Book Review: Jaws Unmade

Jaws Unmade
Published by Bicep Books, 2020. 341 pages
By John LeMay

One only needs to look at all the rip-offs and inspired titles from a particular film to really know how successful it was. Granted, for Steven Spielberg’s 1975 film Jaws, it might have some to do with the box office profits as well. As we all know, movie monsters only die at the box office, which means if it made money, there will be a sequel. Or two. Or more, until the cash cow, or shark as the case may be, is completely dead and resting at the bottom of the ocean. Now we have to remember that in the mid ’70s, sequel-itis hadn’t really spread in Hollywood, but the money Jaws made was just too much to leave well enough alone, so we got Jaws 2 in 1978. Now the story of that production is enough for a book on its own. In fact, there is! Jaws 2: The Making of the Hollywood Sequel, by Louis R. Pisano & Michael A. Smith, is essential for any fan of the Jaws series, not only because it’s on the sequel, but you get a real insight of how much the producers have control of what the final movie is going to be. And Pisano and Smith books gives plenty of info. Continue reading

Looking for a New Book?

While I continue my quest to add more books to my personal library that I’ll ever be able to read in my lifetime, I thought I would give a little shout out to a few titles that are currently sitting in my Want List on Amazon. I don’t have any of these yet (key word…yet) so all I know about them is what I’ve read on the Amazon description. But they do sound pretty interesting, and I know that I intend to pick them up at some point. While I’m in the middle of reading 3 different books right now, and have a few piled up that I still need to find room in the bookshelves for, it might be a bit.

Who am I kidding, I’ll probably order them next payday!

I’ll list this these alphabetically so it doesn’t look like I’m playing any favoritism!

Ad NauseamAd Nauseam By Michael Gingold
Any horror fan worth their weight in magazines knows Gingold from his decades working for Fangoria magazine, but has been keeping himself quite busy since those days. His book The Frightfest Guide to Monster Movies is just awesome and is simply a must. But his new book is something that older fans will love paging through, as well as giving younger fans a look into the past. In his youth, Gingold would cut out the ads for horror films, the bigger named ones as well as the smaller titles that snuck out. This book is a walk through the 1980’s in a year-by-year guide to Gingold’s archive, featuring more than 450 ads. Remember folks, years before the internet, this is how we found out movies that were playing so these ads had the tough job of capturing the attention of the person paging through the newspaper and make them want to rush out to see this movie. And more times than not, at least for us horror fans, it worked.

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BearManor Media Book Sale!

bearmanor logoBearManor Media is having a huge Memorial Day sale that ends midnight on May 31st, where all of their paperback editions are 30% off. I have quite a few of BearManor titles in my collection, and have reviewed a few of them here on my site. Just do a search for BearManor Media and you’ll see which ones I’m talking about.

There are three reasons you should order a book or two (or more) from them. The first and obvious reason is because they are having a 30% off sale! Kind of a no-brainer, don’t you think?

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JAWS 2 Book Signing in Crystal Lake, IL

Jaws 2For those Jaws fans that live in the northwestern suburbs of Chicago, author Michael A. Smith will be doing a book signing at the My Happy Place Comic Book Store in Crystal Lake, IL, on November 28th, between 11am and 1pm. If you’re a fan of Jaws 2, then I think you’ll enjoy this book. You’ll learn a lot about the making of this film, as well as learning about the version of the film that never came to be.

For all the information, you can check out the comic book’s website HERE.

Book Review: Jaws 2: The Making of a Hollywood Sequel

Jaws 2Jaws 2: The Making of the Hollywood Sequel
By Louis R. Pisano & Michael A. Smith
Published by BearManor Media, 2015. 343 pages.

I have to say that out of all the movies I’ve seen in my lifetime, I really can’t think of one that effected me as much as Jaws did, first seeing it on a re-release around 1977. Because of it, any movie that deals with sharks, or really any aquatic terrors, really has a emotional effect on me…meaning it really gets under my skin! And even though the original film terrified me to the core, I was somehow anxious to maybe do it all over again when Jaws 2 hit the screens a few years later. Yeah, we all know that it is not even close as being as good as the first one, but I did enjoy it back then and think that even today it still holds up for the most part. There also has been more than a few books written about that original summer blockbuster, but not too many on the sequel. Until now. Authors Louis R. Pisano and Michael A. Smith have spent a few years pulling together information, interviews, stories, and so much more, all jammed into their new book, Jaws 2: The Making of a Hollywood Sequel.

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Jaws 2: The Making of the Hollywood Sequel

Jaws 2I had first seen Jaws around 1977 and it seriously changed my life. Not only did it terrify me, I haven’t been in the water since. But it also brought forth a fear of what might be waiting in the water for me that has stayed with me to this day. The following year when Jaws 2 came out, even though the first one had scared the living crap out of me, I knew I had to go see it. Now we all know that it was nowhere near the masterpiece the first one was…not even close. But for me, because it was about an underwater terror lurking below the surface of the water, just waiting for a person to come floating by, it once again terrorized my 13 year old brain.

Now, thanks to authors Louis R. Pisano and Michael A. Smith, we are going to learn much more about this sequel, one that probably doesn’t get the credit it deserves since it will always live in shadow of the original. Pisano and Smith follow the ups and downs of this movie, as the director is replaced, battles with the cast and crew, and all the other things that me wonder how people stay in the business! Filled with stories from the original cast and crew, with hundreds of rare behind-the-scenes photos that were taken by the cast and crew during production. This will be published by BearManor Media in both hardcover and softcover editions, although no date has been announced yet.

If you want to get a taste of some info on the Jaws series, check out the latest issues of Horrorhound (#53) where Michael A. Smith wrote the retrospective on the films. It’s a great read. You can also check their Facebook page for the book HERE.

Check out all the details at BearManor Media’s website HERE.