Friday, December 9, 2011

Real Life Horror, Unapologetically Wrecking my Childhood

It's not such a rare occurance anymore, as Hollywood studios go out of their way to ruin my childhood memories. Taint them with the poorly constructed remakes, give half the effort and heart to make a few dollars. It's nothing new. But they really went out of their way this time and essentially impaled me. I'm not being dramatic either, they are shutting down the Jaws Ride at Universal Studios.

Admittedly the shark looks horribly fake and I've been on the ride so many times that its not even a surprise anymore when he pops up. Hell I could probably count the exact seconds it takes from when the barn doors close to when the people on the front right side scream. But my first trip to Universal this was the only adult ride I got on. I was tricked by my mom and my brother, who told me it was a boat ride. And as typical horror lover I was enthralled when the shark blasted through the water and started eating the wire right next to my brother. It was lucky how we picked the exact seats the big action stuff happens on for our first time there. I didn't stop talking about the ride for weeks. And like usual everyone was annoyed with me for not being able to shut my mouth.

As I got older and went on the ride again I was able to appreciate the homage to the film and the entire section dedicated to the town of Amity. And even when it became apparently fake and the tour boat guide's gun shot aim became painstakingly worse it was still fun. Especially for new people who had never been on the ride before. But it could be worse. It could be this version of Jaws:

I'm not an expert but either she really hated George or she's just awful at her job. Not to mention she gives away a huge spoiler "I'm going to stop talking after the shark comes up because they are filming Desperate Housewives down the street."  .... Or whatever she said to that nature. And Bruce looks more like a dolphin with that trick than as an intimidating shark.

If anything Universal just needed to update the ride, and maybe bring a little bit more cohesion to that part of the park. But in life its just easier to destroy part of my childhood than it is to repair it for new memories. Whatever Universal. I do note though that if they ever get rid of the Terminator ride they've lost me as a customer. That ride is fucking awesome. Oh and please get rid of the Simpsons and bring back Back To the Future.

A little bit of history and trivia on the ride. It was built in 1990 to many failures and technical difficulties, which eventually lead to the ride being redesigned to a small, and admittedly less scary, extent. The former attraction included a much more active shark who was strong enough to spin the boat around, and also a more gory ending where the shark dies similar as in the film. The ride is five minutes long and the shark is seen seven times, three times in full and four with the fin. Universal hasn't released what will replace the Jaws ride but I'm skeptical, agreeing with others that they haven't hard anything too iconic to replace Spielberg's box office massacre. 

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