Pauly Shore is Dead (2003) — But not really

“Genius of what?”

Lissa’s rating: How many celebrity cameos does it take to make a movie famous? Apparently more than 30.

Lissa’s review: It’s not much of a secret I’m not fond of Pauly Shore. It’s not a well-known fact, either. I mean, my feelings about Pauly Shore aren’t something I wave about like a banner. I don’t have as passionate a hate for him as I do for Pearl Harbor or an obsession like I do for Harry Potter. It’s more akin to things like “the sky is blue.” The sky is blue, chocolate is good, and Pauly Shore is annoying. They’re not statements, they are simply facts of life.

So, of course, the title Pauly Shore is Dead was at least enough for Duckie to pull the DVD off the shelf and read the back.

The premise was so ludicrous and entertaining we couldn’t help but laugh. Desperate to regain his fifteen minutes of fame, Pauly Shore comes to the realization that in order to be truly acknowledged as an artist, you need to die. Fair enough. But the problem is you’re then not around to enjoy it. Quite reasonable, really. So he does what any intelligent person would do — he fakes it. (Oh, there are so many jokes I am passing on there!) Told in “self-mockumentary” format, we find out just how it all pans out for him — especially when he gets caught.

The first thing that sticks out to me in this movie are the cameos. The cameos are the reason to watch this one. And I’m not just talking minor celebrities like Carrot Top and Todd Bridges. Oh no. Ben Stiller. Brittany Spears. Paris Hilton (although why she’s a celebrity still baffles me. I mean, come on guys. She’s not even attractive!). Adam Sandler. Charlie Sheen. Sean Penn. The list goes on and on and on. In fact, we decided that the best part of this movie and most of the fun of watching it is trying to figure out what celebrities are going to appear and what they’ll do.

The second thing that jumped out at me is that, with the comedic routine off and just being himself, I think I would really, really like Pauly Shore. He has a very self-deprecating sense of humor, and although I’m completely aware that he was selectively portraying endearing aspects of his personality, he came across as a really sweet guy, and very aware of the joke on himself. I actually LIKED Pauly Shore (the person) in this movie — he sort of reminded me of Weird Al. But for the record, the Weiz schtick still annoyed the heck out of me.

The third thing I noticed is that some lines just do not need to be crossed, and there were things I did not need to see. I know you’re probably thinking Pauly himself or Carrot Top, but no. As I said, there were moments — and many of them — I was okay with Pauly, and Carrot Top’s time on screen was mercifully short. But Pauly Shore masturbating to porn is just something that my eyes really could have done without (look, you really should be warned because it IS only fair).

Also, some jokes can stop at a brief mention. Many jokes can stop at a brief mention. As South Park and Saturday Night Live have taught us, a mildly funny joke becomes painful when it’s dragged out for fifteen minutes. While I enjoyed aspects of this movie, I was also very glad that it was only 82 minutes, and we don’t plan on adding it to our collection.

I did really appreciate the way the world’s reaction to the staged death was portrayed. It was exactly as you would expect (if you’re cynical like me): Upon hearing that Pauly Shore has died young and tragically, all those that said he was a talentless hack beforehand have reversed their positions and say he’s a genius of comedy. Whoopie Goldberg included. Look, you really just have to see it for the celebrity cameos. Seriously. Ben Stiller’s got nothing on this guy! But seriously, the satire was very amusing, partly because it was not only directed at Hollywood, but at Pauly himself and the forces that shoved him down our throats.

I laughed. I laughed a lot, actually. I also hid my face out of sheer embarrassment many times. It kind of balanced out.

There’s not much more that can really be said about this one. It’s worth watching once, but unless you are a die-hard Pauly Shore fan, I wouldn’t even pick it up in the cheap bin at Walmart. But see it anyway.

Didja notice?

  • More cameos, including Ellen, Kurt Loder, Pamela Anderson, Chris Rock, Tom Sizemore, Fred Durst, Snoop Dogg, Jason Mewes, and Hanson.
  • Porn stars make cameos too!
  • Pauly Shore is, um, short. He’s 5’7”. Which isn’t THAT short, when you really think about it. In fact, it’s quite a good height for a guy. Especially one who marries a woman that’s 5’4”.
  • How Pauly Shore GOT some of these cameos? (Supposedly?)
  • That Pauly Shore looks a LOT like Steve Guttenburg with that haircut?

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