The movie's main tagline "This time it's personal" was parodied in Back to the Future Part II (1989) where the fictional "Jaws 19", directed by Max Spielberg, has a movie poster that says, "This time it's REALLY personal!" The phrase "This time it's personal" has since become a clichéd tagline for several sequels.
Roy Scheider was offered a cameo, but declined, stating "Satan himself could not get me to do Jaws part 4". Reportedly, if Scheider had accepted the bit part, the shark would've killed his character at the start of the movie. The end result has Scheider in this movie through archive footage from Jaws (1975) that was inserted during some scenes in the movie.
A crucial subplot involved Hoagie (Sir Michael Caine) smuggling drugs onto the island. The scenes were shot, then deleted during post-production, because it took away from the main premise involving the shark. It's fully detailed in the novelization.
According to this movie, the events that occurred in Jaws 3-D (1983) never took place, which would explain why Mike did not marry Kathryn, and why he isn't working as an engineer at SeaWorld, and this also would explain why Sean now works as a Deputy in Amity Island, as if he never moved to Colorado.
Sir Michael Caine said: "Won an Oscar, built a house, and had a great holiday. Not bad for a flop movie." He was paid one and a half million dollars for seven days work in the Bahamas, and the schedule was so tight, that the producers were unable to spare him, so that he could attend the Oscar ceremony, and he went on to win the Best Actor in a Supporting Role Oscar for Hannah and Her Sisters (1986).
The shark's infamous roar during the climax actually comes from a Tom and Jerry cartoon called, The Milky Waif (1946). Reportedly, this was actually done because the sound editor refused to make an original sound effect, because he thought the idea of a shark roaring was ridiculous.
The only movie in the franchise which doesn't take place in the summertime. Jaws (1975) took place around July 4th, Jaws 2 (1978) took place in June, Jaws 3-D (1983) took place at some point in the summertime, and this movie takes place around Christmas and New Year's.
The novelization based on the original script by Hank Searls included many scenes and subplots that ultimately got removed. Some of the excised material includes: The discovery of Sean Brody by Amity PD, Thea being hypnotized and almost wandering into the water at night where the shark waits, The death of a wind surfer, a humorous scene involving a drunken retired newscaster and the shark, a drive-by shooting where the Brodys are nearly injured, and a foot pursuit. Mike's secrecy of the shark takes a strain on his marriage, He also retains a monitoring device in the bedroom. When Carla has her unveiling, Mike goes to a bar and he and Carla argue, she then mentions that she shut off the monitoring device (not knowing what it does) because she believed Mike needed sleep. It's only then they realize Thea may be in danger on the banana boat. Deleted characters include and island gangster who befriends Ellen Brody, who is ultimately killed by the shark, Hoagie's law enforcement partner, and Papa Jacques, a voodoo doctor. In the novel, Papa Jacques is a local man to whom the islanders turn for advice and guidance. Mike Brody does not like him as he believes he exploits the islanders, including his assistants. After an altercation with Mike, Papa Jacques summons the shark to do his bidding. He also has Thea's pale stolen so he can curse it, this is what leads to Thea walking outside towards the water in a zombie-like trance. Several segments also take place from the sharks point-of-view, and it's revealed that the shark is actually a pawn, and can't understand the necessary force driving it where it needs to go.
Was one of Judith Barsi's (Thea's) last movies before her untimely death at the age of ten, one year after this movie's release. Lance Guest, who played her on-screen father Mike Brody, served as one of her pallbearers at her funeral.
Sir Michael Caine is the second actor to follow up an Academy Award-winning performance with a Razzie Award-nominated performance in a Jaws (1975) sequel. The first was Louis Gossett, Jr., who won an Oscar for An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), and then was nominated for a Razzie for Jaws 3-D (1983).
Set mostly in the Bahamas, the film's storyline includes its Junkanoo Festival, previously known to movie-goers from also featuring in the earlier James Bond movie Thunderball (1965). The annual parade is also featured in After the Sunset (2004).
According to "Rating the Movies", "After a miserable theatrical showing in the U.S., the film was given a new ending for its European release." The ending is the version where when the shark is stabbed, the shark is blown to pieces with three shots from Jaws (1975). This ending also has Jake floating around after the shark's destruction. When this movie was released on video cassette in North America, the European ending was used. When AMC aired this movie in the early 2000s, they showed the American ending where the shark is stabbed, bleeds profusely, then sinks. As of 2014, however, AMC shows the European ending, rather than the American one. This often leads to confusion for viewers on the original ending, when watching a re-run on television.
The only Jaws (1975) sequel not to be numerated (unlike Jaws 2 (1978) and Jaws 3-D (1983)) which would have had it called "Jaws 4", which was actually a working title for this movie and still acts as an informal title. Another working title was "Jaws '87", which is the year it was released. It is not numerated because, according to this movie, the events in Jaws 3-D (1983) never took place.
Lorraine Gary appeared as Ellen Brody in three of the four "Jaws" movies, as did Fritzi Jane Courtney, who played her friend Mrs. Taft. Jaws 3-D (1983) was the only one, in which neither actress appeared. That movie was also arguably the only one that Roy Scheider did not appear as well. He appeared in the first two movies, and was seen in this movie, but only via the inclusion of a framed photograph, and archive footage, used for flashbacks.
The website TV Tropes coined the term "Voodoo Shark," which is defined as an attempt to explain away a plot hole that ends up falling flat. The reason for this is that the explanation is a plot hole in itself, that only raises more questions. The name of the trope refers to a deleted plot point, that was retained in the films novelization, which explained the shark's motivation being the result of a curse by a voodoo witch seeking revenge on the Brody family after a scuffle with Michael.
Producer and Director Joseph Sargent briefly looked into the possibility of producing the movie in 3-D, and contacted the company who had supplied the cameras for Jaws 3-D (1983). However, they told Sargent that they could not guarantee the cameras would work reliably in the climate of the Bahamas, and so the idea was scrapped.
The lighthouse seen in the background as the ferry passes by before the Brody's return to the Bahamas, is the same lighthouse seen at the beginning of Jaws 2 (1978) when, in that film, the shark makes it's first appearance.
This was spoofed in the 1989 film Back to the Future Part II (which was produced by Steven Spielberg and featured Jaws 3 star Lea Thompson), when Marty McFly travels to the year 2015 and sees a theater showing Jaws 19, (fictionally directed by Max Spielberg) with the tagline "This time it's REALLY REALLY personal!"
Although this movie was financially successful; it made $51.9 million off a $23 million budget; the plot was so infamously bad; stand up comedians dedicated their entire acts to spoofing this movie after it came out; and it was so slammed by the critics; that its now considered not only a bomb, but one of the worst movies ever made. Which is odd; considering it did made money. (Nobody seems to remember that).
This is only slightly less silly than Sharknado. Infact many critics called Sharknado both an unofficial sequel and the logical next step to the Jaws franchise; after the preposterousness of Jaws the Revenge.
The only film in the series to have a growling shark! There is one scene where the shark pokes his head out of the water and makes an actual roaring sound; which is an impossibility. Sharks do not growl.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
The European/International/DVD version's ending, in which the shark head blows up, re-used footage from Jaws (1975)'s ending, in which the headless bleeding shark sinks. The ropes from the barrels Quint used are still there, as well as the shattered scuba tank that Chief Brody used to blow up the shark.
The original script features a cameo for Richard Dreyfuss' character from Jaws (1975), marine biologist Matt Hooper. In Hooper's scene, he calls the Brodys and is greeted on the phone by Thea, who knows him as "Uncle Matt". Hooper is established as being close to Michael and Carla, who calls him "my second favorite marine biologist", and he gives them his condolences about Sean's death. Hooper and Michael discuss their careers, the late Martin Brody, and Hooper's once spending Christmas with the family, with Martin dressed as Santa Claus. The scene ends when Michael heads off to summon Ellen to the phone to talk to Hooper.
When Michael returns home to his mother's, after his brother is killed, in her living room are several guests, including Lee Fierro. Fierro played Mrs. Kintner in Jaws (1975), and her character's son Alex Kintner was the second victim killed by the shark. Fritzi Jane Courtney, who played Mrs. Taft in the first two Jaws movies is also present.
The European and every DVD (including Blu-ray) release of this movie's ending, where Jake (Mario Van Peebles) survives, began filming five days after the movie was released in the United States. This ending, in which the shark inexplicably explodes, is the official version Universal released on DVD and VHS. Some television channels show the uncut American theatrical release, in which the shark is impaled by the broken bow sprit, and sinks into the ocean and dies. Jake dies in this rare version of the movie.
Roy Scheider was asked to reprise his role as Chief Brody, but stated "The only way I would reprise my role is if I were to be killed off at the beginning of the movie." Ultimately, he didn't appear in the movie, but the idea of Brody being killed off was used for Brody's younger son, Sean.
The 1987 NES video game, Jaws, published by LJN, was originally titled "Jaws: The Revenge". The object of the game was to stab the shark with the bow of the player's boat, much like the original uncut ending of this movie.
Each Jaws movie plants the method of the shark's destruction earlier in each movie. In Jaws (1975), Hooper warns Brody about the air tank "will blow up if you screw around with it." In Jaws 2 (1978), Hendrix and the old man find the power line, which later electrocutes the shark. In Jaws 3-D (1983), an argument ensues about Philip FitzRoyce using grenades. In this movie, Jake is working on a transmitter that sends out high frequency.
This movie has the lowest body count of the franchise, with a total of two victims, Sean Brody and Margaret's mother on the banana boat, thus including Jake's death in the alternate version of this movie. Throughout the four movies, there were twenty-two deaths (shown or implied). There were five in Jaws (1975), seven in Jaws 2 (1978), eight in Jaws 3-D (1983), and two in this movie.
The deleted scenes this movie contained are featured in an old airing from the television broadcasting on AMC. The deleted scenes are as follows: A narrator before the opening credits discussing "circumstance" and "fate", an extended taxi ride where Michael shows his mother Ellen the Neptune's Folly, a scene where Michael and Jake sing on Michael's front porch (this one is incorrectly placed, because its too early in the movie, when it should be right before Michael and Jake go to search for Ellen), a scene where Ellen and Hoagie walk around cruise ships, while Hoagie tells Ellen a story about bananas, right before the shark surfaces to eat part of the barge, when Jake is down on the seabed, there's a shot of the shark diving from the surface, and another shot of the shark diving after eating part of the barge, an extended scene of Hoagie gambling at the casino, Ellen telling Michael a strange joke about an Egyptian pharaoh (also incorrectly placed), as well as this movie's original theatrical ending, the shark being impaled, and no explosion. The shots of Jake's death are trimmed (the shot of him being dragged along the bowsprit is missing, and the shot of him underwater in the shark's mouth was also cut, for violence). This version on AMC features more shocks from the strobe light, a few more repeated shots of the shark roaring and leaping from the water, as well as a wide shot of the shark leaping from the water the final time as the shark is impaled. There is also some weird shot of a dock and a wide shot of the airport where Hoagie's plane is. These deleted scenes are available on YouTube.
The shark's head exploding is explained when Jake throws an explosive, that's powered by electrical impulses into the shark, before he is grabbed by the shark and taken under the water, and later when the shark is impaled by the broken bowsprit in the exact spot where the bomb is, it ignites the bomb, which causes the shark's explosive demise.