Jaws 40th Anniversary
"Jaws" has been terrorizing audiences for 40 years. IBTimes/Hanna Sender

It was 40 summers ago when "Jaws" scared off beachgoers from getting into the water. Released on June 20, 1975, Steven Spielberg's iconic film changed movie history and created the "blockbuster." The titular great white shark eluded a team of would-be captors as it terrorized beaches along the New England coast, and throughout the less-than-great sequels -- "Jaws 2," "Jaws 3-D" and "Jaws: The Revenge" -- the mechanical beast racked up an impressive body count.

You might not think of the shark as a conventional horror-movie killer, but it makes sense. The shark hunted and chomped helpless beachgoers -- and what better weapon than rows of razor-sharp teeth? "They are streamlined, torpedo-shaped swimmers with powerful tails that can propel them through the water at speeds of up to 15 miles (24 kilometers) per hour. They can even leave the water completely, breaching like whales when attacking prey from underneath," is how National Geographic describes these predators. "Jaws" also created a whole sub-genre of killer animal horror movies -- including "Orca" in 1977 and "Piranha" in 1978 -- which is its own weird achievement.

Jaws Bodycount
"Jaws" was released in theaters on June 20, 1975. IBTimes/Hanna Sender

While the shark's legacy lives on, he was only an average killer by horror standards. Perhaps the thing holding back the great white was a name -- Spielberg affectionately called the animatronic shark used in "Jaws" Bruce -- since it had everything else going for it to be an ideal horror movie monster. Bruce had a great look, a signature weapon and even its own territory and preferred victims. "Jaws" even has an iconic theme that's on par with "Halloween" or "Friday the 13th."

Compared to Jason, Freddy and Michael Myers, Bruce doesn't stand a chance, but he's not too far behind other prolific killers. The shark notched 21 kills -- only one behind Candy Man and 9 behind Leatherface, but 3 more than Norman Bates and 12 more than Pennywise. Jason was the kill king, with 146, followed by The Organization from "Cabin in the Woods." Orca couldn't quite live up to the killer whale moniker, with an official tally of only 5 kills.

Top 25 Elite Horror Movie Killers
The elite horror movie killers ranked by body count. IBTimes/Hanna Sender