“Jersey Shore Massacre”
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Theresa and her friends had planned a weekend trip down the Shore to Seaside Heights “for a weekend of sun and sin.” However, a misunderstanding by the rental owner causes them to lose the reservation they had made. They end up staying at Theresa’s Uncle Vito’s secluded cabin in the Pine Barrens instead. After hooking up with a group of obnoxious, self-absorbed young men at a club, then taking them back to the cabin, the group find that they have become the target of a deranged killer.
This indie slasher/horror comedy did not start out promising. The characters were, I hope intentionally, excessively unlikable. The opening kill scene is entertaining, but the film slows down immediately and drags through the introduction and set up of the characters. A little tightening up the first half would have helped the pacing. I give the cast full credit for staying in character, even though they are over-the-top, painfully stupid, caricatures.
Once everyone is back at Uncle Vito’s cabin, the movie picks up with one of the best practical effect shower kill scenes I’ve seen in a long time. By this time I was cheering for the slasher, the movie had been so successful in making the characters unlikable. Nicky Figueredo, who plays Candi, the shower kill scene victim, did an amazing job with this. This scene re-energized my interest in the movie. As each character died, the cast rose to the challenge and gave the audience some good death scenes. Special effects supervisor, Cat Bernier and crew, gave the audience wonderful practical gore effects for all the kill scenes, even though by this time I was cheering for the slasher. The second half of the film was worth watching for this alone, except an awful CGI fire, which wouldn’t have been so bad, had the makeup matched the implied burns.
The story itself is a straight forward teen/twenty-something slasher, using the expected formula and tropes. This film mocks everything, from gender roles, to regional stereotypes, to police competence. There are a few gags that tread the line of getting groans versus getting laughs.
The soundtrack is surprisingly good. As much as it is gratuitous, the club scene with “Italian Ice” Sal Governale, of Howard Stern on Demand, is hilarious, and the bonus music video on the DVD for the song “Melt” is worth the time to watch.
The movie-within-a-movie “Fat Camp Massacre” featuring popular character actor, Shawn C. Phillips, is noteworthy, and as a bonus on the DVD is part 1 of this short film. Apparently part 2 is available on the DVD of “Girls Gone Dead.”
I gave this movie 2 1/2 “classy” beers. It had some really worthy kill scenes that had me cheering out loud and a hugely entertaining bonus music video on the DVD, otherwise, it offered little else that engaged me. I’d be interested to see what else these guys have to offer in the future, see how they learn and improve.