As a horror movie fan who grew up during the '70s and '80s, I've lost track of how many hours I've spent gawking at pictures of mechanical sharks from Jaws and its three sequels. It still amazes me how much artistry and ingenuity went into the creation of such a memorable and frightening sea monster. Of course, all of those hours that I spent with Jaws and its subsequent franchise couldn't prepare me for this:
Farewell and adieu to you, fair Baywatch ladies ....
Above is a picture of a 12-foot long prop of David Hasselhoff (a.k.a. "The Hoff") that was created for The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie back in 2004, where Hasselhoff appears as himself to help SpongeBob and his buddy Patrick return to Bikini Bottom. (You can watch parts of the scene here.) It's a hilariously absurd bit and Hasselhoff was a good sport just to do it, but it's weird to think that the film crew had to make such a large version of him just to get certain shots. I suppose it paid off, but it also kind of feels like a ripoff. We Jaws fans can't get a single monster shark movie to include practical shark effects anymore, yet a movie about a talking cartoon sponge got a super-sized practical Hasselhoff effect. What gives?
Bruce, the mechanical shark ...
... and David, the mechanical Hoff.
Photos of this giant Hasselhoff prop surfaced as part of a charity auction that will consist of items from his career. I have no idea who would bid on this thing; then again, maybe Universal Studios should get it, add a dorsal fin and moving mouth parts, and then use it in the famous Universal studio tour ride whenever the mechanical shark from the Jaws segment has to be taken down for repairs.
Right now in an alternate universe, Steven Spielberg is telling anecdotes about how
the mechanical Hoff kept breaking down during a movie shoot, so he had to keep the Hoff
off screen as much as possible and let the audiences use their imaginations instead.