The epic sequel to Speilberg’s 1975 film that had us all fearing for our lives stepping foot unto a beach, turns the classic 40 years young today. And to celebrate, I’m showcasing what the MMPA decided to censor to audiences theatrically back in 1978 for JAWS 2– the goddamn death of the helicopter pilot! And if you haven’t seen it, trust me, it’s so damn satisfying.
Yes, friends, another animatronic Bruce came back to terrorize Amity Island as revenge for Bruce numero uno being blown to smithereens by the local sheriff. While I certainly have a lot of love for this movie, I mean fucken aye it’s JAWS people, it certainly restricted itself on the lack of blood as opposed to the first film. In fairness, there wasn’t a TON of gore in the original JAWS. However, this one had barely any at all. And we’re talking shark attacks here! You’d assume there would be buckets of red corn syrup all over the damn screen. But alas, on the heels of the mondo success of the first film and cringy studio execs, JAWS 2 had to be watered down a tad to appease the pearl clutchers of the generation.
Before we get to the scene in question, that was shown during various TV runs during the 80’s (which is why I even knew it existed), can we just appreciate just how badass Bruce II really is? I mean, this shark seems ten times scarier and more malevolent than it’s brother, cousin, whatever from the first movie. Not only does it take down the water skier in the first half of the film, but the boat and driver with it resulting in blowing the damn thing up. Of course, that was the work of the obviously terrified boat driver in the midst of a Great White eating her boat, but eh, gotta give credit to Bruce II for making it possible. And then we have this wonderful helicopter scene, in which if you’ve seen the cut version only, kind of raises some questions on the whereabouts of the pilot.
Here we have this poor guy just trying to do his damn job and help these teenagers out. Bruce II isn’t having any of this shit. He’s like, “HOW DARE YOU TRY TO HELP THESE KIDS! I’LL SHOW YOU BY GOD.” And he sinks a friggin’ helicopter. But, what the hell happened to the pilot? We can just assume he drowned if anything. And he does of course, but we actually get to see it this time. And it looks as if he serves as a tasty snack after all for the hungry island visitor. Visual satisfaction at the very least. Also, if you listen very closely, the pilot’s screams sound an awful lot like Hooper’s when he’s attacked underwater in the shark cage.
So here it is! Originally uploaded on YouTube by RetroTV from an ABC original airing complete with a LEGGS pantyhose commercial at the end to break away. Because, you know, that’s super important here. Enjoy and happy anniversary JAWS 2!