Shark Frenzy and Sambora


Before he was well fed, getting a street named after him, and sitting on mountains of moolah, Richie Sambora was as hungry for rock stardom as Jaws was for some silly human flesh. You read it right, Woodbridge, New Jersey’s Richie Sambora or “Sambo” wasn’t always the superstar guitarist of Bon Jovi. Like most rockers destined for greatness, when Richie was through with local sports, he paid his dues playing in several bands. In addition to auditioning for KISS and Poison (who, at the time, was known as Paris), and playing guitar for Joe Cocker, Sambora was part of a band of Jersey guys called Shark Frenzy.

Shark Frenzy’s classic rock sound has been compared to ’70s rock bands like Aerosmith and Meatloaf, but I also hear similarities to several other bands such as Free, and Boston. Their music wasn’t officially released until over 20 years later, when founder of the band and grammy nominee, Bruce Foster, had the previously damaged tapes remastered and put out by Sanctuary Records. There was enough Shark Frenzy material for 2 full albums and the CD’s are available at many online shops (even Walmart!) and possibly the few record stores left. Both volumes are available on iTunes for $9.99 each.

On his official website, Bruce Foster reveals more about how he salvaged the music to finally get it released: “This album features Richie’s first time playing and singing in a recording studio. The master tapes of these priceless recordings were erased by the recording studio. I had the mixes on tape which went under 2 feet of salt water and river silt in the flood. Now, over 20 years later, through months of careful restoration, these recordings equal and in some cases exceed their original sonic spectrum.”

Underwater Shark Tunnels: Will We Ever Learn?

It’s one thing to watch sharks swim around gracefully from afar in a tank, but it’s a totally different story to be almost completely surrounded by them as they fantasize about what’s for lunch. In the name of attracting more people, several aquariums around the country feature walk through shark tunnels. Have we not learned anything from that enthralling cinematic achievement, Jaws 3-D?

As if the 3-D revival craze in the early ’80s wasn’t horrifying enough, JAWS 3-D plainly warned us NEVER to go into any tunnel that looks like THIS:

It may sound like fun when you’re sitting in front of a movie screen watching Jaws with 3-D glasses on, but when you are actually in the real thing, it’s a very different experience. For those of you who enjoy risking life and limb, The Shark Realm at The Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ has a 40 foot, 550,000 gallon shark tunnel that will have you literally handing over your body parts in exchange for the shark’s mercy on your soul.
Something tells me that, eventually, sharks will be the answer to the population problem in the U.S. Anytime one of those ferocious bastards wants to crash through the glass and dine on some dirty Jersey flesh, carnage and utter mayhem could be mere moments away. If you haven’t experienced Dennis Quaid’s tour de force in JAWS 3-D, you better log on to Netflix or order it on Amazon before you head out to your local Aquarium, and because you are missing out on a total shlockfest.

*Read more about Dennis Quaid’s Deep Dark Shark Secret

The Adventure Aquarium also has the option to Swim with the Sharks. You won’t catch The Sexy Armpit doing that anytime soon, but the dude from TLC’s CAKE BOSS had the guts:

12 Days of Terror (2004)


12 Days of Terror can never share the same ocean water as Jaws, but let’s face it, no other films in the genre really can. Directed by Jack Sholder (responsible for some of my horror favorites like Nightmare on Elm Street 2 and Wishmaster 2), 12 Days of Terror, was adapted from a book by Richard Fernicola and chronicles the string of shark attacks that occurred along the Jersey Shore in the summer of 1916. It has been said that these attacks inspired author Peter Benchley to write Jaws. Although they share a similar story, 12 Days of Terror is on a lower scale (“docudrama” on Discovery Channel) and isn’t as thrilling as Jaws, but still provides an entertaining and realistic account of the Jersey shark attacks.


Rather than center the film around the chief of police, 12 days of Terror focuses on Alex (Colin Egglesfield), a lifeguard at the Jersey Shore. The upcoming summer was to be one of the hottest yet and tons of people were already flocking to the beach and the team of lifeguards had their work cut out for them. After Alex witnesses the first kill and helps pull the victim out of the water, his instincts told him that it was obviously a shark attack. Much like Brody in Jaws, Alex encounters opposition from town officials because they do not want to close the beach. Naturally, they pass it off as an “air torpedo” from the war, or some “freak occurence” and continue with business as usual as not to lose revenue. There were actually some precautions taken, such as having steel fences installed in the ocean in Asbury Park and other shore towns as well as an investigation into shark behavior by The Museum of Natural History in New York City, which was ordered by the U.S government and the State of N.J.

Claiming 4 lives and badly injuring a young boy, The Jersey Shore attacks were indeed horrible, but they did provide the world with invaluable information on sharks. Up until that point, the nature of the attacks didn’t jive with the existing information available on sharks. It was always thought that a killer shark would never swim near the shore, nor would a shark attack a swimmer. With that school of thought, the beach seemed like the safest place in the world.

Obviously 1916 was a very different time, and the U.S was involved in World War 1. For people who lived close to the Jersey Shore, bathing in the cool ocean was a revitalizing escape from the stress of life, much like a day at the spa is to us now. The film captures the feeling of the novelty in enjoying a day at the beach that will never be replicated. It was the ultimate refreshing getaway. Now that we are bombarded by commercials for online travel agents, and families take numerous exotic vacations per year, to those who live in Jersey, a day at the Shore is totally commonplace. The film brings us back to that simplicity, only to set the stage for the horrific attacks.

12 Days wastes no time, there’s a kill early on in the film. The gore is not excessive but what is shown is very realistic looking, especially when the first victim’s face turns blueish gray from losing so much blood. Later, we see the shark chow down on a lifeguard’s legs, yet there’s still nothing quite as vivid as the scene where Quint gets eaten by Jaws, but the film does offer some thrilling imagery, just in a more subtle way.

The effects in the film weren’t fantastic, but I’m sure the filmmakers did the best they could with the budget they were working with. Close up shots of the shark looked realistic and way superior than those in shark films you might see on say SyFy Channel. If you are the type that always nitpicks films frame by frame, it’s easy to set aside 12 Days’ faults since the shark attacks do not bolster the film the way you might think. The film shows how these attacks effected the landscape at the time and how it made the world rethink it’s previous assumptions about sharks.

“Are you aware of the fact they’ve had shark attacks here?”

12 Days isn’t all carnage, it also weaves in some dramatic moments as well. There’s a subplot involving Alex’s brother Stanley and his relationship with Alice, the girl who Alex has a thing for too. The Captain (John Rhys Davies) is a ruff, weathered fisherman, in the vein of Quint, who takes Alex on his boat, The Jersey Rose, to seek out the killer shark.


For a fairly accurate account of the Jersey Shore attacks, 12 Days of Terror is the best film available. There are some documentaries that have been released, but this is an easy watch. I can’t say that it’s exploding with personality or incredibly memorable, but that is mostly because shark films that came after Jaws in 1975 have suffered. And as unfair as it may seem that the blockbuster Jaws was inspired by a summer at the Jersey Shore, it’s true, so when you watch 12 Days of Terror, no matter how hard it is, try your best to momentarily forget that you ever saw Jaws.

*On the DVD bonus features there is a summary of the theory that a Bull Shark, not a Great White, was actually the culprit of at least one or two of the attacks in 1916, because of their ability to live in fresh water.

New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments Vol.43: JAWS and Jersey


With 4th of July weekend upon us, why not escape from your pool parties and bbq’s and watch JAWS! Grab a cold drink, kick back and stream JAWS on Netflix. 35 years since it’s release, Jaws still provides thrilling entertainment. In this scene Brody (Scheider) and Hooper (Dreyfuss) attempt to convince Mayor Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) that he should close down the beach for the 4th of July weekend because of the terror that may ensue. The attacks on the Jersey Shore give validity to their case.

BRODY: “This is a Great White Larry, a BIG one, and any shark expert in the world will tell you it’s a killer, a maneater!”
HOOPER: “Look, the situation is that apparently a Great White shark has staked a claim in the waters off Amity Island and he is going to continue to feed here as long as there is food in the water”
BRODY: “…and there’s no limit to what he’s going to do. I mean we’ve already had 3 incidents. Two people killed inside of a week and it’s gonna happen again, it happened before…The Jersey Beach…”
BRODY and HOOPER: “1916!!! There were five people chewed up in the surf…”
HOOPER: “In one week.”
BRODY: “Tell him about the swimmers.”
HOOPER: “A shark is attracted to the exact kind of splashing and activity that occurs whenever human beings go in swimming, you cannot avoid it.”
BRODY: “You open the beaches on the 4th of July, it’s like ringing the dinner bell for Christ sakes!”

That’s not where the JAWS/Jersey connection ends either! The author of Jaws, Peter Benchley, who had a cameo as a news reporter in the film, worked in Pennington Furnace Supply Co. in Pennington New Jersey during the time he began writing the story of the man eating shark. It is speculated that the Jersey Shore attacks were indeed one of Benchley’s inspirations. In 2006, Peter Benchley passed away in his Princeton, NJ home.

Dennis Quaid’s Deep Dark Shark Secret

Sharks are ALWAYS cool. (duh, everyone knows that!) That may sound like a statement uttered by the mouth of a five-year old, but that’s expected when dealing with me. I never claimed to be eloquent, but Sharks ARE cool, and so are coincidences. I’m always trying to discover various correlations between things. It’s fun. Just like some people enjoy baseball and others enjoy throwing a dirty ball that fell on the floor into a cup of piss warm beer and then gulping it down, I like to partake in the art of correlation discovery.

Due to my A.D.D let us abruptly switch gears…to Dennis Quaid. He’s a fine successful actor who hasn’t yet reached his true potential, but his upcoming film, In Good Company, is looking good. But, let’s be real here – what movies come to mind when you think of Dennis Quaid? Innerspace, or his turn as Jerry Lee Lewis in Great Balls of Fire? Unfortunately he’s more well known for his 10 year marriage to Meg Ryan. She bounced on the poor guy, that plastic surgery bitch. Let’s take a quick look at some of his resume: The Big Easy, Frequency, The Rookie, Any Given Sunday, Dragonheart, DOA, The Alamo, you get the point. He’s done plenty of crap, but he makes me wonder, why isn’t this guy a higher caliber Hollywood gun?

My theory is that Quaid has never been forgiven for starring in Jaws 3-D. To all producers and casting directors: Let the guy move on, please! It’s not like he’s got leprecy. He’s a great actor. Come to think of it, maybe he’s the one who is still holding on to the “harpoon.” In the triumphant Jaws 3-D, nothing can eclipse Quaid’s portrayal of Michael Brody. Especially because he’s the hero, and it’s 3-D! Even seeing a 3-D, high tech scif-fi bonanza on an IMAX screen wouldn’t really do much to change the fact that this movie sucked armadillo shit. The film is insanely cheesy. It also stars a hot young bikini clad Lea Thompson (Back to the Future) who Quaid coincidentally met on set and was engaged to for 3 years. Thompson plays Kelly Ann Bukowski, which sounds eerily like Bukake let’s call her Kelly Ann Bukake, shall we?

Jaws 3-D has been unlawfully labeled “garbage” and “really really bad.” It’s almost impossible to not embrace something so bad. It’s apparent the filmmakers didn’t take it seriously and that’s why it’s classic. The reason why the Nightmare on Elm Street films have always been so popular is because they didn’t take it too seriously, especially after it became cliché. Adam West’s version of Batman was camp, but it was completely classic and DAMN YOU if you don’t have a warm place in your heart for camp. Jaws 3-D was supposed to be a serious disaster movie but it obviously was the furthest thing from terrifying.

This third Jaws installment was a desperate attempt to make the series interesting. They opted for the 3-D feature which lacks in effectiveness while watching on basic cable. Quaid doesn’t even like to talk about Jaws 3-D in interviews, almost as if it was a bastard child of his. You never heard about that? Quaid had a kid with a 16 year old semi-retarded albino in North Dakota years ago while still married to Meg Ryan. (No wonder why she dumped him, that skunk!) They named the child…Jaws 3-D!

What Quaid does like to talk about in interviews is his band. It isn’t a coincidence that the band is named Dennis Quaid and THE SHARKS! Now we can plainly see who holds this silly-ass Jaws movie close to his heart. He won’t let on about his true feelings for this movie but it’s all there. Until he shakes his sick obsession with this film, the curse of mediocrity will remain with D.Q. And I didn’t even get started on his brother Randy!