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Jaws III: The Trading Cards!
Matt - 07/12/00

Me again. Liquorhead sent me this care package of assorted pop-culture goodies, so I've got some material for the next week. I really shun to think what it'd look like if you put all the crap him and I own into one room.

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Now, enough shilling, it's time to talk about sharks.

With the rerelease of Jaws and all the hype about it, it seemed like a good time to capitilize on one of Liquorhead's many gifts to me...a vintage package of Jaws III cards!

First, a little background on Jaws III. For some reason, it's my favorite of the four Jaws flicks. Yes, there were four. Jaws: The Revenge, the final installment, was so horrible that everyone seems to have put it out of their memory - but it happened.

The original Jaws was a classic, and I'll watch it everytime it's on. Jaws II was essentially Jaws I with a few words changed. But Jaws III? There was something I always loved about it...maybe the inclusion of dolphin characters, or maybe the fact that it was our first chance to see mutilated limbs come at us in 3-D.

Yes - Jaws III was in the theatres as a 3-D movie, complete with graphics and cheesy 3-D effects. The story took the focus away from usual Jaws lore, put us in Sea World and gave us an overly protective mother shark.

It didn't have the 'man versus nature' aspect of the first two films. It was really pretty gimmicky. But that was a small price to pay to see sharks breaking through glass at you in 3-D action. And that brings us to this...

Jaws III: The Trading Cards

What better way was there back in the 80s to capitilize on a movie's success than to make trading cards? Unfortunately, Jaws toys wouldn't have sold too well. What are you going to sell? A shark doll and 'nameless victim'? Nah. Cards were the way to go.

But see, these were no normal trading cards. These were supercards. They were probably the first cards in history that gave you full 3-D effects!

Oh yes, 3-D effects. Every package of Jaws trading cards came with a pair of 3-D glasses. Now, this is where we run into a problem. Glasses aren't an operative word. You say glasses, you think of something that can fit over your eyes. Now I don't care if you're 5, 50, or a midget - there ain't no way you could get these things to fit over both your eyes. Allow me to illustrate...

I'm holding the glasses about a foot and a half ahead of my face, and still there was no chance of seeing through both lenses, thus totally annihilating any chance for effective 3-D glasses, and furthering my self-consciousness about having a giant mutant head. But fuck that, my head's's these glasses that are the trouble. Aside from the size issue, they didn't come much cheaper than this. The lenses are being held together by the cheapest paper frames you could imagine, which didn't stand the test of time very well at all, because the thing literally split in half as soon as I touched it, leading me to again further my self-consciousness...this time about my mother insinuating I have the touch of death. Let's just say the glasses are shitty and leave it at that.

Now, I was absolutely fucking ecstatic to see which cards I got. Mainly because of this card..

YES! Calvin Bouchard! Oh man, this card had to have the most prominent status in the card-trading world back in the day. Who wouldn't want a Calvin card? Fuck, I want Calvin posters! Calvin was the guy who ran the Sea World park that Jaws infiltrated, and he was a little concerned about people getting eaten in his facility. I know I would be too. Calvin's a tragic hero though, because it was his ignorance that allowed the shark to enter the park. As you can see from the expression on his face - he feels pretty fucking bad about it.

On this card, you'll see visitors to Sea World who thought Jaws was all part of the exhibit. Morons. If I saw a shark the size of four 1977 Ford Pintos biting at me when I'm in a glass tube in the middle of the ocean, I wouldn't sit there making kissy faces at it.

Now this one really through me for a loop. I could be lying, but look! It's Natalie! From The Facts of Life! She was in Jaws III! This card represents what we who have collected cards would refer to as a 'common'. It's really shitty. If you're collecting Jaws cards - this is not the one you want to represent your collection. No action, no shark, just a bunch of people who appear to be waiting on line for fish-shaped french fries at Sea World. I'm tempted to throw it away, but as you'll find out, what's on the back of these cards makes them that much more special.

Now, onto the backs of the cards! This is where your shitty 3-D glasses came into play. You'd get a drawn Jaws action scene that would come alive if you looked at it through the glasses. Since my face is a bit larger than two inches in diameter, the effect escaped me. But check these out...

Not the best artwork by any means. In fact, most choking tips signs at Chinese restaurants utilize better artists than this. But it's 3-D, so we'll let it slide.

Now, unless Liquorhead has a plastic sealer at his house and wanted to play a funny trick on me, something really strange was up with these cards. Look at the last card I found in the pack...

Weird, huh? It was like a message from above, telling me that I hadn't given Mr. T enough coverage here on X-E. Wait your turn, T. It's all about the sharks today. Notice how T's mohawk is suspiciously short in this picture. It must've been during the summer season, when Mr. T is known to shed. Either way, his 'I won't fly!' comment on the card scared me enough to turn it over and hide it under a pile of books.

Curious about Jaws III? It's definitely worth watching once. From time to time it pops up on television, but for those who can't wait any longer, you can pick it up from Bigstar.Com for just 9.99 by clicking here.


- Matt

Check out the new arrivals to Dr. Rocket's Multimedia Department! He-Man cartoon intro, and a commercial for the old M.U.S.C.L.E. toys!