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Review: Jersey Shore Massacre

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Jersey Shore Massacre“Jersey Shore” was a reality show that aired on MTV for six seasons from 2009-2012. It depicted eight NY/NJ residents living in a shore house in Seaside, New Jersey for the summer and eventually brought them to places like Miami Beach, Florida and Italy. “Jersey Shore” became an overnight pop culture phenomenon and brought the 12 to 34 age demographic a whole new language, a whole new way of dancing, and pretty much a whole new way of life. It constantly broke ratings records for MTV, too. It’s no wonder that the show has launched the careers of Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Jenni “Jwoww,” Farley, Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino, DJ Pauly DelVecchio, Ronnie Magro, and others. And then, in a wild turn of events, cast member Jwoww found herself as an executive producer on Jersey Shore Massacre, which brings us to this review today.

Even though the show has been off the air – but alive in spin off series – for two years now, it’s obvious that the fan base for anyone associated with the reality show is still alive and kicking. Just yesterday at the film premiere there was one fan in particular who was mentally obsessed with the show in an almost violent kind of way. Me? Well, I’ll be honest. When I first heard that a show called “Jersey Shore,” set in a “Real World” type situation, was about to broadcast I wasn’t exactly thrilled. As a New Jersey Shore resident myself, I didn’t want a spotlight put on the obnoxious out-of-towners who take up space on my beach every summer. However, an ex of mine convinced me to watch the show during its third season, and you know what? I realized the show isn’t a ‘how to’ on annoying beachside residents, it’s just about young kids having fun and living life they way they want to. I can’t fault them for that. And having met some of them last night at the premiere, I can honestly say my opinion of them is pretty high.

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However, with a lot of love also comes a lot of hate. I know there are a lot of people out there who hate the cast members and the concept of the show because of their funny, drunken antics. But that’s why the plot of the script is so genius – it capitalizes on both groups, the love and the hate. People who love “Jersey Shore” and fans of a good old horror-comedy will want to see Jersey Shore Massacre. People who hate “Jersey Shore,” its cast members, or out-of-town weekenders will want to see the movie to see the annoyance slaughtered on screen. That’s why a movie about, “A typical weekend down the shore that takes a bizarre turn into the mysterious New Jersey Pine Barrens as six girls and five obnoxious fist-pumpers become the unsuspecting targets of a mentally-deranged killer,” is the perfect horror movie plot. It’s perfect for the end of summer, too, and Jersey Shore Massacre hits retailers on August 26, 2014!

Jersey Shore Massacre is written and directed by Paul Tarnopol, who horror buffs will recognize as the executive producer on 2012s hit film Girls Gone Dead. This time around Mr. Tarnopol is sharing the executive producer limelight with Jenni “Jwoww” Farley. The guidos and guidettes who star in this movie consist of Danielle Dallaco, Angelica Boccella, Giovanni Roselli (WWE Superstar, The Wrestler), Chris Lazzaro, Nicole Rutigliano, Nicky Figueredo, Ashley Mitchell, Christina Scaglione, Brett Azar, Brenton Duplessie, and John Michael Hastie. Ron Jeremy (Sorority Party Massacre, Bloody Bloody Bible Camp), Shawn C. Phillips (Ghost Shark, Porkchop II), and Richard Christy, Sal Governale & Bigfoot (Howard Stern on Demand) have supporting roles as well.

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First, I want to explain the type of comedy within Jersey Shore Massacre. The problem I have with the Scary Movie franchise is that the comedy just isn’t believable. The pairing of words, reactions from characters, and dirty humor would never happen and are so forced; completely unrealistic. I have to say with 100% certainty that this is not the case with the Jersey Shore Massacre! There is a lot of shtick, dirty humor, and cursing…but it is all so believable because that’s the way it is in real life. For instance, the one guido striking out with the girl he wanted and going back to the pool to try and seduce the girl he cursed off mere moments ago is basically what happens now a days. The portrayal of this specific group of young adults at the New Jersey Shore is absolutely 100% spot on. It was hilarious for me, as a viewer, to finally see this acted out on screen so perfectly. Major props to Paul Tarnopol and Goldeneye for writing a script that is funny for all the right reasons without being all up in your face about it.

Next, I want to talk about the special effects. The special effects were created and administered by Cat Bernier (Cyrus, Girls Gone Dead) and Angie Elwell. There is a lot of blood in this movie. I mean, a lot of blood – shit is just splashing all over the fucking floor with every kill shot. I’m pretty sure production went with more practical effects than CGI creations and that gets a round of applause from me as well. The effects were professionally done, yet they reminded me of something you’d see in the Hatchet movies. Sort of hokey, but with a very classic horror slasher sense to them. It’s hard to describe, not perfect…but perfect for this movie. Also, I always pair up the gore and nudity so with that said… There is a lot of boobs in this movie. More boobs than blood. Lots of both. I don’t know how else to say it except: if you love tits and fake blood – Jersey Shore Massacre is the movie for you. And, ladies, there is a scene with Bret Azar wearing nothing but a banana hammock so there’s something in here for you, too!

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The acting. Hm, this is a hard one. I will say, honestly, that the acting is a little rough at some points. By this I mean that some performances are a lot better than others. I’m not going to criticize those who I think delivered an underwhelming performance, but I will take a moment to highlight the standouts. Danielle Dallacco is great as the calm and caring survivor girl. Angelica Boccella is great as the bitchy best friend. Giovanni proves that he’s more than just a one trick pony as Tony. Hell, even Ron Jeremy pulled in a better than usual acting performance! Seriously! My favorite most of all, though, has to be Chris Lazzaro as Freddy. I think his funny facial expressions and trademark giggle will make him the standout of the movie. The lead actors and most of the supporting actors did a amazing, fantastic job there and were picked to perfection to portray their characters. Good job, everyone! And please let Rosemarie (played by Leonarda Bosch) be in the sequel if there ever is one!

The last thing I want to talk about in regards to Jersey Shore Massacre is the production as a whole. If this is Paul Tarnopol’s directorial debut (I don’t believe you, sir!), then I can only imagine what he has in store for horror fans in the future. He managed to assemble a worth-while crew – Jay Shropshire (cinematographer), Brian Bayerl (editor), Tonya Williams (production manager), Craig Clarke (stunts), etc – that really contributed into making Jersey Shore Massacre the success that it is. Even the house where the slaughter takes place is beautiful and a genius location. However, I do need to harp on the script and the score for just a second. While I did applaud the script above for its realistic value, I think it spent too much time on character development and not enough time on overall plot. It literally goes from 0 to 100 without a lot of build up. I’m a big stickler for proper background scoring, and there were two scenes in particular that the scoring sounded amateur. This was a high quality production and the two scores in particular didn’t fit.

With all this said, obviously I’m a fan of the film. I’m probably going to watch it again after publishing, actually! It has some minor lackings in certain areas, but overall it is a really solid film and another prize from Paul Tarnopol. It’s hysterically accurate and fun with a lot of blood and boobs. There’s not much more you can ask for, especially from a quasi-spoof movie. Overall…I’m going to give this one an 8 out 10. It hits select theaters this Friday followed by a full DVD release on August 26, 2014. Make sure you see it or get a copy!

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Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)

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