Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I’m sure a good movie might have very well been made out of this premise: Jaws transplanted onto a golf course, with a sentient, man-eating giant lawnmower as the killer instead of a shark. Unfortunately, a good movie was not made out of this premise, as instead we got a movie that was so obsessed with aping a classic that it forgot to include any jokes beyond that of the main premise.

The movie, to its “credit”, starts out looking as though it’s going to be parodying another movie, namely Caddyshack. Despite the occasional off-screen murder (beginning with an opening pair of young lovers that separate themselves from their group in the woods), what we mainly get near the beginning is the setup to a local golf tournament complete with wacky pros and nervous club employees. It doesn’t focus, at least at first, on openly aping Jaws, and instead exists in its own little world of harmless fluff. Of course, once we get about a third of the way through the film, it kicks into overdrive and essentially presents us with Jaws, but on a golf course instead. If you think I’m repeating myself here, I am, but I do it because I cannot stress enough just how slavishly this movie imitates its predecessor. We get scenes like the one where a smaller lawnmower is captured and destroyed, and the two main characters tear it open to see what it had eaten, one where the owner of the golf course demanding that the people need their tournament and so the course will stay open, regardless of safety concerns, and one where they try to track it by firing harpoons attached to bales of hay at it. If all this sounds hysterical to you, then by all means, you are this film’s target audience and should get it posthaste. It comes with two other movies on one DVD (plus an unskippable three-way intro by Lloyd Kaufman), so it’s a bargain, really.

That this movie is essentially just a remake of Jaws with some mild – very mild – parody thrown in should be understood by now. What I may not have made clear is in how badly it screws up its mimicry or those classic scenes from Jaws. One could say that while Jaws was like Hitchcock’s Psycho, this film is more like Gus Van Sant’s. Sure, it’s watchable enough, but when you’ve got a much superior original right there for you to watch instead, what is the point of watching this one at all? You know, unless you need to review a movie every day for your blog, but outside of that, come on. It's like those recent big movie spoofs (though admittedly somewhat better) like Epic Movie and Meet the Spartans, where they assume that the proper way to parody a movie scene is to recreate it exactly, then have one of the characters fart a lot. I wouldn’t have seen this myself, if not for how Blood Hook was on the same disc (you know, if you were curious as to which movie I’d be doing tomorrow), and I have a strong feeling I’ll have forgotten of its very existence within a few months.

Rating: * ½

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