Saturday, August 31, 2013

Only now does it occur to me... THE SPY WHO LOVED ME

Only now does it occur to me...  that the James Bond series had the balls to basically insert a Hammer horror villain into not only one, but two of their films, (and three if we count Christopher Lee in THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN).

Now I'd seen chunks of this film on TV as a kid, and was already well-aware of the pop-culture phenomenon that is Richard Kiel's "Jaws" (a hulking brute with steel-capped teeth) but I don't think I'd ever seen THE SPY WHO LOVED ME in its entirety till this week.

For God's sake– the first time we meet him, he's biting someone in the throat in an Egyptian tomb while bathed in Hammer/Bava-style green light.

And then there's the whole "Jaws vs. Jaws" entanglement, which ends poetically with Jaws biting Jaws to death.

It is without a doubt the most artistic "man biting shark to death" scene ever committed to celluloid.  Apparently (Kiel's) Jaws was saved from a watery grave by test screenings that affirmed his inherent likability as a shark-man-and-steel-cable-biting madman.  In my mind, he's second in "metallically modified gimmicky villains of the 1970s" only to Chuck Connors' "Claw Zuckerman" in 99 AND 44/100% DEAD.

Anyway, they should have gone all the way and just replaced the "James Bond will return in..." credit at the end with "Jaws will return in MOONRAKER."  And he did.


The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

Ha. Clever, clever perspective and interesting points.

I'm stunned you are seeing it for the first time my friend in full.

It's my absolute favorite film of the Bond films (particularly Moore, but I love them all including Moore's stuff).

Anyway, and Kiel is just the most wonderful villain particularly in the film you spotlight here. He's much scarier here, because yu're right, we loved him as kids and they softened him up nicely for Moonraker.

That one line of dialogue is hysterical in Moonraker when they give him the love interest.

Anyway, thanks for that entry. Terrific!

Sean Gill said...

Glad you enjoyed, my friend. I'm looking forward to rewatching MOONRAKER sometime soon– it's been ages!