Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman Revealed
The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
Guardians Of The Galaxy Review
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Subscribe: 6 Issues For £15!
Subscribe today and save 37% off the cover price!
Empire Blogs
Empire States

Back to all blogs Comment Now

Me And Jaws: Empire Goes Swimming With Sharks

Posted on Tuesday September 4, 2012, 18:49 by Phil de Semlyen in Empire States
Me And Jaws: Empire Goes Swimming With Sharks

Since I first watched Jaws as a cowering ten year-old, I’ve always had a strange fascination with sharks. I loved Jaws – I still do 15-odd views later – but it’s always seriously coloured my view of the sea. That’s true of a lot of people, but I’ve had it particularly bad. Even on the English shoreline, where you’re unlikely to encounter anything more deadly than a disorientated whiting, I see an ocean teeming with psychotic cacharodon carcharias wanting to do me in the eyeball like old Ben Gardner.

So why am I about to get in the water with a whole bunch of sharks at Chester’s Blue Planet Aquarium? Good question. Because Jaws was coming out in full 1080p glory? Because I’m an eejit? When Psycho comes out on Blu-ray I’m not planning on spending a night in a motel run by a knife-wielding lunatic with mummy issues. I once survived a viperwolf attack on an Avatar soundstage, but that was motion-captured so it doesn’t really count. (And I wasn’t completely unscathed – my dignity was dragged off and used to feed the baby viperwolves.)

The good news is that no-one has yet been eaten by a 10ft sand tiger in an aquarium. According to my diving instructor, this species is “docile”. Shark docile, but docile. I know that in the pecking order sand tigers come in far below Great Whites (“swallow you whole”), tiger sharks (“eat anything”), bull sharks, makos and hammerheads in terms of aggression, but it’s cold comfort when I watch them rip a huge fish to shreds before we clamber down the ladder and into the tank.



In the water and in a wetsuit, we’re told to make like Hooper and stay still on the aquarium floor, keeping our hands away from the big fish. I probably didn’t need to be told the last bit. The sharks look ENORMOUS from down here. As one of them drifts past a couple of feet from my head giving me the Joe Pescis, I'm reminded that this is the only animal that will literally eat you with its eyes closed. Beat that, Essex Lion.

Seeing sharks up close (as in, really, really close), it’s hard not to feel even more in awe of them. They’re not as mysterious in Cheshire as they are in, say, Cape of Good Hope or the Great Australian Bight, but they’re no less amazing. I know Jaws writer Peter Benchley used to agonise about how his story changed people’s attitudes towards sharks and somehow turned wonder to terror. He must have been truly exasperated by the time he felt the need to point out that he’d “never been hurt by a sea creature, except for jellyfish and sea urchin”, but I hope he was wrong to fret. After all, it's only a movie. Now, Sea Urchin: The Revenge, that would be scary...

For more information on the kind of sharky mayhem that Empire enjoyed, visit the Blue Planet Aquarium website. Jaws is out now on Blu-ray.

Login or register to comment.

Currently No Comments

Log in below, or register to post comments
Username:
Password:
Remember Me:

CATEGORIES

Empire States (439)

Under The Radar (317)

Infinite Lives (92)

Small Screen (57)

Words From The Wise (35)

Cannes 2011 (28)

Off The Wire (24)

Comic-Con 2010 (21)

Casting Couch (2)

Oscars 2011 (1)


RECENT POSTS

A Bright Side For The Spider-Man Reboot: A New Hope For Mary-Jane
By Helen O'Hara


RECENT COMMENTS

Who Should Be Captain America?
"Jon Rinc Great movie! Jon Rinc"  JonRinc2
Read comment

A Bright Side For The Spider-Man Reboot: A New Hope For Mary-Jane
"Jon Rinc I would have to agree. Jon Rinc"  JonRinc2
Read comment

Who Should Be Captain America?
"And just to add i hope the film makers , don't make a huge mistake by picking a non-american to play"  SmithyBoi
Read comment

Who Should Be Captain America?
"Trickey one this , it can't be a black man so it must be someone like Zac Efron. He could make quite"  SmithyBoi
Read comment

Who Should Be Captain America?
"Has Michael Fassbender been mentioned? I think he'd be absolutely brilliant in th"  Barry
Read comment

A Bright Side For The Spider-Man Reboot: A New Hope For Mary-Jane
"If they are going for the teen audience I reckon Emma Roberts (Julia Roberts niece). She is a natur"  Hasnayn
Read comment

A Bright Side For The Spider-Man Reboot: A New Hope For Mary-Jane
"I have no problems with the cast from the current trilogy, though I agree that MJ became overly drip"  Hillsman
Read comment

A Bright Side For The Spider-Man Reboot: A New Hope For Mary-Jane
"I think introduce Gwen first in any reboot and kill her off in a horrible shock ending. &l"  jimoakley666
Read comment

A Bright Side For The Spider-Man Reboot: A New Hope For Mary-Jane
"@Ramirez: I'm not sure how much say Marvel has in the Spiderman films, but since one of the big rece"  shinysavage
Read comment

A Bright Side For The Spider-Man Reboot: A New Hope For Mary-Jane
"I have to be honest - I am delighted with this reboot. I never got on with Tobey Maguire or Dunst in"  Ramirez
Read comment


POPULAR POSTS

A Bright Side For The Spider-Man Reboot: A New Hope For Mary-Jane
13 comments


BLOGGERS
Damon Wise (297)
Helen O'Hara (166)
James Dyer (86)
Amar Vijay (71)
Ali Plumb (56)
James White (29)
Phil de Semlyen (19)
Owen Williams (15)
Ally Wybrew (2)
Ben Kirby (1)
Ian Nathan (1)
Dan Jolin (1)
David Parkinson (1)

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies Covers Are Here
Bard The Bowman or Smaug The Magnificent?

A Pocket Guide To Game Of Thrones’ New Cast Members
Know your Doran Martell from your Nym Sand

Directors Special: Peter Hyams Goes Film-By-Film
The veteran director on Timecop, Outland, 2010, Enemies Closer and more

Explore The Massive Avengers: Age Of Ultron Comic-Con Banner
Use our interactive gadget to zoom in on Hulk, Iron Man, The Vision and co. in action

The 10 Biggest Stories Of Comic-Con 2014
The shocks to emerge from this year's geek-fest. Avengers! Max! Mann!

Models Inc.: The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
How the likes of Batman, Superman and Luke Skywalker become collectible figures

The Empire Podcast #121: Brett Ratner Talks Hercules On This Week's Show
Plus The Purge: Anarchy producer Jason Blum pops in to talk horror

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)