Jersey Shore Shark Attack

| August 28, 2012

It’s not too hard to imagine the pitch meeting for this one: A producer is watching Shark Week and catches a bit about the real-life 1916 “Jersey Shore Shark Attack.” It pretty much writes itself, really. SyFy has been rolling out new Creature Features pretty regularly for some time now, enlisting the aid of Roger Corman and the Asylum for such modern camp classics as DinoCroc and Sharktopus, and now comes Jersey Shore Shark Attack. It can’t possibly be as great as the title suggests, right? Right. But it still offers some dumb fun, which is all anyone can reasonably expect from something called Jersey Shore Shark Attack.

After a night of heavy partying, The Complication (Jeremy Luke) wakes up with D’Angela (Laura Harrison) in his bed and recently former girlfriend Nooki (Melissa Molinaro) beating down his front door. While he hurries D’Angela out of his room, his roommate Donnie (Joey Russo) fails to prevent Nooki from barging in. Nooki dresses The Complication down and then everyone ends up at Salie’s Bar– The Complication and Donnie meet up with Paulie Balzac (Daniel Booko) and JP (Ben Giroux), while Nooki gets a table with her friends BJ (Audi Resendez) and J-Moni (Alex Mauriello). When some rich kids come in and start a fight, JP flees and ends up in the water near some underwater construction that has attracted the most spectacularly unconvincing CGI sharks in film history.

JP then disappears and The Complication decides to get his friends together so they can figure out what happened to him. At this point, Jersey Shore Shark Attack begins to suspiciously resemble an episode of Scooby-Doo, only with this mock reality show cast instead of Shaggy and company. The Complication’s father (Jack Scalia) is the local sheriff, and doesn’t believe it when his son insists that JP was eaten by sharks. The influx of new man-eating predators threatens the gentrification plans of villainous developer Dolan (William Atherton), and even worse, there’s a real possibility that if the truth was revealed the solo concert by Joey Fatone (playing himself) might be canceled!

All of this probably sounds like a lot more fun than it really is. The characters are goofy, but it seems like the producers couldn’t stand the idea of them being completely ridiculous, so they are taken more seriously than they should be. This does lead to one genuinely hilarious scene, in which the group finds a partially-eaten corpse floating in the water and gets into an argument about whether it would be appropriate to give it a funeral. Otherwise, William Atherton is always fun but is reined in a bit here, and Joey Fatone is at least game for his appearance. The sharks are so thoroughly, embarrassingly awful that it truly cannot be overstated, which may be entertaining for some audience members (and just infuriating for others). There may be worse ways to spend 87 minutes than Jersey Shore Shark Attack, but there are also certainly a hell of a lot better.

Anchor Bay released Jersey Shore Shark Attack on DVD and Blu-ray on 28 August 2012. Special feature include a commentary track with the film’s producers and director and an on-set featurette.

About the Author:

Jason Coffman is a film writer living in Chicago. He is author of "The Unrepentant Cinephile," and a regular contributor to Daily Grindhouse and Film Monthly as well as a member of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle. He is co-director of the Chicago Cinema Society and proud owner of 35mm prints of Andy Milligan's "Guru, the Mad Monk." Follow his long-form film writing on Medium:

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