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This Time It's Personal
August 7, 2013 10:04 AM   Subscribe

With the Discovery Channel facing criticism, disgust, and outrage over its choice to feature a fake "documentary" to kick off its popular "Shark Week" programming series, we should not forget another selachimorphic disaster from 26 years ago: Jaws 4: The Revenge, which has the dubious distinction of a perfect 0% "fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes. The troupe at the bad movie podcast "How Did This Get Made?" (previously) skewered the film in an episode last year, but this week they just may have found the answer to their show's titular question by locating and interviewing the now-retired director of the film, Joseph Sargent. "We all lost sight of the absurdity of the premise," recollects Mr. Sargent, "which is that the shark is getting even."
posted by majorsteel (101 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
The best line Caine ever said, in or out of a movie, is, "I have never seen the film, but by all accounts it was terrible. However I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific."
posted by Etrigan at 10:08 AM on August 7, 2013 [52 favorites]


Right onto my Netflix queue. Any film that features Michael Caine as "Hoagie" has got to be good.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 10:11 AM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you're a bit hazy on the stories between the original Jaws and the 4th movie, the Jaws (franchise) Wikipedia page has a nice summary of the movies.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:11 AM on August 7, 2013


Joseph Sargent has 89 directing credits on IMDB, I'm impressed that he can remember details about one.
posted by octothorpe at 10:16 AM on August 7, 2013


(And I'd like to see the house that Jaws 4 built)
posted by filthy light thief at 10:16 AM on August 7, 2013


I still remember being at the movies and seeing the original trailer, at the end of which the voiceover guy somberly intones "Jaws, the revenge: this time it's personal!"

And every person in the theater laughed.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:16 AM on August 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


I had the tie-in novelization. (Don't ask.) It's every bit as good as the movie, if not more so.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:17 AM on August 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh, shit, I skipped the minisode this week because I thought it would be just more solo blathering by Paul Scheer -- I love the show, I think he's funny, but holy shit those are awful -- and now I am happy!

Also, for anyone who doesn't listen to the podcast, their episode with Lexi Alexander, who directed Punisher: War Zone and Patton Oswalt is amazing.
posted by griphus at 10:18 AM on August 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


I saw Jaws: The Revenge in the theater in 1987. Even at 9 years old and a big fan of the (increasingly ridiculous) series I thought it was a pile of garbage.
posted by doctornecessiter at 10:19 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, and so is the recent Demolition Man live episode with Wyatt Cenac.
posted by griphus at 10:19 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


No matter how many times I read the IMDB summary of Jaws: The Revenge, I smile:


Chief Brody's widow believes that her family is deliberately being targeted by another shark in search of revenge.

posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:22 AM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


"How Did This Made?"

oh my god I'm dying. I picture a low rent How It's Made with no buy in from the places that actually make things.
posted by boo_radley at 10:24 AM on August 7, 2013 [24 favorites]


Jaws 4 is just Moby Dick with the roles switched. It's actually brilliant.
posted by dortmunder at 10:27 AM on August 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


I love the show, I think he's funny, but holy shit those are awful

what how dare you also please buy this Bai Ling t-shirt
posted by mintcake! at 10:27 AM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I rather like the write-up on Megalodon: The Monster Shark That Lives on Time Magazine.
Viewers, perhaps accustomed to trusting a channel that calls itself “the world’s #1 non-fiction media company” (as Christie Wilcox of Discover magazine points out), were apparently convinced by all the smoke and mirrors (and CGI). A post-show poll shows 79 percent of respondents, as of Tuesday evening. believed the megalodon is still alive after watching the documentary. Only 27 percent said they thought the shark was extinct and “the scientists are right.”
Did the survey really include the option for scientists to be wrong?

I also applaud them for highlighting the Animal Planet ‘docufiction’ entitled Mermaids: The Body Found (YT), which includes "footage of a “mermaid” that had supposedly washed up on a beach," and "a government conspiracy to cover up the findings." But unlike Megalodon, Mermaids ended with a brief disclaimer flashes across the screen stating:
None of the institutions or agencies that appear in the film are affiliated with it in any way, nor have approved its contents.
If you still want to believe, check out the Megalodon entry on the Cryptid wiki.

This all reminds me of a mammoth documentary that haunts my wife's family to this day. There was a ton of hype around a documentary in which the crew (possibly) found a frozen mammoth, and the family was excited to tune in. They watched the whole thing, and it ended up being a few hairs found in a glacier or something. Hype around an otherwise dull premise ("we have some blurry photos, half-remembered tall tales, and really vague possible evidence") are not that unique.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:28 AM on August 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


(voiceover) "how glass windows made???"

(cutaway shot to a window factory, a security guard frowning with arms crossed blocking the camera crew)

(voiceover) "Nobody knows."
posted by boo_radley at 10:28 AM on August 7, 2013 [61 favorites]


Seconding griphus on the Punisher: War Zone HDTGM episode. Really good.

Also, my favorite bit in Jaws 4 is when the shark is breaching out of the water and roaring, as though the filmmakers kind of forgot what a shark is.
posted by brundlefly at 10:29 AM on August 7, 2013 [9 favorites]


oh my god I'm dying. I picture a low rent How It's Made with no buy in from the places that actually make things.

Shaky iPhone video from being held up against the glass. Delivery guy being cornered at the gas station by enthusiastic host asking "Whyfore pencils? Whyno pens?" Automatic processes demonstrated by host's wife's in-home daycare students.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:29 AM on August 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


Jaws 4 is just Moby Dick with the roles switched. It's actually brilliant.

Isn't there a New Yorker cartoon with the white whale waiting in an alleyway as Ahab walks all unsuspectingly along the street?
posted by yoink at 10:30 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Etrigan, FWIW, Caine's awesome retort was in regards to Jaws III which was also a terrible movie, but apparently not terrible enough to head off Jaws IV.

Caine wasn't even in Jaws IV. About the only person they could get back for IV was Lorraine Gary, who played Ellen Brody in the series.


There seems to be some confusion here, possibly because, as Wikipedia reports, "One of the Universal Studios press releases for Jaws: The Revenge omits Jaws 3-D by referring to Jaws: The Revenge as the 'third film of the remarkable Jaws trilogy.'"

Michael Caine was in Jaws: The Revenge, but not in Jaws 3-D.
posted by ogooglebar at 10:31 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I hope that the confusion stems from the fact that there is, apparently, no original novel/novelization of Jaws 3.
posted by troika at 10:32 AM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


filthy light thief: "Did the survey really include the option for scientists to be wrong? "

Yes. To be more specific, the options are: So apparently "the evidence" and scientists are supposed to be in conflict. Which... I don't even...
posted by brundlefly at 10:32 AM on August 7, 2013 [12 favorites]


I don't know what people find so funny about Jaws: The Revenge. Any shark that can roar will clearly have enough cognitive circuitry to intuit where its sworn enemies will emigrate. It's just basic animal neuroscience, people.
posted by planetesimal at 10:33 AM on August 7, 2013 [8 favorites]


2013 - the year Shark Week jumped itself.

sorry
posted by Artful Codger at 10:37 AM on August 7, 2013 [23 favorites]


Yeah, ogooglebar, you're correct. For the rest of you, I made a comment above claiming that Caine's statement was not in reference to Jaws IV, but to the previous entry Jaws 3-D. I figured out I had totally switched around the films in my head just in time to wipe out my comment before the edit timer expired.

(I figured better a mysterious comment that didn't really say anything than one that actively introduced disinformation into the thread.)
posted by Naberius at 10:39 AM on August 7, 2013


Also, my favorite bit in Jaws 4 is when the shark is breaching out of the water and roaring, as though the filmmakers kind of forgot what a shark is.

No, no, you see Jaws 4 is a Pacific Rim prequel and that was a Category 2 Kaiju.
posted by griphus at 10:39 AM on August 7, 2013 [9 favorites]


actively introduced disinformation

Speaking of which, how about that Discovery Channel Megalodon special? ;)
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:40 AM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


All of this might have been averted if they had just gone ahead with Jaws 3, People 0.
posted by brundlefly at 10:40 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


From the IMDB summary: "...Ellen's husband Martin Brody died of a heart attack that happened because he was afraid of sharks."
posted by davebush at 10:40 AM on August 7, 2013


The best line Caine ever said, in or out of a movie, is, "I have never seen the film, but by all accounts it was terrible. However I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific."
posted by Etrigan at 10:08 AM on August 7 [8 favorites +] [!]


On a UK talk show, Caine once said: "I've found that in order to maintain a very high standard of living, it's sometimes necessary to make a very low standard of movie."
posted by Paul Slade at 10:41 AM on August 7, 2013 [20 favorites]


filthy light thief: " If you still want to believe, check out the Megalodon entry on the Cryptid wiki. "

What the fucking fuck?
posted by zarq at 10:41 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, the reason that Jaws can track the Brody family is because they all have really high concentrations of midichlorians in their blood. Sharks' ampullae of Lorenzini are well suited to detect midichlorians, because sharks were originally introduced to the Earth's oceans by Sith lords long ago.
posted by planetesimal at 10:42 AM on August 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


yoink: Isn't there a New Yorker cartoon with the white whale waiting in an alleyway as Ahab walks all unsuspectingly along the street?

Nothing in the cartoon bank, though the tagging could be off.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:43 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh no, the network that brought us Amish Mafia has aired a fake documentary!
posted by feloniousmonk at 10:44 AM on August 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


And as for sharks holding a grudge, I think we can all agree that the shark must have, at the very least, the same degree of intelligence and capacity for foresight and adaptability as the ruthless, vengeance obsessed tuna.
posted by Naberius at 10:44 AM on August 7, 2013


Isn't there a New Yorker cartoon with the white whale waiting in an alleyway as Ahab walks all unsuspectingly along the street?

Wait... which one is the asshole?
posted by Etrigan at 10:44 AM on August 7, 2013


Usually, it's the cartoonist.
posted by planetesimal at 10:46 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is this video actually from the ending of Jaws: The Revenge? Because... wow. Just... wow.

Wow.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 10:46 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm 95% sure that's a Gary Larson cartoon.
posted by theodolite at 10:48 AM on August 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


The saddest thing about this movie is that Michael Caine couldn't pick up his first Oscar (for Hannah and Her Sisters) at the awards ceremony, because he was busy filming Jaws: The Revenge. That must've hurt.
posted by ogooglebar at 10:49 AM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


zarq: What the fucking fuck?

To which part? A cryptid is a creature or plant whose existence has been suggested but is not recognized by scientific consensus. The Cryptid wiki is a place where fellow believers can share their information or theories, where vague language is acceptable (compare to the Wikipedia entry on Megalodon, which brings this full circle, with the note that the Animal Planet fictional documentary, Mermaids: The Body Found, included an encounter 1.6 million years ago between a pod of mermaids and a megalodon).
posted by filthy light thief at 10:50 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


"How Did This Made?"

Heh. Fixed but I kind of want Scheer to rename the podcast now.
posted by cortex at 10:52 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah I am pretty sure that's a Far Side strip as well.
posted by griphus at 10:53 AM on August 7, 2013


Well, there's this Far Side one....
posted by Chrysostom at 10:54 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm 95% sure that's a Gary Larson cartoon.

There are a few Far Side / Ahab crossovers; the closest one I can find is

The one where Moby Dick has inadvertently rear-ended the car in front of him in the midst of downtown city traffic. The driver's side door of the rear-ended vehicle has opened, and stepping out of it onto the street is an angry man in a black top-coat and stove-pipe hat, a white wooden leg, and a harpoon... The cartoon balloon above Moby's head reads, "Crimony! Milliions of people in this city, and look who I rear-end!"

(My favorite is "The whiiiiiite whaaaaaale! No, sorry, just an ordinary blaaaaack whaaaale" though)
posted by ook at 10:54 AM on August 7, 2013


a dead shark, with a metrocard, on the subway
posted by yeoz at 10:54 AM on August 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


Well, there's this Far Side one....

I still think that looks like an elephant with his head turned
posted by theodolite at 10:55 AM on August 7, 2013


iirc the novel "Jaws" had some subplot about the mayor being all mobbed-up (also one about Brody's wife having an affair with Hooper) that wasn't in the movie. Seems like that could be the basis for another sequel - Jaws V: Out Of Respect For My Father
posted by thelonius at 10:56 AM on August 7, 2013


I can't find it, but there's a Far Side where an elephant in a trenchcoat is stepping out from behind some shadows in a building lobby. Could that be the one? It's in Pre-History of the Far Side, in the section where Larson explains/annotates a few strips.
posted by griphus at 10:56 AM on August 7, 2013


Two word review: Shit Week
posted by usonian at 10:59 AM on August 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Maybe it was a Gahan Wilson cartoon.
posted by planetesimal at 11:00 AM on August 7, 2013


I had the tie-in novelization.

Me too! I had to read the book since my parents wouldn't take me to the movie.
posted by ao4047 at 11:01 AM on August 7, 2013


Soon The Discovery Channel will follow in The Learning Channel's footsteps and just become TDC.

TDC: Life totally scripted.
posted by Kabanos at 11:03 AM on August 7, 2013


From yeoz's link:

"it was a pretty crazy experience and as usual New Yorkers, like myself, are wise guys so we added a MetroCard under its fin, just in case it needed to transfer." He added, "I do think it's disrespectful to do certain things to dead shark corpses. But adding a MetroCard under its fin is not disrespectful."

:-)
posted by ianhattwick at 11:04 AM on August 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


Okay, the elephant in trench coat and fedora cartoon can be found here. It's up the page from the Lewis Grizzard column you start at.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:08 AM on August 7, 2013


I figured out I had totally switched around the films in my head just in time to wipe out my comment before the edit timer expired.

(I figured better a mysterious comment that didn't really say anything than one that actively introduced disinformation into the thread.)


Naberius, someone from Team Mod might mention this to you as well, but it's generally not considered a good thing to use the edit window to eliminate your comments entirely. Not only is this not what the edit window is for, if you do so you run the risk of someone quoting you and addressing your comment, and then other people being confused when they can't find what the second person is talking about.

In other words, you really confused me. Don't do that. (Correct yourself in a subsequent comment if you feel the need to do so).
posted by Curious Artificer at 11:10 AM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


An entire generation has grown up watching Discovery Channel, learning about science and biology and physics, and that generation trusts Discovery Channel. We tune into Discovery Channel programming with the reasonable expectation that whatever we’re going to watch will be informative and truthful. We can trust Discovery Channel to educate us and our children about the world around us! That’s why we watch it in the first place!

Oh dear, Mr. Wheaton, that expectation is not reasonable. This is like expecting the History Channel to show some actual history.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:11 AM on August 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


So apparently "the evidence" and scientists are supposed to be in conflict.

That damn coelacanth will haunt scientists until the end of time.
posted by cribcage at 11:12 AM on August 7, 2013


[What Curious Artificer said. Please don't wipe comments with the edit feature, it just creates confusion clusterfuck situations. Contact us if you really need to have a comment deleted, otherwise just correct yourself in a followup comment so everybody knows what's going on.]
posted by cortex at 11:13 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is like expecting the History Channel to show some actual history.

Yeah, but was the History Channel ever really the History Channel, beloved by geeky kids who have become geeky parents like Wil Wheaton? Hell, I remember "Hitlery Channel" jokes on Usenet.
posted by Etrigan at 11:15 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I had the tie-in novelization. (Don't ask.) It's every bit as good as the movie, if not more so.

I understand it includes the voodoo subplot that was edited out of the movie, which I think was foolish of the film, because it solves so many plot problems.

How does the shark find the Brodys in the Caribbean? Voodoo.
Why does Ellen Brody seem to have a psychic connection to the shark? Voodoo.
Is revenge even a thing for sharks? Voodoo.
Sharks don't roar do ...? VOODOO I SAID.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:20 AM on August 7, 2013 [11 favorites]


Well, as unbelievable has as he is, Hitler was actually history. (But I see the point -- however, there is a whole derail about how WWII history is the only history that mattered to the original target demographic, actually.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:20 AM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I understand it includes the voodoo subplot that was edited out of the movie, which I think was foolish of the film, because it solves so many plot problems.

It certainly elevated Weekend at Bernie's 2 above the unbelievable premise of the original.
posted by Etrigan at 11:25 AM on August 7, 2013


I understand it includes the voodoo subplot that was edited out of the movie, which I think was foolish of the film, because it solves so many plot problems.

How did this film get greenlit: VOODOO
Why did these actors agree to participate in this film: VOODOO
Why did anybody pay good money to see this film: VOODOO
Why are we still talking about this film these many years later: VOODOO

You're right--it explains everything!
posted by yoink at 11:27 AM on August 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


This is like a 21st century cabinet of curiosities. Also, awesome.
posted by lownote at 11:32 AM on August 7, 2013


MCMikeNamara: "But I see the point -- however, there is a whole derail about how WWII history is the only history that mattered to the original target demographic, actually."

I think the fact that that there is copious film footage of WWII also plays a role.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:34 AM on August 7, 2013


I thought I had become incapable of any emotion for the"Discovery" Channel beyond a vague distasteand resigned sigh over their dive into conspiracy and assorted nonsense. After reading the Time writeup on Megladon I learned that I was, in fact, still able to be genuinely outraged at their antics.
posted by sotonohito at 11:41 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sharks don't roar do ...? VOODOO I SAID.

Ah, Le Baron, he's a tricky one.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:49 AM on August 7, 2013


I've never gotten into the hype of Shark Week, but I assume part of the draw is that it's the only time of year that the Discovery Channel acts like the Discovery Channel.

With the way the Discovery Channel is most of the time, new listeners must be pretty confused by Bloodhound Gang's The Bad Touch.
posted by ckape at 11:57 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Eminem's line also takes on a different meaning.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:59 AM on August 7, 2013


FWIW, Punisher: War Zone is a far, far superior Punisher film than that Thomas Jane piece of shit. I do kind of wish Dolph Lundgren got to reprise the role instead of the guy from Rome, though.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:04 PM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the only good thing about the Tom Jane Punisher is that it got War Zone made.

HOWEVER

There's a short film called Dirty Laundry starring Tom Jane that is a Punisher film in everything but name. It's ... better than the other one. How much better depends on how easily you can get past the fact that it's a short film where a white dude beats up and kills a bunch of minority dudes.
posted by griphus at 12:24 PM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


(As a note, "everything but name" includes Tom Jane promoting it on the Internet by saying "this is a new Punisher short film in which I play Frank Castle, the Punisher.")
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:26 PM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes I'm Siskel, yes I'm Ebert and you're getting two thumbs up
posted by Chrysostom at 12:27 PM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seriously? That is hilarious.
posted by griphus at 12:27 PM on August 7, 2013


I just want to know how "selachimorphic" happened into majorsteels vocabulary. Not a word one is likely to run into by accident.
posted by rmhsinc at 12:29 PM on August 7, 2013


Chrysostom, that is some powerful google-fu you have there
posted by ook at 12:33 PM on August 7, 2013


AKA Network Decay.
posted by tychotesla at 12:36 PM on August 7, 2013


cribcage: "So apparently "the evidence" and scientists are supposed to be in conflict.

That damn coelacanth will haunt scientists until the end of time.
"

It certainly will and it's incredibly silly. Scientists thought that the coelacanth was extinct until they found evidence showing that not to be the case, in the form of an extant coelacanth. Science working as advertised! But apparently that's a weakness.

*sigh*
posted by brundlefly at 12:40 PM on August 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


All I know is that my gullible 12-year-old is now convinced there is a 60-foot dino-shark swimming off the coast of Cape Cod, just waiting to eat her for lunch.
posted by briank at 1:09 PM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Which is demonstration of why gullible persons should be protected from The Discovery Channel.

And The History Channel, and TLC, and True TV, and etc.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:27 PM on August 7, 2013


I can forgive Discovery a lot of things in return for making this Shark Week commercial.
posted by CCBC at 2:59 PM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've seen this megalopod doc described as a "mockumentary".

Which begs the question. Is it a mockumentary? Was it made clear from the beginning that it's meant to be a joke, and definitely not actual science? I mean, nobody thinks Parks & Recreation is really a documentary about small town municipal government. Nobody thinks Spinal Tap* is about an actual band. But a lot of people seem to have watched the megalodon thing as if it were meant in earnest.

So what's the deal, here? Did Discovery make a jokey mockumentary parodying "teach the controversy" style shows like Ancient Aliens and that thing about Bigfoot? Or is this an example of that type of programming, and folks are just calling it a mockumentary after the fact in Discovery's defense?

*Caveat: when I was little one of my uncles had a Spinal Tap poster on his wall and I totally thought they were real until I was old enough to see the movie.
posted by Sara C. at 3:09 PM on August 7, 2013


I love the Amish
Their homespun Mafia
I believe in Megalodon
And cryptozoology
I love the whole world
And all its kooks and freaks

Boom-de-yah-da, boom-de-yah-da
Boom-de-yah-da, boom-de-yah-da

I love reality
As long as it's TV
I love the pawn shops
Abductions by ET
I love the whole world
And ghosts especially

Boom-de-yah-da, boom-de-yah-da
Boom-de-yah-da, boom-de-yah-da
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:14 PM on August 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


(And I'd like to see the house that Jaws 4 built)

Can't be certain this is where he was referring to, but he doesn't strike me as the most peripatetic of celebrities. But he currently lives in a very swank place in Surrey (in a neighborhood attractive to ambassadors and Russian oligarchs).
posted by dhartung at 3:24 PM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]



All of this might have been averted if they had just gone ahead with Jaws 3, People 0.

Well. . . . at the time, there'd fairly recently been a Mustang II, Boredom Zero effort in the media.
 
posted by Herodios at 3:51 PM on August 7, 2013


I'm not worried about megalodons, but I found this short documentary disturbing.
posted by homunculus at 3:56 PM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Almost 90 comments, and no mention of Shark-nado?
 
posted by Herodios at 3:58 PM on August 7, 2013


The Meg books by Steve Alten are excellent beachside/toilet reading. Enjoy.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:30 PM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I SAID ENJOY!
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:20 PM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Meg books by Steve Alten are excellent beachside/toilet reading. Enjoy.

From Meg, the sequels descend into delightful idiocy. One of them features kronosaurs menacing the James Bond villain's lair at the bottom of the Marianas trench. But kronosaurs breathe air, you're thinking. Not to fear, your author has anticipated this problem and tells us succinctly that the kronosaurs have adapted to living at the bottom of 35000 feet of water.

See also Charles Wilson's _Extinct_, in which coastal Mississippi is menaced by megalodons that, when beached, weeble for their mommies.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:00 PM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


yeoz: "a dead shark, with a metrocard, on the subway"

Not Native to N Train, a Shark Hitches a Ride
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said it was unclear how the shark had reached the transit system.

“We don’t know,” said Kevin Ortiz, a spokesman for the authority. “And we are not investigating.”

Inquiring riders were left to hazard their own theories. Was it vanquished in the Darwinian wilderness of New York City Transit, where rats are small in stature but large in numbers? Had it escaped from Chinatown, where shark-fin soup remains a staple?

Perhaps it began with a fishing trip, witnesses thought, and ended with an epiphany somewhere south of Canal Street: On further consideration, a shark carcass did not belong in a New York City apartment. (Mustelus canis, also known as the dusky smoothhound, often eats shellfish, but not people.)

More cynical travelers observed that the animal had been found during the Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week,” surmising that its appearance might have been a marketing ploy. The channel bristled at the implication.

“It deeply saddens us that someone would think that this was funny, or in any way connected to our celebration of sharks,” a spokeswoman, Laurie Goldberg, said in a statement.

posted by zarq at 7:11 AM on August 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


The thing about the Megalodon "documentary" was that it didn't present itself as a "what if" type thing. It presented as real, unlike the mermaid thing. The mermaid show you could tell was fake. The megalodon one was way more convincing, at least at the beginning, because they talked a lot about the big whites that breach off the coast of S. Africa. So I thought that maybe this was going to tie into that somehow, but then it just got stupid about 45 minutes in when they started talking about Megalodon. Very disappointing.
posted by cass at 7:20 AM on August 8, 2013


turbid dahlia: The Meg books by Steve Alten are excellent beachside/toilet reading. Enjoy.

The cover is misleading. The Tyrannosaurus Rex is only featured in the introduction of the story (which you can preview on Google books, starting with FACTS about the possibilities that Meg isn't exctinct).

(And where the heck did the taglines come from? I'd like to think someone just made them up to make a forthcoming movie more plausible.)
posted by filthy light thief at 8:03 AM on August 8, 2013


Candygram.
posted by mubba at 8:09 AM on August 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


I have been trying and failing to tie in the obligatory jumped the shark joke with the shark (which had its Metrocard) not having to jump the turnstile.

Maybe one of the cool kids can make that happen?
posted by misha at 9:03 AM on August 8, 2013


Why did the shark have trouble getting on the subway?

Okay, I'll bite.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:08 AM on August 8, 2013


In Soviet Union, turnstiles jump shark?

I'll see myself out.
posted by Etrigan at 9:09 AM on August 8, 2013


If the shark had a Metrocard, who did s/he jump to get it?
posted by aroweofshale at 2:05 AM on August 10, 2013


Welp. That was awful.

I go to Discovery Channel out of habit, sadly. My grandmother noted that she would like to see more nature shows (while joining me to watch a Yellowstone nature documentary on Netflix) and my first thought was Discovery, except the Discovery Channel I was thinking of was about a decade and a half out of date.

I can't help but draw a comparison between Megalodon and Giant Squid. I didn't get a chance to sit still for the entire thing, but the format they used reminded me of the Giant Squid documentary from a few months ago [youtube clip] [related article].

The Megalodon documentary had much of the same build-up: mysterious elusive sea creature that hasn't been captured alive on video before and a team following up on a possible lead. While the Giant Squid documentary had me feeling less dubious by the end, I couldn't quite put my finger on what was off about the Megalodon documentary.

It seemed like a standard shark-hunting venture. Nothing they were doing seemed like they were going out of their way to find an ancient, may-not-be-extinct shark. My assumption on their encounter with Megalodon was that they had actually encountered a giant whale*, but they don't confirm much about what they had recorded. No speculation from the team on the boat whatsoever. Just voiced certainty that implies they wanted to end the showing on a feel-good note.

As opposed to the Giant Squid documentary, where the pay-off really was an explicit pay-off. They saw and recorded a giant squid. Multiple times.

* That's probably wrong. A not-a-Megadolon shark or special effects seems more likely, considering the shot they used at the end of the documentary which almost had to be CG because they said they couldn't see the shark clearly? The entire shark was enormous relative to the shark cage.
posted by aroweofshale at 2:22 AM on August 10, 2013


The thing is, there are enormous sharks out there. They can reach lengths of 40ft and have jaws that are 4ft wide. Of course, both whale sharks and basking sharks are peaceful, even social creatures that are filter feeders and don't seem to mind human company. They're also threatened species (as are many species of sharks) that could use documentaries that look at the behavior of the countries that hunt them as well as the sharks themselves. But since they basically just vacuum up tiny shrimp and the like, there's no blood, and if it doesn't bleed it doesn't lead. Which isn't how a channel devoted to science and named Discovery should be thinking of how to operate.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:58 AM on August 10, 2013


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