Jeffrey Schenck & Peter Sullivan
Michael Ciminera & Richard Gnolfo
“When development work begins attracting man-eating sharks to the Jersey Shore, it’s up to TC and his Guido friends to spread the word about the danger. However when they face adversity from rival gangs, TC’s sheriff father and a crooked mayor, TC must prove that he and his friends are just than just a bunch of macho, air-headed stereotypes if they are to stand any chance of saving the Jersey Shore.”
- Jeremy Luke – TC
- Melissa Molinaro – Nooki
- Joseph Russo – Donnie
- Daniel Booko – Paulie
- Jack Scalia – Sheriff Moretti
- Paul Sorvino – Mayor Palantine
- William Atherton – Dolan
- Tony Sirico – Captain Salie
- Joey Fatone – Himself
- Chupacabra Terror – John Shepphird
- Chupacabra vs the Alamo – Jeffrey Schenck, Peter Sullivan
- Deep Shock – Richard Gnolfo
- Hydra – Peter Sullivan
- Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep – Jack Scalia
- Silent Predators – Jack Scalia
Jersey Shore Shark Attack is a 2012 killer shark film that serves as a parody of both Creature Features and the popular reality TV series Jersey Shore. Loosely inspired by the real Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916, this feature was directed by John Shepphird (Chupacabra Terror) and written by the team previously responsible for a series of Christmas and dog based TV movie includingThe Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation. The large cast contains an interesting mixture of new faces and established actors including Jeremy Luke and Melissa Molinaro with Jack Scalia, Paul Sorvino, William Atherton and Tony Sirico (The Sopranos).
Being British, I believe that the majority of the could-be-taken-offensively humour went straight over my head as to this day, I still don’t fully understand what a ‘Guido’ is and how their conflict with the Preppies ever started. It’s also worth mentioning that I have never seen an episode of Jersey Shore, nor any of the British rip-offs that are spawning quicker than Gremlins. I think that this was beneficial to my viewing as I was able to take a step back and enjoy mocking everything on-screen under a simpler ‘Americans are funny’ umbrella. And to its credit, this film is genuinely rather funny.
Despite being loosely based on real events and a parody of a TV series from the same area, the film was actually shot mostly in California and admittedly the location seems well-chosen. There’s a nice variety of sandy beaches, piers, yachts and bars to keep things interesting and the natural lighting keeps everything looking good. The special effects are the standard mix of prosthetics used for close-ups and CGI used for everything else. The shark designs are fairly generic too as the sharks are not characters (like Jaws or Sharktopus) nor are they the real villains.
Usually in creature features, it’s fair to say that the casts are usually populated with ‘disposables’ but JSSA actually has an impressively large main cast, the majority of whom even survive to the final credits. I’ll try to make it simpler by splitting them up into several groups: The Guido guys, the Guido girls, the Preppies, the Adults and Joey Fatone from N-SYNC.
Heading up the Guido guys is Gino Moretti aka TC aka ‘The Complication’ (get it?), played by Jeremy Luke, and his buddies Donnie and Paulie, respectively played by Joey Russo and Daniel Booko. These guys are our main characters and they are a lot of fun, throwing themselves head-first into the ridiculousness of the Guido stereotype and it really works. Everything from the stupid walks to the bizarre outfits to the overly macho poses and cartoonish facial expressions, these guys really go for it and JSSA is all the better for it. They understand the parodical nature of the material but still managed to make the characters likeable and sympathetic without being over-the-top or annoying.
The Guido girls don’t fair quite as well sadly. Introduced to us as TC’s girlfriend, Nicolina Santamaria aka ‘Nooki’ (get it?), played by Melissa Molinaro, leads her friends BJ and J-Moni (I think that’s a reference?), played by Audi Resendez and Alex Mauriello, as the centrepiece of a battle of desires between the Guido guys and the Preppies. Whether or not it was part of the humour, I did find the Guido girls to be a little bit too much at times, far too over-powering, loud and often rather annoying. There is a fine line between ridiculousness being funny and being annoying and sadly I just found Nooki to pass over that line once too often.
Next up we have the Preppies who for the most part serve as our antagonists to the Guido guys (not villains mind you, just antagonists) or at least the only two that count: Bradford and Spencer, portrayed by Grant Harvey and Dylan Vox. Both actors do a reasonably okay job, but their main character traits involve being smug and conceited, which aren’t exactly the hardest emotions to convey.
And we have the adults with include the local Sherriff Moretti who is TC’s disapproving father, played by Jack Scalia, the exposition-dump Captain Salie, played by Tony Sirico, and the actually villains of the piece, Mayor Palantine and developer Dolan, played by Paul Sorvino and Willaim Atherton. Sherriff Moretti wants to close down the beach resort (a la Jaws) but Mayor Palantine refuses (also a la Jaws) as he is secretly planning to turn the entire beach into a huge hotel resort with developer Dolan (a la Step Up 4). Captain Salie just spouts exposition about the sharks – convincingly though. Considering that nearly all of the Adults are either cameos or established Italian-American actors, it comes as no surprise that every actor is able to perform their roles to a satisfactory degree.
Oh and there’s Joey Fatone from N-SYNC.
The whole film reeks of self-parody and everyone looks like they are having far too much fun. The acting is silly and the special effects are bad but like Mega Python vs. Gatoroid, everybody is fully aware of it. The storyline is nothing special but serves its purpose and I barely noticed the music, which never distracts. The costume designs for the Guidos are fantastically over-the-top which is great and the props actually looked rather convincing which greatly surprised me.
I’m going to hate myself for saying this but I reluctantly recommend Jersey Shore Shark Attack. It’s stupid, like really stupid, but all the characters are inherently likeable in their idiotic but earnest ‘wear your heart on your sleeve’ kinda way. The direction is safe and simplistic, allowing the audience to focus on the overly animated facial expressions, ‘ministry of silly walks’ style strutting, ridiculous haircuts and over abundance of tank tops. It’s that stupid type of film that knows it’s stupid and enjoys itself far too much, leaving you with two choices either hate the self-aware antics or just tag along for the brainless ride. So shut your pie hole and have a good time, you hearing me, bro?