A horror comedy that is neither scary nor funny, spoofing MTV’s Jersey Shore
MTV’s Jersey Shore has had a profound effect on the television medium, becoming the highest-rated show in MTV’s history. In actuality, the trashy reality show made its mark by glorifying Italian-American stereotypes in the worst possible way. Covering self-proclaimed guidos and guidettes as they face a terrible killer, Jersey Shore Massacre is a loose horror spoof capitalizing on the show’s infamy. Written and directed by Paul Tarnopol, the mostly unknown cast and low-budget ethos of Jersey Shore Massacre make it a nearly-unwatchable film – if sober.
Jersey Shore Massacre does spoof the reality show’s general style within the rubric of comedic horror. Its biggest actual connection to the infamous MTV program is they got Jennifer “JWOW” Farley to be an executive producer. This is a campy horror movie that has an oddly structured script. The first half will bore you to tears if you have no interest in seeing six guidettes visit the beach and a lavish home in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. The only thing breaking the monotony is a brief appearance by Ron Jeremy, the former porn star turned cult celebrity. Jersey Shore Massacre finally begins to fill the promise of its name with a bloody final act, though by then all right-thinking adults will have mentally checked out, if they haven’t already turned the movie off.
The story is not much more than a simple set-up for the climatic slaughter-fest. Teresa (Danielle Dallaco) and her friends plan to spend a relaxing weekend at the beach. When they lose their beach rental, they decide to stay at her uncle’s palatial house in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. After realizing the place is in the middle of nowhere, the guidettes go out to meet some guys. This is an obnoxious group of characters, as Jersey Shore Massacre plays up their stupidity to the maximum degree.
A few amusing things slip through in spite of the general stupidity and dumb humor. A movie-within-the-movie called Fat Camp Massacre is a spoof itself of Eighties’ slashers, more entertaining in its brief time than everything else combined. When the girls go clubbing, a rapper named Italian Ice gives an impromptu performance which is hilarious. Imagine if Vanilla Ice was Italian and still rapping today. There is also some level of satisfaction in seeing all of these annoying characters killed off in the most violent methods possible.
Jersey Shore Massacre is not a good movie, even considering the standards of low-budget horror comedies. The concept is funnier in theory than in practice but by the end you just want it over despite the blood and random nudity. This is a movie best seen in a group of people at home, so it can be mercilessly mocked in unison.
Jersey Shore Massacre is the first Blu-ray for new distributor Attack Entertainment. It is an ignominious beginning for the company. The 87-minute main feature has been encoded in MPEG-2, the once-common video codec on Blu-ray that is now considered obsolete. Averaging a respectable 24.93 Mbps, the MPEG-2 code mostly handles the clean 1080P presentation except in the darker, noisier shots. The low-budget production has been shot on digital video, a notch below more expensive films in terms of polish and detail. Framed in a widescreen 2.35:1 aspect ratio, the digital cinematography bears all the hallmarks of newish digital productions.
The clarity is fairly strong, though dull and lacking the razor-sharp definition of digital cameras like the RED or Arri Alexa. Don’t expect intense close-ups with vivid detail or crystal-clarity, the sharp picture is smooth without having been filtered. There does not appear to have been much tinkering with the image in post, the lack of aliasing and other digital artifacts is its greatest visual strength. I was expecting skewed flesh-tones but they are rather neutral, revealing various levels of tanning amongst the cast.
A movie with this type of budget, reportedly a figure over a million dollars, would have probably looked much different twenty years ago before the advent of cheap digital cameras. Jersey Shore Massacre has some problems in darker shots but the brightly-lit locales are a perfect fit for its lower end cameras, producing respectable video quality.
Attack Entertainment provides two audio options. The primary choice is a decent 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack at 448 kbps. The lack of lossless audio is always a concern but I never thought I was missing much with the lossy surround track. Jersey Shore Massacre features cheesy, generic Rap music and even the occasional Classical selection, an amateurishly put-together mix of differing musical backgrounds. The bass does kick in at the right times. Dialogue is intelligible in a sparse, limited surround mix that isn’t particularly creative. This isn’t a sonic extravaganza with any subtlety, but a fairly rote choice for modern audio.
A stereo 2.0 Dolby Digital mix at 192 kbps is the second choice. Spanish subtitles are included in a yellow font, which display outside the widescreen framing.
This is a crudely-authored BD with a menu system that is slow. You can’t even hit a pop-up menu during the movie unless you want to return to the main menu. A loose slipcover is included. A couple of the special features are more entertaining than the film itself.
Fat Camp Massacre: Part 1 (10:16 in HD) – This short appears to be a longer version of the movie-within-a-movie, including some characters that didn’t make it into Jersey Shore Massacre. Kind of fun as a one-time watch for horror fans looking for an ode to old slashers. To see the second part you’ll have to purchase Girls Gone Dead.
Bigfoot Unmedicated (05:21 in HD) – One of the film’s actors kept calling the producers’ voicemail with bizarre messages. A very raw but funny short, in a sad sort of way.
Behind The Scenes (24:00 in HD) – The film doesn’t deserve this excellent look into the production. A lengthy look at behind the scenes, including on-set footage and interviews with random members of the production crew. You will not see Paramount or Fox interview the gaffer for one of their featurettes.
Italian Ice “Melt” Video (05:40 in HD) – A hilarious video for Italian Ice’s song. As a goofy kind of parody, the song isn’t bad.
Kingnyne’s “Outta My Head” Video (04:32 in HD)
Girls Gone Dead trailer (01:35 in HD) – This trailer also plays before the main menu in a slightly different form.
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Click on the images below for full resolution screen captures taken directly from the Blu-ray. Images have not been altered in any way during the process.