TV Movie | R | 87min | 2012 | (USA) | John Shepphird
This film is full of surprises!
As Horror Homeroom’s first edition of shark week comes to an end we wanted to leave you with a good taste in your mouth. That’s why I want to complete this week with a film that is pure, gluttonous fun. I wish I could convey in words the sheer bliss that I felt after watching this film, but it is something that needs experiencing. It is exactly what it sounds like: a cross between MTV’s “Jersey Shore” and Jaws (1975) and it is nothing short of AMAZING. It is a perfect crescendo for our shark week because it reminds us that sharks can be anxiety inducing but more importantly, thrill inducing. What Jersey Shore Shark Attack boils down to is simple amusement. There is no significant social commentary or any smart themes about nature but there are gun toting, fist pumping Guidos who rid Seaside Heights, NJ of its killer albino sharks. There are minor underlying comments about class and gentrification but if you watch this film you watch it for the fun, the cast, and the death scenes.
Jersey Shore Shark Attack (JSSA ) is so bad that it’s good. The sharks look terribly fake, the lead characters are caricatures of “The Jersey Shore”, and it rips off several Jaws scenes. The leading roles are clearly based on MTV’s cast with: The Complication (T.C.), Nookie, Paulie Balzac, J-Moni, BJ, and Donnie. They pump iron, have wet t-shirt contests, and engage in A.S.S. (alcohol, sun, and sex). Among the supporting cast members are Paul Sorvino, Tony Sirico, Jersey Shore’s Vinny Guadagnino, and N-Sync’s Joey Fatone.
JSSA has some of the greatest and most unexpected death scenes. Captain Sally (Sirico) teaches us that the sharks had previously been lured to Jersey in the summer of 1916 when drilling caused vibrations that attracted the man eaters. This time around it is the building of a new beach resort for the Yacht clubbing WASPs next door that peaked the shark’s attention like chum in the water. Whereas the class lines are clearly drawn between characters, the sharks do not discriminate whom they kill. These guys come from nowhere and take no prisoners.
JSSA incorporates the right amounts of humor and horror. Despite the fact that this film is over the top with its genre spoofing fun, it offers a healthy dose of tension and shock. I can honestly say that there were several times that I could not predict what was about to happen. I won’t lie and say that this film will keep you up at night or keep you out of the water, but it will tell you that it is worth a look for any fan of horror comedy or shark films. It reminded me not to judge a book by its cover and it pushed me to rethink my preconceptions of the recent flurry of made for TV sharksploitation films.[i]
Thank you so much for allowing me to plead my case on Jersey Shore Shark Attack and thank you even more for joining us for our own personal version of shark week. If you enjoyed this I am sure you will enjoy our current and future posts on natural horror, animals in horror, and why we find these things alluring.
[i] In the spirit of rethinking things, see Discovery Channel and Volkswagen’s cooperative effort to help recast the images of sharks through the accompanying musical scores. http://sharksrescored.com/ This is absolutely genius.