Is 'Jersey Shore Shark Attack' A True Story? There Is One Element To Truth To This Movie
There's something in the water, and it's not just copious amounts of spray tan residue. With Sharknado 4 quickly approaching (yes, there have already been three other Sharknados for your viewing pleasure) SyFy is encouraging you to get into the Jaws-lite mindset with movies that are about as ridiculous as Sharknado 4: The Fourth Awakens will inevitably be. On Sunday, July 24, you could check out 2012's absolutely bonkers shark attack movie, which basically mixes Jaws with one-time hyper-popular reality series Jersey Shore. Oddly, unlike Sharknado, which shows people running from a literal tornado filled with sharks, Jersey Shore Shark Attack is sort of a true story. Or, rather, its name references one.
Jersey Shore Shark Attack is an aggressive parody of the stereotypes of 20-something "guidos" and "guidettes," popularized by MTV stars like Snooki and Mike "The Situation." In Jersey Shore Shark Attack, these characters are not-so-subtly renamed "Nooki" and Gino "The Complication." Unlike Jersey Shore, which gave its cast members the high responsibility of selling tee shirts and getting drunk on the beach, Jersey Shore Shark Attack has these self-proclaimed guidos attempting to stop a Jaws-like shark attack from consuming literally all of the beach hotties at the shore — and Joey Fatone. Though the former *NSYNC member does get eaten by a shark (in one clean swoop), there is one element of Jersey Shore Shark Attack that isn't completely ridiculous, and that is its mythology.
If you Google "Jersey Shore Shark Attack," the first thing to come up won't be this SyFy movie — it'll be the very real shark attacks that happened off the coast of the Jersey Shore in 1916. In two weeks, four people had died from shark attacks in the summer of 1916, and it changed absolutely everything that we think we know about sharks. According to National Geographic, these shark attacks were pretty much how we got the shark movie in the first place. Prior to the events at the Jersey Shore, many people were convinced that sharks simply didn't, or wouldn't, bite humans. What happened that summer essentially gave the world a reason to make movies like Jaws, The Shallows, and, yes, Jersey Shore Shark Attack. It gave us a reason to fear the water in the first place.
Obviously, the 1916 attacks at the Jersey Shore are very, very different from the physics-defying attacks that exist in Jersey Shore Shark Attack. But the TV film does references the 1916 shark attacks, which, though exaggerated in the film, were very much a real thing. Without those real-world attacks, it is very likely that Jersey Shore Shark Attack wouldn't exist. Jersey Shore, on the other hand... well, that was inevitable.