Breaking Down: Avalanche Sharks
Just when you thought it was safe to...nevermind
If only Robert Shaw were still alive.
Who’s Robert Shaw?
I’m happy you asked. Robert Shaw, better known as the actor that played Quint in the original Jaws, died in 1978, a distant 35 years before he ever had the chance to reprise the roll in Avalanche Sharks.
What’s Avalanche Sharks?
Another fine question. Our friends at Adventure Journal have the synopsis. In short, let’s say that if Jaws made you afraid to go in the water, Avalanche Sharks will make you afraid of…nothing. This film will make you feel nothing. A prehistoric snow shark? A sheriff befriends a “motley crew of snowboarders” to save the day? Hell, even Frozen has better premise than this, Out Cold a better cast, and Hot Tub Time Machine a washed-up, but still solid John Cusak. All this leads me to my original point…if only Robert Shaw were alive.
You see, this film, while guaranteed to be terrible, could be amazing if it ripped Jaws off the way Aspen Extreme did Top Gun. We loved T.J. and Dexter so much because they remind us of our flight school buddies Maverick and Goose. So in the spirit of that famous rip off, let’s examine the following scenes of the 1975 classic, Jaws, and set them in a ski town. We’re replacing beach words with snow phrases and making a better movie. Some things to remember before going forward:
1) Jaws was directed by a guy named Steven Spielberg. Avalanche Sharks by a guy named Scott Wheeler. There were ten Scott Wheelers in the frats at SUNY Potsdam.
2) Jaws took place in Martha’s Vineyard at a time when America was missing the Kennedy family photos so the picturesque scenes were uniquely nostalgic. Good luck getting that national feeling out of Twin Planes Ski Resort.
3) There’s still a fucking shark under that snow. Intense.
Scene 1: The Problem
Replace “chief” with “snow safety director” and “water” with “terrain park.” Unnatty cork 5 leading mute to shark bite.
Scene 2: Coming Up With A Plan
Replace “oceanographer group from the mainland” with “stats expert from SIA” or “magazine sales guy” and remember, “pond and catching blue gills…” with “walking to the Moose and slamming whiskey.” Closing the mountain for 24 hours is like three weeks… Damn that Robert Shaw is amazing, isn’t he? He’s the Jaded Local in human form. Kind of makes you pissed he didn’t even get nominated for an Oscar in this role, doesn’t’ it? Instead, Best Actor went to some guy named Jack Nicholson for his leading effort in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and Best Supporting Actor went to…oh it doesn’t matter. Shaw got hosed.
Scene 3: The Hunt
Jaws is more about what you don’t see. The imagination can kill you. Replace “boat” with “snow cat.” That John Williams score would never sound better than if it were sending sound waves through the mountainside.
Scene 4: The Camaraderie That Makes You Care About These Characters
This scene would kill in ski town bars. Hell, it happened to me at least a dozen times this winter. Skiers love sharing scar stories, especially knee injuries. Jesus, this might’ve been shot at the Mangy Moose. Replace “amore eel” with “ex-girlfriend’s husky” and “wet suit” with “North Face puffy,” “bull shark” with “weed plant,” “thresher” with “rabid squirrel.” Drinking to legs and Marianne Moffit…that all plays out the same in a ski town.
Scene 5: Conflict Resolution
If I’m penning it, this scene goes down the same way in Avalanche Sharks, boat and all. Smile you son of a…
Shark explosions are the best. In conclusion, Avalanche Sharks will be terrible and most likely won’t get a theatrical release. Gloves crossed for a Direct-To-Netflix release. Rest In Peace, Robert Shaw.
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