The Legacy of Jaws Told in Movie Posters

Jaws Poster

Grizzly Poster

Rattlers Poster

Tentacles Poster

Piranha Poster

Piranha Poster-2

Alien Poster

Up from the Depths Poster

Bllod Beach Poster

The Evil Dead Poster

Nightmare Poster

CHUD Poster

The Gate Poster

The Nest Poster

Deep Star Six Poster

Leviathan Poster

Tremors Poster

Lake Placid Poster

Open Water Poster

Rogue Poster

Roger Kastel‘s Jaws poster, an exquisite representation of the greatest horror movie ever made, has been imitated as much as, if not more than, Spielberg’s legendary film. It’s impossible to imagine the one without the other. Combine them, and Jaws becomes much more than a giant, man-eating great white shark.

Jaws is the primordial terror of predators lurking beneath the water, circling in the jungle brush, descending unseen from the sky. Jaws is unchecked, insatiable animal aggression: nature stripped of evolutionary checks and balances. Jaws is beyond nature, the supernatural, the devil, the possessed (“he’s got lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eyes“). Jaws is the male sex drive, a giant dick with teeth. Jaws is Freud’s Id, the iceberg representing the sublimated Unconscious. Jaws is humanity stripped of the manufactured veneer of civilization.

The message of Jaws is that we’re all stuck in the same shabby boat, soon to be dead in the water, trying to fend off the monster that’s trying to break in and tear us to pieces.

The catch is: we’re also the goddamn monster.

11 Responses to “The Legacy of <em>Jaws</em> Told in Movie Posters”

  1. 1 Anon June 27, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    It’s too early for you to make me think this much. And damn, those Pirhanna are huge.

  2. 2 hobgoblin238 June 27, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Will they ever release Blood Beach on DVD?

  3. 3 2W2N June 27, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    Good question. Check YouTube for a passable copy. Great footage of Santa Monica and Venice.

    Remember when the creature bites that guy’s dick off? That was pretty awesome.

  4. 4 Jason June 28, 2013 at 12:52 am

    Was so expecting to see an Orca poster in there…

  5. 5 2W2N June 28, 2013 at 1:25 am

    I only included posters that borrowed Kastel’s idea, directly or in spirit. Actually, illustrator Paul Bacon came up with the basic design (shark coming up toward swimmer). Check out the big difference here:

    I did leave some posters out, like Barracuda. I forget what else.

    The Orca poster is by the great John Berkey! He had no need to copy anyone.

  6. 6 leftylimbo June 30, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    lol what a classic line. “Remember when the creature bites that guy’s dick off? That was pretty awesome.” hahah!

    Orca gave me nightmares! Not sure why. Somehow that scene when the baby whale falls from the mom’s belly onto the boat deck in slow motion totally traumatized me.

  7. 7 Will E. October 17, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Kastel’s art was used for the first paperback edition of Benchley’s novel, and later in ’75 was used for the movie poster as well. You can see how its impact affected the author’s later books too:

    And remember Percy Rodriguez’s narration from the trailer: “It is as if God created the Devil and gave him… Jaws.” Man, that’s *heavy.*

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