Pauly Shore is Dead (2003) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Don't let the title get your hopes up. Pauly is very much alive, having spent some five years of his life writing and directing this semi-fictional account of his decline and fall from a completely inexplicable career peak.  Shore weaves real events and an honest appraisal of his modest talent together with a fictional story about how he once faked his own death in order to gain a 16th minute of fame, and the real material is so tightly interwoven with the fictional that you will rarely be certain which material is completely fabricated.

Pauly may not have been Woody Allen in the talent department, but it is obvious that he made lots of friends in his brief period of fame, because some very big stars came in to do a line or two for this movie: Sean Penn, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Chris Rock, Bill Maher, Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn all showed up to make fun of Pauly or his movies. They were joined by an eclectic group of lesser celebrities like Heidi Fleiss, Tom Sizemore, Charlie Sheen, Michael Madsen, Snoop Dogg, Andy Dick, Pam Anderson, Tommy Chong, Jerry Springer, Carson Daly, Tommy Lee, Carrot Top, Screech, Mini-me and many others, who commented on Pauly's real life or fictional death. Occasionally the stars ripped on themselves or each other. Michael Madsen and Tom Sizemore admitted that even they don't actually know which of them is which, just like the rest of us. Carrot Top and Kato Kaelin rejoiced that no matter how bad their lives have seemed, they were still better off than Pauly.

In general, I thought this movie was a lot of fun. It is really a pleasure to kick back, turn off the ol' brain, and see the stars make fun of themselves and Pauly, and there are some very funny guys who take their best shots - Stiller, Maher and Chris Rock are especially funny. It's cool to be inside and get the feeling that at least one sucky celebrity is completely aware that he sucks, and shares everyone else's opinion. (Well, maybe there are two such celebrities. Bill Shatner has been milking this same cow recently.) I was sort of disappointed by the full-length commentary, because it tends to turn the whole thing around again to give off the general impression that Pauly isn't really a guy who knows he sucks, but is rather a guy who is pretending to agree that he sucks in order to make this film. That isn't nearly as cool, and is sorta sad, when you think about it. In essence, it means that he's using this film to extend his undeserved fame in the same way that he used the fake death in the storyline.

Well, whatever.

I suppose he doesn't completely suck, at least not any more, since he created this movie, and it gave me a few laughs. Either way, I still got a kick out of it, and that's astounding when you consider that it's a one man project assembled by Pauly Shore! The DVD is also a good value, loaded with insider looks at stars, the making of the film, and some early reactions to it. The 4.1 at IMDb is obviously general anti-Pauly feeling from people who haven't actually seen this. (Such feelings have a strong historical justification. As I write this, a Pauly film called Bio-Dome has the honor of being the worst reviewed film in history, according to Metacritic.) I really believe that if you can separate this film from your general distaste for Pauly, you may just like it. Although it has some cringe-inducing moments, Pauly Shore is Dead is generally funny and peppy. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I recommend it.



  • Two versions of the film, full screen and widescreen anamorphic
  • Commentary by Pauly Shore
  • Pauly faces a student Q&A after showing the film at Cal State Fullerton
  • Many, many deleted scenes, hosted by Pauly, the Hilton Sisters, and Charlie Sheen. 
  • Several additional cameos will be found in the deleted scenes and in the "hosting" material.
  • A making-of featurette


Porn star Jewel De'Nyle plays herself. Pauly masturbates over one of her movies while talking to Jewel on the phone. The funny part is that he's also talking to his mother (his real mom, Mitzi Shore) on the other line, and he can't always seem to keep track of which one he's talking to.

Pauly Shore shows his bum

The Critics Vote ...

The People Vote ...

  • I guess there was no theatrical release.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a C+. Amazingly enough, this is actually a good mockumentary.

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