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Saturday, August 18, 2012


Never having seen a single episode of MTV's "Jersey Shore" nor ever been interested in discovering anything about it, I found myself in the rare position of watching the SyFy Channel's JERSEY SHORE SHARK ATTACK (2012) without any preconceptions at all, except that it was supposed to be a "Jersey Shore Meets Jaws" spoof. 

Well, it may be a dandy spoof of the MTV reality show for all I know, but unfortunately it isn't very funny.  The few laughs that there are come mainly from some of the "guido" humor--the main characters are all Italian-American party animals who hang out at the beach looking for A.S.S. (alcohol, sun, and sex)--and the occasional lucky gag that's funny by accident (usually involving either sex or cartoonishly extreme gore).  Also, anything related to former N'Sync member Joey Fatone, whose guest appearance as himself lends the film its one solidly funny moment.

The story, unsurprisingly, is about a 4th of July shark attack on a town whose summer tourist business is crucial, with evil capitalist Dolan (William Atherton) and corrupt mayor Palantine (Paul Sorvino) hushing it up so that construction of Dolan's new resort hotel will continue.  But it's this construction that is sending out underwater vibrations which are disturbing some albino bull sharks and driving them into attack mode.

Meanwhile, guido T.C. "The Complication" (Jeremy Luc) is having chick problems with Nooki (Melissa Molinaro) even as a wet T-shirt contest is taking place at the beachfront bar of Captain Salie ("Sopranos" regular Tony Sirico).  A clash with some rich brats from the local yacht club--who are all bad because they're (gasp) WASPS!--leads to the shark-related death of one of T.C.'s friends, sending the gang into action against the aquatic pests. 

T.C.'s cop dad, Sheriff Moretti (Jack Scalia) doesn't believe their story until the shark attacks escalate into a full-scale invasion.  Grabbing an arsenal of weapons and making off with a police boat, our heroes go shark hunting even as the rich kids come under attack when their yacht is surrounded by sharks. 

One of the main problems with this movie is that the tone is all over the place.  One minute it's an outlandish farce, the next it's trying to be serious--and not just ironic, tongue-in-cheek serious, but actual drama-type serious.  The latter is represented mostly by bad guys Atherton and Sorvino clashing with good guy Scalia in scenes that would fit right into a non-comedic "Jaws" ripoff.  We also get some genuinely sappy romantic moments between T.C. and Nooki and some attempts to make the gang's battle against the sharks come off as true-blue action-movie stuff. 

Not only do these disparate elements fail to mesh, but the shark scenes are marred by SPFX that are sub-par even for a SyFy Channel flick.  The final shark attack sequence itself looks like something that could've been plucked straight out of any number of recent "nature goes amok" duds that SyFy churns out like sausage these days, only with more of the extras dying "funny."  It's hard to get excited seeing swimmers threatened by cartoony CGI thingies that hardly seem more advanced than a 90s video game.  The annoyingly inappropriate musical score doesn't help.

The DVD from Anchor Bay is in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen with Dolby 5.1 sound and subtitles in English and Spanish.  Bonus features include a making-of featurette and a cast and crew commentary track. 

Good things about JERSEY SHORE SHARK ATTACK: a few of the "guido" gags are amusing, the Joey Fatone stuff is gold, and there are some awesome-looking (and refreshingly non-anorexic) babes running around in bikinis and occasionally firing guns.  Unfortunately, the good is far outweighed by the bad, not the least of which being plain old boredom. 

Buy it at

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