A typical weekend down the shore takes a bizarre turn as six girls and five obnoxious fist-pumpers become the unsuspecting targets of a deranged killer.
There is no denying that reality television is a driving force behind pop culture in the modern era. It has taken over television and become one of the most popular program styles in the ratings. The personalities are big, the ratings are high, and the influence that it has upon what the general population is talking about is incomparable to most other forms of entertainment. Many of the people who become famous as a result of their appearances on reality shows use this popularity as a stepping stone for their other ventures.
One such venture is the 2014 horror movie Jersey Shore Massacre. This is a slasher flick produced by, you guessed it, a member of the cast of Jersey Shore. Namely, it was Jenni ‘Jwoww’ Farley’s first foray into film production. The movie follows Teresa (Danielle Dallacco), a hairdresser who accompanies her friends on a trip to the Jersey Shore. They end up partying with some guys and staying at her Uncle Vito’s (Dominic Lucci) house. Once there, the twelve twenty-somethings are brutally murdered one at a time. This turn of events is more satisfying than is likely intended.
Bad movies can be separated into three main categories: agonizingly bad, forgettably bad, and entertainingly bad. Jersey Shore Massacre would fall into the third category. It may be filled with unlikeable characters, derivative violence, and terrible attempts at humor, but there is still a charming quality to the movie that makes it watchable. To fully understand why this movie can be bad yet still entertaining, I will have to explain what makes it bad and why that bad does not irritate.
Is there a better place to start this disassembly of Jersey Shore Massacre than with the characters? The movie is filled to the brim with stereotypes of people you would expect to find on a trip to the Jersey Shore through your knowledge of the reality show. All of the guys are muscular. Everyone is tanned and each person has that horrid accent that is painful to the ears. They want to drink and get laid. Nothing matters to these people but themselves and they will stop at nothing to have a good time. The idea of watching these people for an hour and a half sounds like a painful experience. It’s why I never watched an episode of Jersey Shore. (I still know the personalities because they invaded pop culture.) However, watching the characters bumble around like idiots and die is a delightful experience.
The bumbling nature of the characters is indicative of the below-standard writing of Jersey Shore Massacre. Usually when writing a bad movie, the writers don’t give a gosh darn about what they do. Their sole purpose is to make an entertaining movie. Jersey Shore Massacre works in much the same way. In order to move the story of the murders forward, the characters continuously put themselves in harm’s way. They split up at various points throughout the movie and constantly enter an unknown, creepy looking house alone. They wander around the woods by themselves. These various decisions lead to their untimely deaths.
As for the deaths, some seem extremely derivative of kills in better movies that came out years prior. There is a character who meets his demise on a tanning bed in a similar fashion to movies such as Final Destination 3 and Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo. One of the girls dies in a manner that is lifted directly out of the classic Hitchcock film Psycho. Neither death is poorly done. They simply feel like they have been done before, because they have been done before. To counter these moments are some more original murders that feel fresher than those that I have already mentioned. Of course that would be the case since they don’t seem like they were taken right out of another movie.
Another thing that helps raise Jersey Shore Massacre above many other bad movies is the humor that has been infused into it. Some of the jokes in the movie are laugh out loud funny. Most are outright terrible. However, the jokes are so terrible that how bad they are is funny. It blends some laughs into the movie that keep the viewer from overanalyzing all of the other aspects and what is lacking from them. Sure, you still notice a lot of bad things. That doesn’t matter, though, because you are chuckling and having a good time. The comedy does not make the bad any better. It makes it less abrasive.
Jersey Shore Massacre is a movie that is surely not for everyone. The characters are the type of people that are easily despised. Yet when the murders kick in, and with the aid of the comedic beats, the movie becomes a semi-entertaining enough piece of slasher fare. Like I wrote earlier, it falls to the entertaining side of bad. Ever so slightly, it falls to the entertaining side of bad. There are moments in it that made watching the movie worth it. The problem for most people will be that these moments are few and far between. I completely understand that stance. What can I say, though? I enjoyed it.