by Melissa Uhrin
My years living down under weren't just spent chasing after wallaby, learning how to play the didgeridoo and deciphering Aussie slang. In fact I did some my best life learning below the equator! Some of which is directly related to the theme of this piece.
Imagine for a moment it's midnight, you are lying in bed and allowing your mind to wander about the extreme sport that you will be doing bright and early the following day. You are getting set up, have strapped on your waist harness, attached the lines to the 18 foot kite, have bar in hand and feet in board. Imagine further and you are splashing about in the water wearing a wetsuit and looking every bit the perfect SEAL MEAL for the ocean's largest predator.
Have I watched too many docs and movies about sharks? Perhaps. Was I living in the country whose ocean surrounds are known for being chock full of sharks? Most definitely. But I am of the opinion, that if I am swimming in the ocean and I get eaten by a shark, statistically speaking, it was my time to go. However, I am more likely to lose control of that damn kite and slam myself into any number of things before I get chewed on by a shark. But it was not my kitesurfing abilities (or lack thereof) that kept me up at night.
Duh nuh. Duh nuh.
Steven Spielberg's original blockbuster JAWS. The film stars Roy Scheider as police chief Martin Brody, Richard Dreyfuss as oceanographer Matt Hooper, Robert Shaw as shark hunter Quint and the superstar at the centre, a Great White shark that has claimed the waters around the town of Amity as his feeding grounds. Over the years I have had an inkling that Richard Dreyfuss was one of my favourite actors, but on this re-watch I am more than convinced that he is. What more can really be said about this perfect film than has been said already? In my opinion it is sheer perfection, especially for turning 40 this year.
Joe Dante (he co-directed Hollywood Blvd with Allan Arkush in 1976, but this was his first film that was not co-directed or was his 1968 project The Movie Orgy, a 7-hour long compilation film of B-movies and tv shows), the film stars Bradford Dillman, Heather Menzies and Kevin McCarthy. The military has genetically modified a new weapon, in the form of a mutant piranha, which inevitably winds up being introduced into a river and mayhem ensues. This was my first viewing and I did quite enjoy it, but my favourite part is most definitely the sound the piranhas made when they started attacking and chewing.
Piranha 3D (2010)
Piranha 3DD (2012)
So really, what it all boils down to in the end is this: It's summertime! YAY! Swim at your own risk, because we never really know what lurks below the surface of the waters. And if you think that lakes and rivers are safe, then ask yourself how much do you trust your government? Everyone's worst nightmare is but an experiment, in a beaker, in a laboratory hidden away somewhere, just waiting to get flushed down the toilet so it can bite you when you least expect it.