I remember when I was a wee tyke, I begged my Dad to take me to the highly age-inappropriate Jaws 4: The Revenge. It took some doing but finally, either out of fondness for the original film or a desire for me to shut up, he relented. I remember seeing Michael Caine’s name on the poster and asking my Dad why it had a rectangle around it when none of the other actors’ names were highlighted. He said something to the effect of, “Oh, he’s a really good actor.” I entered the theater buoyed by that added legitimacy factor – I was taking my Dad to a classy movie.
Because I was young and stupid, I remember walking out thinking I had just seen a masterpiece. Then I made the mistake of making eye contact with my Dad. One glance at my father’s stunned, pained and defeated visage and it was clear – he had just been through hell. I don’t remember much else from that screening, except for the fact that Mario Van Peebles died (and I liked the scene where Lance Guest’s wife flung her underwear at him).
I caught up with the movie on VHS (which going by the release patterns those days might have been almost a year later), and was surprised to find that Mario Van Peebles lived in the home video cut. This was almost as upsetting as having all of the curse words edited out of the 1986 Transformers when it hit Blockbuster. I didn’t remember any huge differences outside of that, but I was obviously pretty dumb because they changed the entire manner in which the shark decided to die after being rammed by captain Lorraine Gary.
Head inside to check out two endings and vote for which awful one you prefer! The shark roars in BOTH of them!
I’m far from being the first person to mention that sharks don’t roar, or stand on top of the water. But it’s worth mentioning.
I’m not sure how many cuts there are of Jaws 4, but it’s sort of like a really terrible Blade Runner in the sense that there seems to be an online community dedicated to restoring it. If you comb through YouTube there’s a ton of it. But, most importantly, here’s a video of Mario Van Peebles talking about his upcoming role in Jaws ’87.