I don't know how much of a review you're really looking for outta Jersey Shore Shark Attack. I mean, it's pretty much as advertised, grabbing the Guidos from Jersey Shore and plopping them straight into
Jaws. It's just that Jaws only had one big-ass shark, and Jersey Shore Shark Attack piles on a whole herd of the fuckers. Plus no one on the Orca was packing semi-automatic assault rifles. I need to watch out, though, 'cause I think I'm accidentally making Jersey Shore Shark Attack sound kind of awesome.
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Jersey Shore Shark Attack starts off like a Mad TV-grade spoof littered with characters like The Complication (Jeremy Luc), Pauly Balzac (Daniel Booko), and Nookie (Melissa Molinaro). Get it!? Anyway, they drink. They fuck. They work out. They tan. That's kind of their whole deal. But hey, when a sinister real estate developer (William Atherton) inadvertently wakes up a gaggle of hyperaggressive albino bullsharks, who's gonna do anything about it? The cops don't believe 'em. The mayor (Paul Sorvino) doesn't want to futz with that sort of thing what with the 4th of July right around the corner and all. Those preppy pricks are dead weight because I guess I'm watching One Crazy Summer or something all of a sudden. So, yeah, it's up to the Guidos to keep the Shore from hosting a feeding frenzy like that whole thing a hundred years ago.
No, I mean it! I really, really wanted to like Jersey Shore Shark Attack. The Jersey Shore parody is a pretty shameless marketing hook, and the most direct spoofs are out of the way pretty quickly. Once you wade your way over to...I don't know, Shark Attack #2, they keep the Guido cariacture routine chugging along but are otherwise their own thing. Yeah, the acting's mostly terrible, and the special effects are even worse. You're in no immediate danger of getting emotionally invested in
the story or anything. That's totally okay for a SyFy original that's proudly marching down So Bad It's Good Boulevard, but the weird thing is how generic and self-serious the movie gets the more it trudges along.
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It really does feel like someone took some old, creaky nature-exacting-revenge screenplay from 1982, replaced the first 15 pages with a bunch of Jersey Shore gags, and kept the rest of the script pretty much as-is, just changing some of the dialogue to Guido-speak for seasoning. I get the impression that I'm supposed to feel for The Complication when his father doesn't believe a bunch of albino sharks are swarming around the shoreline. I think it's meant to be an adrenaline rush when the heavily-armed Guidos start mowing down those toothy fuckin' fish. I'm probably even s'posed to get all emotional when The Complication finally tells Nookie how he really feels, and...no, not really. Be funny! Be ridiculous! Be...something! Trying to steer this into a "real" movie really doesn't work, tho'. Even grading on a curve for a parody, the attacks themselves are incompetently shot and edited. Oh, and I can only guess that this is the same exact cut that aired on SyFy judging by the minimal gore and strictly PG eye candy.
Sure, sure, Jersey Shore Shark Attack does have its moments. I'm a sucker for the deliriously over-the-top geyers of blood that occasionally spew out. Some of the goils are awful purty. Jaws is my absolute favorite movie of all time, so I appreciate Jersey Shore Shark Attack's take on Quint's iconic speech, the whole "panic on the Fourth of July" conversation, and poking around inside a shark's carcass to see if there's any of that Kintner boy up in there. Tossing in Joey Fatone as shark bait...hey, thumbs up from me. Jersey Shore Shark Attack delivers my favorite shit-didn't-see-that-coming chomp this side of Sam Jackson in Deep Blue Sea too, so there's that. But, yeah, none of that's enough to really salvage the flick. Jersey Shore Shark Attack just doesn't wanna commit. The parody end of things doesn't score more than a couple of laughs. It's too neutered-for-basic-cable to work as much of an exploitation flick, light on gore and fully de-boobed. There's also zero tension or suspense when Jersey Shore Shark Attack decides it wants to be a kinda-sorta-not-really straightforward thriller. I guess what I'm getting at here is "Skip It".
I'm not all that much of a fan of that super-super-digital look to its cinematography -- I just like movies to look like movies, y'know? -- but Jersey Shore Shark Attack looks pretty slick on Blu-ray anyway. The photography is about as sharp as one of the teeth in that bullshark's gaping maw, and it's nicely detailed to boot. It's bright and colorful too, an appreciated change of pace from all those dour, desaturated horror flicks coming down the pike. The HD accentuates just how shitty the CGI is, making the sharks look kind of like I dusted off Ecco the Dolphin for the Sega Saturn or something, although that's kind of part of the fun. So, yeah, high definition eye candy it's not so much, but Jersey Shore Shark Attack definitely looks better on Blu-ray than I'm sure it did when it was making the rounds on SyFy, and that's really all I'm looking for here.
Jersey Shore Shark Attack is plopped out on a single layer Blu-ray disc at its native aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The video's encoded with AVC, which I can probably stop saying in my reviews since that's the only codec anyone uses anymore.
Eh, it's a pretty routine soundtrack, heaped out in 16-bit Dolby TrueHD 5.1. Bass response is pretty solid, mostly from the low-end kick to all that thundering club music and occasionally from the vibrating piledriver thingie. The surrounds
mostly lob out light atmosphere like sqwawking gulls and lapping water. Dialogue comes through alright, sounding just a little edgy every one in a great while. It's not really mixed like an action flick, it's nowhere near as aggressive as horror movies pretty much always are...just not a whole lot to write about here. Sorry!
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No dubs or anything this time around. Sorry, native French speakers desperate to hear what the Guidos are muttering to all those albino bullsharks! Subtitles are dished out in English (SDH) and Spanish.
- Audio Commentary: I'm guessing this commentary track was recorded with just a single microphone on an awfully big table. Whoever the guy is that's closest to the mic booms, and that poor schlub on the other end is pretty much completely inaudible. Anyway, this sloppily recorded track features executive producers Barry Barnholtz and Jeffrey Schenck, producer Peter Sullivan, and director John Shepphird. On one hand, they know exactly what kind of flick they hammered out, and they wink at anyone listening to this sucker by quipping about Shakespearean nods and the primal battle between man versus beast. Then there are lines like "the way that this is shot, all the young people will like this movie" where I'm...not sure if they're still kidding? I dunno, as personable and likeable and stuff as the three people are that I could hear, they kind of take the conversation really seriously overall. They go on and on about the most critical elements of the story and the staggering talent of the cast they've assembled, they seem to see it as a thriller first and a spoof second, they note how the mangled Guido-speak was approved by some coalition of Italian-Americans beforehand... It's not that funny, it's not that interesting, and...nah, it's not really worth a listen.
- On Set: Jersey Shore Shark Attack (5 min.; SD): Last up is a super-short and totally promotional featurette. Not a whole lot here beyond spelling out the premise and introducing a few of the characters.
The Final Word
C'mon, a movie with a title like Jersey Shore Shark Attack ought to be a helluva lot more fun than this. Skip It.
Yeah, I Don't Know Why I Took So Many Screenshots