JERSEY SHORE MASSACRE
Director: Paul Tarnopol
Year of release: 2014
Country of origin: USA
Running time: 88 minutes
DVD/Blu ray: Both
Taglines: "The Situation just got deadly" and "You're not the only one who wants them dead".
Casting the spotlight on the slasher genre
Story: In a patch of woodlands near the Jersey Shore some gangsters are in the middle of some shady business when they’re interrupted by a masked madman. This doesn’t end well for the gangsters with the maniac managing to dispatch them with ease.
Switching scenes to a hair salon we meet a group of ladies who are about to embark on a girls only break by the sea at a picturesque beach house. Unfortunately sometime later after arriving on site they are dismayed to find that the property has been double booked thus leaving them out in the cold so to speak with nowhere to stay. One of the girls by name of Teresa comes up with a way of saving the day by relocating the party to the isolated but extravagant holiday home of her criminal uncle. Though not impressed with the new location out in the woods the girls are enthused at having the run of the mansion like home with Teresa’s uncle currently not in residence.
After a day trip to the beach the girls run across a posse of fist pumping jocks whom are quickly invited over to the woodland retreat for a night time party later that evening.
The mansion of course proves to be in close proximity to the murder siter of the gangsters at the beginning with the masked psycho soon targeting the party animals in the same manner.
Good points: *The killer fits the bill size-wise being an imposing and menacing looking guy. This is aided greatly by an imaginative looking mask. It’s a hard mask to describe but for what is a comedy horror film it’s fairly dark and disturbing looking. The chin area of the mask in particular seems decidedly odd being long, tapering and stringy in appearance lending to a creepy look. The mask isn’t really shown in full under good lighting which in some ways is a disappointment but it’s mainly a good thing as it kept me interested. Seeing only quick flashes of it was an effective tease and I think made it seem more ghoulish and frightening as well.
*This is clearly a film which has been put together by big fans of the genre with lots of references and small homages to other slasher films included throughout. With the occasional exception this is usually something I enjoy seeing and it’s well done in this case. I spotted references to Curtains, Friday the 13th parts 1 & 2, Wrong Turn, Psycho, one of the Final Destination films and Just Before Dawn.
*Maybe a fraction too silly at times though it is the comedy elements mainly hit the right notes with a number of funny and entertaining characters making up the cast. Early on I liked the male salon worker as well as the Gigi character and was left wanting more of these two who only turned out to have limited roles. A good number of the jocks who turned up for the party were good fun as was the Ronny character played by Ron Jeremy who pops up for a very humorous cameo. Ron Jeremy also appeared in similar in style slasher Girls Gone Dead but I think his cameo here is the better of the two.
The more serious character of Teresa is another highpoint, she’s a bit smarter, kinder and more down to earth than the others but retains that typical Jersey Shore glamour at the same time. She makes for a very solid final girl who ticks all the major boxes well enough.
Bad Points: *Very mild spoiler: The Edgar character seemed somewhat underdeveloped and seeing how he played a role in the ending of the film I thought he was in need of one or two more short scenes beforehand. He was taking the role of a nosy neighbour type character as seen in Slumber Party Massacre but he was only seen once prior to the end so I’d almost forgotten about him by the time he pops up again.
*As is often the case with these more light hearted slashers the comedy can sometimes be a little over the top and too silly. An example is how the tour guide for the Jersey Devil attraction begins flapping his arms around and making funny noises. In fairness though I thought this film did a mostly good job in striking the right balance with the comedy with only a few scattered moments here and there proving too much for me.
*Spoilers: Towards the end where final girl Teresa starts running across the bodies of victims there were a couple of points where I wasn’t sure who it was that she discovered. The part where she raises the flap related to the pool where the frog was seen earlier for example reveals a severed head in a nod to Curtains. Maybe it’s just me but the trouble was I couldn’t tell who’s head it was supposed to be. Later on she finds two corpses lying down in the barn area and again I wasn’t sure who they were supposed to be. Gigi’s boyfriend Michael who was killed off camera early on could have been one of them I guess but the way the bodies were showcased it wasn’t as easy to tell as it should have been.
Verdict: I found this to be a solid comedy slasher which captures the boisterous energy and mostly air head characters of a show like Jersey or Geordie Shore very well. It boasts a fun cast of characters and with the odd exception the humour hit the mark of being entertaining rather than annoying. A cool looking killer is another high point.
Other than some confusing moments at the end where bodies are discovered where I wasn’t sure who they belonged to I can’t pick out any major issues. Despite this, overall I just didn’t enjoy it enough to offer it a higher mark. Maybe it would be a bit higher if catching it in just the right frame of mind but as I prefer a more serious film I’ll stick with a 6. If you enjoy comedy slashers however you may grade this higher and when it comes to these kind of aiming for laughs genre entries you could certainly do a lot worse.
Bodycount (contains major spoilers):
1)Carmine: Shot by Danny and Louie.
2)Danny: Ripped apart.
3)Louie: Same as Danny.
4)Girl tied to tree: Not 100% sure if she actually dies as her death isn’t see but she is already covered in blood and is presumably killed off camera after Danny and Louie.
5)Michael: Killed off camera. Has disappeared when Gigi turns around.
6)Gigi: Killed with a meat cleaver blow to the neck.
7)Gino: Burnt to death after being shackled inside a sun bed.
8)Candi: Stabbed to death in the shower.
9)Joanne: Impaled through the back during intercourse.
10)Male: Killed impaled during intercourse with Joanne.
11)Vinny: Dies after a sander is used on various parts of his body. Is later whipped over the injuries.
12)Freddy: Neck deeply cut into by a chain set in motion by some kind of machinery.
13)Valarie: Found dead hung with a noose.
14)Edgar: Found dead impaled through the shoulder area.
15)Dina: Eviscerated with cleaver.
16)Tony: Hands cut off in woodchipper and then shot by accident by the cops.
17)Killer: Shot by uncle Vito. Later finished off by handgun shots from Ronny sometime later in what I think may have been a post credit sequence.