Being a born and raised Jersey native, nothing makes my blood boil quite like MTV’s grossly unrepresentative cultural abomination, Jersey Shore. You know what I remember about going “DTS” with my “bros?” Gigantic slices of mutant pizza, saltwater taffy, playing Kan Jam on the beach, and getting busted with open containers. No grenades, no “GTL,” no oafish gorillas fighting over female Oompa Loompas constantly out-sleazing one another. Yes, Jersey Shore disgusts me, and even though its abhorrent television reign has ended, Jennifer “JWOWW” Farley has decided to produce a horror movie about a bunch of guidos and guidettes being slaughtered, because sometimes our faith is tested in strange, unexpected, and unwanted ways. Yes, Jersey Shore Massacre was my greatest test of cinematic faith yet, and let me tell you, there aren’t enough cleaning products in the world to wash off the layers of spray-on tan, tomato sauce and hair products I’m now covered in.
When a group of fun-loving Italian divas head down to the Jersey Shore for a weekend full of lounging and smashing, an unfortunate mix-up leaves them homeless until one of the girls suggests her Uncle’s vacant abode 15 miles from the beach. Discovering a lush pad hidden deep in an isolated, backwoods getaway fit for a perfectly tanned Queen, the group plans on taking advantage of the party house after bringing back a group of alpha-male stallions whose hair could pass as razor-sharp weaponry. But when a killer shows up to end the party early, these distracted meatheads start getting sliced up like a slab of prosciutto, and every second becomes a fight for survival.
The man you can all thank for this schlock is writer/director Paul Tarnopol, who legitimately does his best to make a gleefully fun, ridiculously campy thrill ride while capturing the secret fantasies of so many jaded Jerseyites. For too long I’ve been waiting for these fist-pumping, bass-thumping, face-stuffing mongoloids to get theirs, and a movie like Jersey Shore Massacre seemed perfectly positioned for sweet, savory revenge – but we can’t even have that satisfaction. For every moment of gory, overly-violent slasher horror, there are long stretches of absolutely unwatchable scenes featuring actors who overstay their welcome based on appearance alone. Then the cringe-worthy dialogue kicks in, ignorance rears its ugly head, and it becomes all-too-evident that we’re not watching stinging satire, goofy spoofing, or anything that resembles a respectful transfer – in fact, the whole production is quite hateful.
Let’s start with a cast who’s out-acted by Ron Jeremy, the first glaring red flag for ANY movie. Complete with a few lookalikes to fan-favorites like Snooki and Pauly D, you might recognize some of the cast as former WWE wrestlers and random bit parts in rather famous movies (Wolf Of Wall Street‘s Stripper #1!), but their interpretations on what Jersey Shore mentalities represent could be even more damning of the Italian culture than their real inspirations. These asinine, crude, ignorant, moronic characters aren’t playful caricatures of boardwalk goons, but instead brainless thugs who joke about date rape (seriously) and take misogyny to levels never before reached – and that’s just the men. The women all utilize accents that sound like Fran Drescher mixed with a cement mixer, act like classless bimbos and flash their ta-tas every single chance they get, because a horror movie can’t be a cult classic without nonsense nudity that adds no value to the story, right?!
Then again, we’re speaking about a movie juvenile enough to include a public deification scene that, once again, has absolutely NO impact on the story besides watching another beach-dweller step in it. I guess points can be awarded for making these bulky gorillas look like absolute dickwads in comparison to normal vacationers, but when those people we’re trying to pity are acted so horribly, sympathy turns into frustration.
This is one of those B-Movies that finds it necessary to ham up EVERY single production aspect, so we’re bombarded with nerdy characters wearing thick-rimmed glasses and talking about sci-fi conventions, the Pauly D lookalike’s ear-piercing laugh that makes me want to punch babies, a Vanilla Ice wannabe rapper named Italian Ice, and my personal favorite quote – “it’s a Jersey thing.” No. It’s not. Jersey people do not look like we’ve stood in a wind tunnel blowing glitter, bronzer, and hair gel at us for an hour. You know who says quotes like “It’s a Jersey thing?” People from other states who invade New Jersey’s beaches and boardwalks, covered head to toe in Ed Hardy gear. What the hell does “It’s a Jersey thing” even mean anymore?!
Tactless is the best word I can use to describe Jersey Shore Massacre. Let’s ignore all the fat jokes about overweight kids, comments promoting self-conscious body issues, the ugly “grenades” spoiling parties, blatant camera shots on every actress’ bikini-clad booties, and utterly insulting humor, because apparent statements are attempted, but without any follow-through, their inclusion becomes devastating. Once again I’ll bring up a moment where date rape is referenced, and our fratty losers laugh it off, setting up an evening of the score later – but that never comes. The bastard in question obviously gets hacked up eventually, but not because of anything that makes good on his morally disgusting deed, and the date rape warning becomes nothing but something that’s almost galvanized if you can get away with it – a sick miscalculation that NEVER needed inclusion in the first place. Jersey Shore Massacre plays in such a twisted way that it actually wants you to see each character killed for their slutty, vulgar, abusive ways – male and female – which is the cheapest avenue for any film to fake cinematic investment.
On the horror front, special effects splatter most settings during some themed death scenes, but nothing shocks or surprises as we’d like. One of the male brutes finds a vintage tanning bed he obviously has to use on the spot, and his death calls back to Final Destination 3 during an extremely similar tanning bed incident. Another kill happens during sex between two characters, as they’re impaled by the killer with the same katana – a clear reference to Friday The 13th. The gore is graphic, to the point of us uncomfortably watching as the showering Snookie double is sliced repeatedly with a machete, each whack revealing more of the muscly tissue under her sunburnt flesh – misinterpreting the “fun” of horror. Creativity, inventiveness, and originality are where the most entertaining B-Movies movies make their mark, not blunt, depraved bloodlusts.
I could keep rambling if I honestly wanted to, but I’m growing tired of this meaningless charade. Jersey Shore Massacre begs to be a cult classic that capitalizes on the fading popularity of desperate reality stars, but without knowing much about properly respecting horror audiences, becomes the biggest grenade of all. We haven’t even addressed lines like “Moving here from London, did she learn English?” or “We’re all veterinarians!” in reference to eating sausage, and I’ve also held my tongue on the endless parade of characters wandering aimlessly into an unspecified, dilapidated, creepy barn without any suspicion – but I don’t have to.
Jersey Shore Massacre is horror entertainment of the lowest form, resorting to titillating distractions whenever quality comes into question. You’d think watching some goombas fight for their lives would have a LITTLE more value, but when the actual Jersey Shore isn’t even utilized during the horror movie aspects, you have to wonder why such a film even begged to be made. I like to think it was just so Ron Jeremy could make his parting joke right before the credits – but sadly, I believe someone actually intended to see this travesty through. Please, if you’ll excuse me, I need to bathe myself in acid to rise this filth off.
I mean, “The Situation Just Got Deadly” – really?
Imagine the cast of MTV's Jersey Shore stuck in a slasher movie - but then remove any bits of entertainment, intelligence or respectful execution you might assume would be present. Who pulled the pin on this grenade?