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By Clint Morris | September 2, 2004

‘Whatever happened to Pauly Shore?’

I’m sure that’s asked by someone at least once a day. For a while there he was – the hottest young and crazy thing. I still recall sitting in the audience of “Son in Law” (1993) only to go near deaf from the screams of the teenage girls in the audience as the actor appeared on screen. I also remember when it suddenly stopped for the former MTV VJ turned film star, with flicks like “In the Army Now” and “The Bogus Witch Project” (don’t even ask) going straight to video. Where were those loyal fans then? That’s right; they were bashing themselves over the head with wooden planks trying to work out why on earth they ever spent money on seeing flicks like “Jury Duty”, “Encino Man” and “Class Act” to start with.

Written by, directed by and starring Shore, “Pauly Shore is Dead” is the answer to the aforesaid question. Seems Pauly’s career’s in limbo, and somewhere along the line he came to the conclusion that he’d be more popular if he was dead. Or at least, that’s the way the story goes in the film.

A very funny, blatantly satirical and insolently honest look into the life of the former it boy, “Dead” centers on Shore’s rise to fame, fall from fame – and we presume this is the fake part – death. Which he faked. Funnily enough, it works – MTV even airs a couple of days of Shore material as a tribute – until someone spots the veiled actor in a quickie mart. Now, he’s in jail – and again, he looks like a fool. Only this time they’re laughing at him, not with him.

Regardless of what the movie says, Pauly Shore has obviously got a lot of friends. You should see the cast of this thing! Everyone from Sean Penn to Michael Madsen and Heidi Fleiss appears. The cameos do not stop. But thankfully, that’s not all the movie has going for it. Best of all, it’s funny, very funny, and mainly because it’s so damn forthright. Shore lets it all hang out. He obviously doesn’t care too much about what people think of him, and tells it like it is. Warts and all. Ok, so a lot of it’s purposely exaggerated, but underneath, you can see that in a roundabout way this is pretty close to accuracy.

Not a piece of art, but just crazy enough to work, and just cool enough to last, “Pauly Shore is Dead” is a delightful surprise that’ll raise as many questions as it does bust guts.

Might this be Pauly’s comeback?

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