Pauly Shore Is Dead is an American comedy/mockumentary motion picture released in 2003 starring actor and comedian Pauly Shore. The cameo-filled movie begins as a semi-autobiographical retelling of Shore's early success and dwindling popularity in the late 1990s, after which it documents Shore's (fictional) attempt to fake his own death in order to drum up popularity for his films.
The film, with the original working title of You'll Never Wiez in This Town Again, marked Shore's debut as a writer, director, and producer.
The film begins as an autobiographical look at Shore's early professional successes on MTV and as the star of a series of 90s comedies. Shore's film career leads to his taking a starring role in a vehicle on the Fox network, in which he plays the slacker son of a millionaire. The pilot of the series turns out to be a commercial and critical failure, and Shore becomes a pariah virtually overnight, with his friends distancing themselves from him for fear that it will tarnish their own careers. Shore is ultimately reduced to living in his mother's attic and watching pornography starring his ex-girlfriend, who will no longer see him.
One night, Shore is visited by the ghost of his mentor, comic Sam Kinison, who encourages Shore to fake his own death as a means of revitalizing popularity in Pauly Shore films and merchandise. Shore decides to go through with the plan, which initially works: Once word of his "death" breaks, celebrities eager for the residual publicity begin appearing on television in large numbers to declare Shore a comic genius and lament his early death. Shore, eager to bask in the publicity, begins appearing in public wearing a disguise; he is quickly outed, arrested, and sent to prison.
In prison, Shore is attacked by one of his former fans, "Bucky from Kentucky," a redneck whose world view was shattered when he learned that Shore had willingly put his own fans through the ordeal of thinking he was dead. Shore survives the attack, which causes him to realize that even though he was no longer as famous as he once was, he still had fans who loved him. Shore and Bucky have a heart-to-heart about the nature of celebrity, and Shore decides to start his career over.
After getting out of prison, Shore sets about making Pauly Shore is Dead to chronicle his own rise and fall, using information he has gathered from years in Hollywood to blackmail various b-list celebrities into appearing in cameos; he reserves the information he has on a-list celebrities for the planned sequel.
- Pauly Shore - Himself and Bucky's cousin
- W. Earl Brown - Bucky From Kentucky
- Kristin Herold - Bucky's Cousin
- David Kersey - Bucky Jr.
- Miriam Cohen Kiel - Bucky's Daughter
- Kelly Kursten - Bucky's wife
- Timmy Jamieson - Sam Kinison
- Clint Howard - Pauly's Business Manager
- Bobby Lee - Delivery Boy
- Jason Mewes - Robert Francesco
- Christopher Penn - Half of Gay Couple in Jail
- Sam Rubin - Michael Figliolia
- Lala Sloatman - Hooker in loft
- Marilyn Martinez - Housekeeper
Pauly Shore Is Dead received the highest ratings of Shore's film career; Rotten Tomatoes gave it a "rotten" 57% rating, far higher than his starring vehicles of the 1990s. It was a box office bomb, however, earning just $11,000 after a very limited release to theaters in Sacramento, California. It has developed a small following on DVD.
Music from the band Staind's album "Break the Cycle" is used in the movie. Aaron Lewis, vocalist of Staind, also has an appearance in the DVD. Eminem and now deceased rapper Proof are in a deleted scene. Fred Durst and Ja Rule, who both feuded with Eminem, also appeared in the film. In the deleted scene with Dexter Holland, the song playing in the background is "Elders" written and performed by Dexter's band The Offspring.
- Official site
- Pauly Shore Is Dead at the Internet Movie Database
- Pauly Shore is Dead at Rotten Tomatoes