::Literate Blather::
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Scary Water Movies

7 Rather Wet Movies for Summer Viewing

“Jaws” ruined me.

Whenever I swim in deep water, the theme song reverberates through my skull. That heavy drumming bass line that builds to crescendo and ends in some poor bastard being devoured alive.

It doesn’t matter if I’m in a lake or a pond either. Deep water = shark attack. It’s not logical, but that’s what happens when you see a movie like “Jaws” when you are an impressionable 13 years old.

There are many bad ways to die, but I can’t imagine anything worse than being eaten alive by a shark – that you can’t see. You can only feel its scaly hide and its jagged teeth sinking into the meat of your thigh.

Yet it’s more than just that.

Water is scary. Think about it. You can only see its surface. Yet you know there are things – some of them living things – below. When you swim in deep water you can’t see the rest of your body as your head bobs on the surface.

It’s a disconcerting feeling – all this liquid surrounding you and completely blind to what happening around your body. There could be a waterlogged piece of driftwood just inches from your toes or a clump of seaweed floating near the nape of your back.

In the ocean there can be hundreds, if not thousands of feet between you and the bottom. Anything can be down there. Sunken boats, dropped key chains, sea urchins, body parts…


See? I’m getting uptight just thinking about it. So while I go rent a cabin in the mountains – far away from the seashore – you can go rent one of these movies – which prove my point. Water is scary.


Year: 1975

Tagline: Amity Island had everything. Clear skies. Gentle surf. Warm water. People flocked there every summer. It was the perfect feeding ground.

Plot Synopsis: A gigantic man-eating shark invades the waters around a tourist island and begins to eat the swimmers. It’s up to the police chief, an old fisherman, and an oceanographer to put an end to this beast’s reign of terror.

Body of Water: Ocean

Water Related Terror: Well, there’s this really large shark and really small fishing boat…

Water Related Death: The worst death in the movie might be the opening one. A young couple heads to the shore after drinking at a party. As the man falls asleep, the woman strips and goes skinny-dipping in the surf. As she treads water in the moonlight, the shark tears off her leg and then proceeds to eat her alive. It’s chilling.

Notable Water Quote: “Y'all know me. Know how I earn a livin'. I'll catch this bird for you, but it ain't gonna be easy. Bad fish. Not like going down to the pond and chasing bluegills and tommycocks. This shark, swallow you whole. No shakin', no tenderizin', down you go. And we gotta do it quick, that'll bring back your tourists, put all your businesses on a payin' basis. But it's not gonna be pleasant. I value my neck a lot more than three thousand bucks, chief. I'll find him for three, but I'll catch him, and kill him, for ten. But you've gotta make up your minds. If you want to stay alive, then ante up. If you want to play it cheap, be on welfare the whole winter. I don't want no volunteers, I don't want no mates, there's too many captains on this island. Ten thousand dollars for me by myself. For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing.”

The Abyss

Year: 1989

Tagline: There’s everything you’ve ever known about adventure, and then there’s The Abyss.

Plot Synopsis: A team of expert divers is called in to help find a lost nuclear submarine. They make their base in an underwater research station and as they search they encounter an alien species.

Body of Water: Ocean

Water Related Terror: Bud Brigman (Ed Harris) and his wife Lindsey (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) only have enough oxygen in a tank for one of them. Lindsey agrees to drown so that Bud can carry her underwater to another station and then he can revive her. It’s a powerful and frightening scene to watch her drown and then Bud to run as fast as he can – underwater – to save her.

Water Related Death: A Navy SEAL played by Michael Biehn goes bonkers and decides to start offing members of the crew. There’s nothing more dangerous at the bottom of the ocean that a crazed, psycho-SEAL.

Notable Water Quote: “Well, hell, son. You better get a line down to us. We're in moderately poor shape down here. We've lost seven people, including Bud. And we're about out of O2, so whatever you're gonna do, you better do it fast.”

Deep Blue Sea

Year: 1999

Tagline: Bigger. Smarter. Faster. Meaner.

Plot Synopsis: A group of scientists searching for a cure to Alzheimer’s disease ends up at an abandoned research facility that has been doing experimental research on sharks – developing three super sharks that decide that they’re hungry – for scientists.

Body of Water: Ocean

Water Related Terror: A sinking research station and three super intelligent genetically alter sharks decide that they want dinner.

Water Related Death: Being eaten by sharks – but “Deep Blue Sea” sneaks the attacks up on you. So be prepared.

Notable Water Quote: “You think water moves fast? You should see ice. It moves like it has a mind. Like it knows it killed the world once and got a taste for murder.”


Year: 2002

Tagline: Six hundred feet beneath the surface terror runs deep.

Plot Synopsis: A submarine crew in World War II is asked to pick up the survivors of a ship sunk by a Nazi destroyer. Weird things begin to happen after the three survivors are brought on board.

Body of Water: Ocean

Water Related Terror: A haunted submarine stranded on the bottom of the ocean can be a scary place.

Water Related Death: The captain of the ship is smashed on the head and plunges into the water where he drowns and become enmeshed in some rigging on the side of the U-boat.

Notable Water Quote: “It used to feel like a big ocean, didn't it?”

Open Water

Year: 2003

Tagline: Don’t get left behind.

Plot Synopsis: A couple goes scuba diving on a tourist boat and the crew mis-counts the number of people on board. The couple, late back to the boat, is left behind in miles from their island resort. The current takes them into open ocean and then the sharks come.

Body of Water: Ocean

Water Related Terror: Drifting for hours in the hot sun, and literally dying of thirst, a group of sharks begin to bump and grind against the two scuba divers. Then one of them takes a bites and bloodies up the water.

Water Related Death: Her husband already eaten alive by sharks, Susan (Blanchard Ryan) decides to drown herself as she watches the fins gather around her. Heart wrenching doesn’t begin to describe it.

Notable Water Quote: “Where's the boat. Daniel. Where's the boat?”

The Perfect Storm

Year: 2000

Tagline: In the Fall of 1991, the “Andrea Gail” left Gloucester, Mass. And headed for the fishing grounds of the North Atlantic. Two weeks later, an event took place that had never occurred in recorded history.

Plot Synopsis: A fishing boat with a crew of misfits gets stuck in a massive hurricane like storm and is capsized by an enormous wave.

Body of Water: Ocean

Water Related Terror: Being on a small, rickety fishing boat with waves the height of football stadiums bashing down on it.

Water Related Death: Drowning

Notable Water Quote: “I always find the fish. Always!”

Lake Placid

Year: 1999

Tagline: You’ll never know what bit you.

Plot Synopsis: A quiet lake for tourists is thrown into a panic when a very large and very hungry crocodile decides to move in and start eating people. Can the sheriff and a local paleontologist save the day?

Body of Water: Lake

Water Related Terror: The only thing worse than being eaten alive by a shark may be being eaten alive by a crocodile.

Water Related Death: A game warden is checking out a beaver dam in the lake when he is snatched by the giant crocodile and dragged across the lake in his jaws.

Notable Water Quote: “I’m rooting for the crocodile. I hope he swallows your friends whole.”

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Blogger Bybee said...
Open Water freaked me out.

Blogger GFS3 said...
That was one scary movie. It reminds me that I should have added the movie "Dead Calm" starring Nicole Kidman. That is one good movie.

Blogger SQT said...
My parents scarred me for life with Jaws. I was convinced a shark was going to grab me from under my bed for years.

Love the Abyss. Favorite line: "raise your hand if you think that was a Russian water tentacle."

Blogger GFS3 said...
Sharks bring out the irrational fear in us all.

Nothing better than those Land Shark skits on old SNL.

Ahhhh Jaws. Now I'm tempted to go downstairs, fire up the TV, and check to see if On Demand has any of these lurking.

"Water is scary. Think about it. You can only see its surface. Yet you know there are things – some of them living things – below. When you swim in deep water you can’t see the rest of your body as your head bobs on the surface."

This is the exact same reason why spiders scare me. They're so damn good at getting on me without my even noticing until I feel that tickle or bite. And I have some sort of knack for getting bitten by spiders.

Blogger GFS3 said...
That is unfortunate. If you can stomach it -- a great scary novel about a spider is "The Incredible Shrinking Man." Of course, the spider is very, very large in the story.

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