Schlock Value, Issue #2: Jersey Shore Shark Attack (2012)
Step over Speilberg and fuck off Jaws, your shit may be all classic and shit but bro, it ain’t got the abs this bitch is packin’.
An underwater mining exercise sends shockwaves through the water and calling a bunch of red eyed albino sharks of constantly changing design out of a cave barely dick deep in the waters off the coast of Jersey Shore, calling out like a proud stay at home mom that dinner’s ready, and Italian and silicon is on the menu.
This shit kicks off with as much patience as the cast has for keeping their shirts on — introducing the lip pouting cast with not a shred of subtlety. Winks and nudges all around as the filmmakers elbow you in the ribs for the next fifteen minutes, proudly spouting quick “Aye? Aaaaaye?” The lead Gueidette of this motley crew rocking up early with a license plate reading “Nooki”. Subtle is hardly the name of the game though, it’s all on display — literally — as the dude are muscle bound and the chicks ‘muscles’ less bound…“Aye? Aaaaaye?”.
Nooki kicks off confronting her skeezing ex-boi, “The Complication” (Aaaaaye?) the night after what this white suburban boy can only assume was a maaaaan rager bro. Red cups ahoy. Setting up a Boiz vs Bitches dynamic that spans most of the film. The Complication and his boiz Donnie and Balzac just want to enjoy waxing each other up, flexing all day and solving their need for some “serious A.S.S.: Alcohol, Sun, and Sex”. A noble venture. God speed boiz. The babes on the other hands are all about gettin’ their independent girl power on, proving they don’t need no man. Jersey Shore Shark Attack, tackling the big issues. Herein lies one massive fucking fuck up of the film. Not a single one of the Jersey Shore ripoff characters gets turned into chum by the horde of sharks turning their shore into a buffet. Let’s just rip that bandaid off early. See now, who the fuck is watching this not hoping to tune in and see Guido mince meat sprayed across their screen? The film makes a blatant attempt to humanise the meathead parade that makes up the cast of characters so I guess it’s aiming for cinema loving Guids out there (is that an actual thing?) but it’s also so incredibly obvious that it’s a piss take at the same time, poking fun at every aspect of Guido party life that its real life, shark-less) TV counterpart that you’d think it was giving every hater of the show their dream of seeing a Snooki wannabe get ripped apart from ass to the tip of her overly styled hairdo. Dear movie, MAKE UP YOUR FUCKING MIND! This isn’t “The Misunderstood Souls of The Jersey Shore: A Lifetime Channel Special Edition” it’s JERSEY FUCKING SHORE SHARK ATTACK. Get with the program. Gimme silicon tits flying left right and centre! Is that too much to ask for?
The shark attack portion of the title ain’t left for late though (thank fucking christ) as possibly the only pale skinned Italian in the entire cast — clearly some dude with a bad accent, a wife beater, slicked hair and given a cigarillo for a prop to complete the flawless and totally convincing transformation — gets offedby the freshly uncaved albino snappers while fishing in a dingy maybe two meters from the shore in. Why the asshole needed to be in a boat is a question for the screenwriter (I’m sure it had nothing to do with plot convenience).
The whole beach is going off in preparation for the arrival of the films token…*ahem*…‘celebrity’ cameo — former NSYC ‘not Justin Timberlake, one of the other guys’ guy, Joey Fatone. An excitement you better get used too because the film crams itself every ten minutes with a quick reminder in case you forgot you bought it in at least partial hope of seeing the NSYC alumni get his ass chomped by a bad CGI shark at some point. Spoiler alert, he does, almost immediately after being introduced (late) in the film. So we might not get Snooki or any of the 28 collective abs in the film gets chomped, we at least get that. Gee golly gosh.
The film spends a large portion of its early part half occupied with what it assumes is a ‘story’, trading blood and guts for a power struggle between the ever partying Guids and the sweater vest wearing, double collar popping, four syllable speaking, private school yacht club douches across the way. I swear, if Jersey Shore Shark Attack weren’t one of the best titles you could ever see staring back at you; in some distribution house somewhere out there, someone would have suggested releasing the film under the title of Guido’s vs Yuppies vs Sharks…not bad…I might have to copyright that.
The good guys look like the musclebound bro bad guys from any other film and the bad guys are portrayed as assholes because they don’t want to listen to club music every second of the day. So, again, who the fuck is this thing supposed to be for? Cause I’m on Team Shark here. It’s hard to get behind walking wannabe cannon fodder with single digit IQs who use words like “drowneded”. You’ll be praying the whole cast gets their arses ripped out their mouths the moment they step on screen, and that they take the script with them.
The battle of the sexes enters a ceasefire when one of the many disposable and interchangeable bronzer snuffing pieces of cannon fodder washes up on shore. In a feat of literary originality, the mayor refuses to shut down the beach and The Complication’s father — the local Sheriff — doesn’t believe his son, seeing his actions as further proof of his disappointment in life — gee, wonder if that’ll resolve itself by the end of the film. Subplot ahoy. It all leaves our main pack of Guidos to take it upon themselves to hunt down the pigment deprived sea evil using fireworks and protein bars as bait. They also try to steal one of the ‘bad guy’ yuppies yachts “because he’s a douche” before Balzac fumbles one of the fireworks and blows the whole thing up (tell me again why we’re supposed to like these guys?).
At its core Jersey Shore Shark Attack is a Guido love story with a mayoral conspiracy giving the old reach around and wrapped up in just enough shark attacks to give its title enough credence. Everyone’s more pre-occupied with their own shit and getting occasionally distracted by a corpse or two. The climax of the film only comes in the midst of the customary blood letting beach side massacre when the head of the Yacht club tries to pull one over on the Guids by seducing Nooki and convincing her to join him and the his botchi loving conga line of talking pastel sweaters on a yacht out at sea for a party. The Complication reaches his character arc and realises he loves her (oh and y’know, that they need to take care of the sharks once and for all) and rounds up the Ab Club, stealing another boat and heading out to play cockblock while armed to the teeth with automatic rifles (and, I assume, more protein bars. After all; “Nothing’s going to resist 25 grams of power packed peanut butter crunch.”)
They shoot, pout and even nose kick the sharks on their way to rescue the yuppies and Nooki onboard their boat — which, of course, is broken down out of phone reception range — before returning to shore to save everyone from the shark attack which apparently a trained police department could handle on their own. Not enough protein in their diet I suppose. It all ends with hugs, cheers of “GUIDOS! GUIDOS!”, mended father son relationships — even though The Complication is still no less a party and gym obsessed meathead who will never leave the Jersey Shore. But hey, he does make peace with the yuppies, even though they just tried to revenge bang his girlfriend and gave off the impression that there was a roofie or two in her future if Plan-A went sour. But hey, water under the bridge right?
Jersey Shore Shark Attack is about as intelligent a parody as the dense fuckers it’s populates itself with. Every ounce of self aware writing makes you wonder if they themselves got the joke because other than The Complication and Nooki, the rest of the characters assume the completely pointless position reserved for cannon fodder to give people expecting some kind of delivery on the title and yet not a single person you want to see die actually dies. Hell, only once is any of them vapid “wait, what’s her name again” characters in any peril. The only other time anything happens is when Nooki’s trapped in the sinking boat, with a shark ripping its way through the hull, at the end of the movie in a scene replicated in damn near every other shark movie ever made and trust me, you’re rooting for the shark to get just a liiiiiitle closer. Just one more inch. Just rip off a leg! Just one goddammit. ANYTHING!
Drunk with a group of friends and a shameless love of self flagellation and if nothing else you’ll probably get a kick out of screaming at the screen for everyone to die. *Sigh* the love of communal hatred.
In the next shit-tastic issue of Schlock Value, Issue #3: Anaconda!