Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Three Bad Movies

Jersey Shore Shark Attack (2012)
This is the second movie released in 2012 that I saw! I'll get to the other 2012 films I've seen in my next few posts. Of course while I saw those in theaters, this movie made its premiere on the SyFy Channel!
Jersey Shore Shark Attack is both a Jaws rip-off and parody of MTV reality show Jersey Shore at the same time. I don't think it will surprise anybody that this movie has poor acting and terrible special effects. However, I didn't expect that Jersey Shore Shark Attack would feature two actors from Goodfellas: Tony Sirico and Paul Sorvino! Both actually do a good job in their roles here considering the material. I would hope that they are getting better offers than this, but maybe these guys just have a good sense of humor.
I must mention that Joey Fatone, formerly of boy band 'N Sync, has a great cameo appearance!
Jersey Shore Shark Attack was produced by Fred Olen Ray who has directed and produced tons of low budget B-movies and exploitation flicks. I've never seen an Olen Ray movie before but keep in mind this is the guy who brought us Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers and Reptisaurus!  
Jersey Shore Shark Attack is not really a horror movie but more of a comedy with jokes that are hit or miss. Some scenes like the one with Joey Fatone or the line "Is that spaghetti sauce?" (referring to blood) are hilarious. However, others attempts at humor fall flat or too padded with boring scenes.
The writing was actually better than I expected in terms of the parodies and jokes. We even have some character development and a use of Chekov's Gun, or harpoon in this case. Unfortunately the basic rule of "show, don't tell" us violated in a major way once. I guess the reason for that is that the budget didn't call for a flashback so a character just tells a long story about what happened instead!
Our main characters are Jersey Shore knock-offs who are almost as unlikeable as their real life counter-parts. Despite this face it seems that the movie thinks we should actually root for them. The attempt at solving this problem of main characters who are easy to hate is that the villains are annoying snooty, rich, yuppies but I just wanted to see everybody eaten by the albino sharks!
While this is not a good movie, I must give it some credit for being entertaining enough. Too many bad movies are just plain boring so when a dumb fun one comes around I can't hate it too much. I could even see Jersey Shore Shark Attack getting a cult following someday, though I think this movie will be forgotten about once the popularity of Jersey Shore fades away.
Oh, and I love the tagline on the above poster: "Forget The Avengers, we have a new contender for best film of the summer." That must be a joke, taken out of context, a fake quote, or the critic just got really drunk!
I'll finish this review the same way the movie ends:

No Holds Barred
I'm not a wrestling fan but have always found it interesting. Professional wrestling features good guys, heels, larger than life personalities, a mixing of reality with fantasy, has always had a large dedicated fan base. If you think about it like that it is no different from the world of film!
Although Hulk Hogan made his film debut in Rocky III as Thunderlips, No Holds Barred is the first movie to feature Hogan in a leading role. Not surprisingly Hogan plays a professional wrestler (named Rip) who is not much different from Hulk Hogan himself. A rival TV network tries to get Rip to wrestle for them but Rip refuses to break his existing contract at any price. This leads Brell, the sleazy head of the World Television Network (played by Kurt Fuller who was in Wayne's World and many other movies), to start his own wrestling competition called "Battle of the Tough Guys." This wrestlers are extremely violent and play by no rules. For some reason they even have a midget in a cage over their ring! Eventually a mysterious huge guy named Zeus wins the tournament and demands to fight Rip. Fuller's performance as Brell reminded me of Q from Star Trek: The Next Generation but as without the god powers and more of a scumbag. Brell likes to call Hulk Hogan a "Jock Ass" which is pretty funny though it gets irritating after a while. Besides Hogan and Fuller, Jesse Ventura has a cameo (as himself of course!) and I also recognized David Paymer who has been in tons of films and TV shows.
The most outrageously hilarious scene of the movie features the now infamous line, "Dookie?!"
Check it out here!
As you can tell from that clip, a lot of dialogue is grunting and yelling. I guess it makes sense in a movie about wrestling. I wasn't expecting Shakespeare, but its still pretty funny.
This is the 3rd Hulk Hogan movie I've seen after Santa with Muscles and 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain. I have reviewed all on this blog and as you could probably guess, this is my favorite Hulk Hogan movie so far!
The weekend No Holds Barred came out in theaters in 1989 it debuted second in the box office behind Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade!
The first act is hilarious and engaging but the movie looses steam purely from an entertainment standpoint after that. These are still some amusing parts but after that the pacing slows down and the fighting gets repetitive. Although No Holds Barred is a bad movie its still a lot of fun. I watched it with a friend who is a wrestling fan and we have a blast. This is Hulk Hogan's Bloodsport though I still prefer that Van Damme flick to this one!

Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders
Ernest Borgnine died last week at the age of 95. He is one of my favorite actors as I love his roles in The Wild Bunch, Escape from New York, and many more films and TV shows. In honor of the late, great Oscar winner I watched the MST3K episode Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders with a friend.
The framing story of this movie features Borgnine as a grandfather telling stories to his grandson. The first story involves a couple with fertility problems who meet Merlin at his store. The husband doesn't believe he is really a wizard so Merlin gives him a book of spells to prove it. The man messes up the spell, fights a cat, then turns into a baby which his wife decides to raise. Then the grandfather tells another story about a toy monkey that can kill people when it clangs its cymbals which was stolen from Merlin's shop. Merlin tries to find the toy monkey before too much damage is done!
This movie is a stinking mess but at least there is an explanation. Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders was made out of the per-existing films The Devil's Gift (1984) with new footage stitched in. The monkey story obviously looks older than the other footage. The segments with the monkey is also said to rips off a Stephen King short story and I can't say I'm surprised.
Both stories are surprisingly violent, especially for what appears on the cover to be a family fantasy film.
Although this movie is terrible, its a great MST3K episode. This one is from Season 10 so its a Sci-fi Channel Mike episode. I loved the re-curring riffs on the infertility subplot and the geriatric grandfather.

Even though all these movies sucked, at least I enjoyed watching them for different reasons!
Next Up: Summer TV shows


  1. Jersey Shore Shark Attack (2012)

    -I think the long scene of exposition was an homage to a similar scene in JAWS where the sea captain tells the story of the USS Indianapolis tragedy. It was a long story told in one long exposition laden monologue. But somehow Spielberg made it work.

    No Holds Barred (1989)

    -You should try and find the film SANTA WITH MUSCLES. It was another Hulk Hogan film. This one had Hogan get amnesia and believe that he was Santa Claus. It was...well...just watch it...

    Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders (1996)

    -"Remember to believe in magic! Or I'll kill you!"

  2. It'd been awhile since I've seen Jaws but I remember that scene with Quint and agree that Spielberg made it work. Maybe Jersey Shore Shark Attack was doing a homage to Jaws but it did other ones that were more obvious (there's a riff on the smile you son'ova bitch line!) but it just came across as lazy.

    I've actually seen Santa with Muscles and reviewed it on this blog!