it is one of the greatest films of all time. The purpose of this experiment was to lessen my fear of the shark and therefore allow me to sit back and enjoy the film. This is where I failed.

A few minutes into the Orca scenes, and I began feeling dizzy. I propped my left leg up so that it would block my general view of the television. I began doodling uncontrollably in my notebook, and pretending to focus on the TV when I was actually focusing on the cable box. Why did I think I could this? I was insane! I was starting to act like a shocked Chief Brody and began wildly asking my sister why on earth that damn boat was so small. Every time the shark's fin and body came into clear view I shouted out in absolute turmoil. In other words I was pretty positive I was going to die of a heart attack at any moment. With the brief pause before the shark cage fiasco, I took a trip to the bathroom since I was almost positive I was going to pee my pants at any given time. On the way out I took a detour to the kitchen and poured some gin into a cup and went back into the living room. As Hooper dove into the water, I knocked back some gin. Things felt better--that is until I remembered that hard alcohol makes me want to die and then I felt like puking.

As luck would have it our Netflix streaming crapped out at this exact moment, so I was able to catch my breath and down some water. Funnily enough the shark cage scenes were a little less traumatizing as they mostly used actual footage of a real shark which for some reason is less scary to me than a gigantic fake one. But don't worry things are quickly switched back to the fake and once again I'm exclaiming wildly about how I can't do it. Quint gets eaten (which I have seen behind the confines of a couch when I was little) which sends shivers down my spine as the rest of his body is pulled below the surface. Then the shark goes to town on the Orca, and poor Brody is all alone. The shark is relentless and chomping all over the place. Repeatedly seeing his gigantic mouth and plastic bendy teeth make things a little easier to swallow and believe it or not I find I am a little less tense in these final moments.

I suppose my problem is the initial shock of the shark and placing myself in the bodies of our main characters. Whenever I see someone get pulled under, I can't help but think what is happening under there. After all, they were still breathing moments before, perhaps they are still conscious yet slowly drowning while being bitten in half. What is that like? When the movie is over and I'm able to catch my breath, my mind can't help but recount everything I had just seen. It's not long before I go into the bathroom and start hallucinating that the shark mouth will be in the shower when I turn on the light. Things are really shitty basically. I'm not sure if I can even call this an official part two of my journey since I failed miserably. After the movie was finished I still felt shook up and nauseous (although I would probably blame the gin in this case), but mostly I just feel regret.

Here is a brief recounting of the notes I took in my notebook--except in screen grab form. NEAT!

Like I said, the man knows his style.

Ever since I saw Jaws for the first time I've asked myself this question over and over again. WHY PIPPIN?! WHY NOT YOU, FAT LADY IN A BATHING CAP??!

Nothing will make me sadder than seeing Pippin's lone stick floating in the sea. Ahhhh Pippin

Behold the subtle and sophisticated art of Quint. Those lines, that definition. Pure perfection.

Wanna get drunk? Fool around?

This may be the most genius way to utilize a broken shark. When that dock slowly drifts towards the poor man.....yikes.

STOP bringing your cute Labradors on shark hunting trips asshole.

I don't even need to say that this kid is weird looking. It's pretty obvious.

Water glass filled with wine? Yes please.

I'm almost positive that little dream I had about the shark jaw bones was just me remembering this scene inside Quint's love shack.

Stop playing with yourself Hooper.

That's it for notes...after that my heart gave out and I just doodled.

So in conclusion. I suck. I'm weak. Am I even going to be able to watch Jaws 2? Doubtful. Very doubtful. But we'll see.

Time to look at pictures of puppies and kitties to get my mind off things.

That's better.


Anonymous said...

LOL, I always said the same thing about the dog......and the kid that dies, too. Why not any of the fat, old people?!?!?! Heh

Anonymous said...

Whoohoo! I was witness to this madness, and man was Dster scared!!! Good try though, we all can't be a winner like me! Love Emmmy Dooomas PS Funny screen grabs!

Matt-suzaka said...

See, I consider JAWS one of the greatest of all time and one of my all time favorite films, and while I have seen it maybe a hundred times, not once have I watched it without my feet on the couch and my hands over my face at the opportune times. It's one of the few films that actually scares me, so I have a respect for it because of that.

I don't know, I could never watch it without closing my eyes (unless I was bombed beyond belief), so I commend you for trying. I have enough trouble reading this post without thinking that mother fucker is behind me right now, waiting to eat my hair and shit.

I do hope you carry forth with your quest and go on to JAWS 2 just so I can read your reaction to it (and some of the great outfits). Just please don't post any pics of the shark or I wont even come near that shit.

Christine Hadden said...

Awww, I totally applaud your determination and resolve...even if your eyes were closed part of the time.
Jaws is my favorite film, and ironically enough, I watched it last night too - in wonderful HD - crystal clear blood and guts, ha ha. I don't close my eyes though, and prefer to feel the extreme horror way down in my gut when Quint gets it - it's part of why I watch, because so little scares me these days. But that scene - hell yeah!

But the worst part is Pippin! Poor thing! (Oh, and Alex Kintner's mother-slash-should-be-grandmother, she was pretty damn scary as well...)

And yes, it IS a perfect film :)

Andre Dumas said...

Matt I can't believe we are similar in almost every aspect of our lives. It really boggles my mind.
I promise not to post any scary shark pics because I KNOW how much I hate when people do that to me without warning. I know I did it last time but I didn't think anyone had as big a problem with it as me. I'm pretty terrified of Jaws 2 because I realized one of my biggest Jaws memories comes from that film. Oooooh it's been haunting me. Sigh.

Thanks Chris, I always think of you when it comes to high praise in the name of Jaws. And of course all things having to do with Quint!

Anonymous said...

Poor, poor, Pippin :( Why couldn't it be the mayor? Why you, sweet Pippin????
Alas, poor Pippin! I knew her, Andre, a pooch of infinite
jest, of most excellent fancy. She hath brought back her stick to me a thousand times, and now how abhorr'd in my imagination it is!
My gorge rises at it.
Sigh, that's some bad hat, harry...
Dreaded Dreams
Petunia Scareum

Andre Dumas said...

Pure poetry!

Art Almquist said...

What a great couple of posts - and I especially love your face on the Amity billboard. Great expression! Like some others have said, "Jaws" is my favorite film and has been since I saw it in the theatre at the tender age of 8. I've shown it in my classes a number of times (along with "Poltergeist") and it still gets me every time. I just love everything about it.

"Jaws 2," while definitely a step down from the original, is still worthwhile and will probably also scare you at least a bit.

But here's why you should continue your trek through the four "Jaws" films: to get to "Jaws the Revenge." Think of it as the holy grail of shark films, if the holy grail was so poorly made you could do nothing but giggle and stare wide-eyed at it. I seriously think it alone could snap you out of your fear. It's truly one of the most inept and ridiculous films ever made; so utterly and completely incompetent that it's tough to even laugh at. (But you'll still do it, mark my words!) And it's got everything: Mario Van Peebles doing a scattershot Jamaican accent? Check! A shark standing on its tail - on water? Check! Michael Caine's dry shirt (which I'm sure you've heard about)? Yep, it's all true - and more!

You've gotta see it, Andre. It makes "Jaws 3-D" look brilliant by comparison, and just might cure this phobia forever. AND you could do a nifty placement of your face onto Lorraine Gary's body as she battles the shark in the finale. Now that's therapy!

Andre Dumas said...

Thanks Art! I think I saw the scene at the end where she impales the shark on the boat, when I was little. And I remember then even laughing and feeling better about myself. So I think you are right, Jaws 4 the Revenge is just what the doctor ordered. Now If I can just work up the courage to tackle #2!!!