Let me begin with this: If the concept of a CMT (Country Music Television) Original Movie titled Whiskey Business that stars Pauly Shore as a “Jersey Shore” inspired child of privilege who flees to a stereotypical version of the American South in an attempt to escape both a two-timing member of his father’s crime family and the police who want to arrest him for a murder for which the former has framed him does not bring you a near-limitless amount of glee, you and I probably will never be friends. And if, after I’ve explained all that, I also point out that the name of the town he inhabits is “Shinbone” and he wins over the hearts and minds of the townsfolk by taking down a corrupt sheriff and concocting a designer version of moonshine called “Fruitshine” that singlehandedly turns around the fortunes of a rundown local watering hole, and you still aren’t intrigued, well, you and your assuredly joyless existence can go march straight into the ocean. You are entitled to your opinions, certainly, but the more sensible among us should not have to entertain them on dry land.
But I am getting ahead of myself. You probably have some questions about all this. Please, fire away.
Does the movie begin with a montage of Pauly Shore’s character getting dressed up like someone from Jersey Shore (hair gel, spray tan, designer shirts) and going to a nightclub?
It does. In fact, there are two separate montages where a character does this, as well as a third montage where Pauly Shore and the moonshine maker create the Fruitshine by chainsawing a sh-tload of produce in the woods.
Aren’t there lots of better ways to cut fruit than by chainsawing it?
Yeah, you’re probably right. Wait a second, how exactly does Pauly Shore get hooked up with a moonshine maker in Shinbone, Tennessee anyway?
This is an excellent question. Pauly Shore’s character ends up in Shinbone after he jumps into the back of a moving truck that is headed there from New Jersey. You see, one of his father’s hitmen has just shot someone in the face in front of him, and is now trying to kill him to become next-in-line in the crime family. In order to escape, Pauly Shore’s character crawls into the covered bed of some sort of produce truck, and after falling asleep for a few hours back there BOOM he’s in Tennessee.
You keep saying “Pauly Shore’s character.” Doesn’t this character have his own name, like Mike, or Nicky, or maybe Ralph?
I imagine he does. Unfortunately, I am incapable of getting over the “HOLY SH-T PAULY SHORE” hurdle in my brain, so this is going to be the boat you and I are sailing in here.
And you say he’s some sort of Italian bro-y guy? How can we tell?
Here is list of things Pauly Shore says in this movie:
- “Styles for miles, kid.” (2x)
- “This friggin’ looks yum, yo.”
- “That punkass po-po better learn to respect my guns, yo.”
- “I’m from New JERRRRRRRRRRRR-sey.”
Also, he is orange and starts out a prayer by calling God “Godbro.”
Fair enough. Now, back to his daring escape … isn’t it a little weird that Pauly Shore’s character is able to fall asleep for a number of hours in the back of a moving truck right after watching someone get shot in the face and running for his life from a cold-blooded killer who is shooting bullets at him?
Who is the love interest in this film? There is a love interest, right?
There is. The love interest is a dollar store version of Ava Crowder from “Justified” who owns the local bar. She wants absolutely nothing to do with Pauly Shore’s character and his flashy guido lifestyle until he brings his Fruitshine to the bar and the patrons go crazy for it. Then her icy heart begins to melt, and the two start getting very close. She has misgivings about spending her whole life running a crappy bar in a small town, but she feels stuck since it’s her father’s bar, and he is no longer capable of handling the day-to-day operations. Also, her father carries a shotgun for literally the entire movie because he is hunting a possum that he believes is stealing his silverware.
Got it. Now tell me about this crooked sherWAIT A SECOND ARE YOU TELLING ME A STICKY-FINGERED POSSUM PLAYS A MAJOR PART IN THIS MOVIE?
Indeed. This movie is amazing. Wait until I tell you about the ending.
Whoa. OK, I’ll let you get to that in a second, but first, can you tell me about the bad guys? You said there’s crooked sheriff AND a two-timing hitman?
Yeah, but they’re not working together. Well, they kinda are. Let me back up.
The two-timing hitman is named Dino, and he is the right hand man of Pauly Shore’s character’s crime boss father. Dino is super pissed that Pauly is going to leapfrog him in the hierarchy even though all Pauly cares about is partying and tanning. Long story short, he tries to make it look like Pauly got killed in a money collection gone awry, and when that fails, he frames him for murder. Later he pretends to be an FBI agent trying to apprehend Pauly for the murder he framed him for. That’s how he and the sheriff get hooked up.
The sheriff (played by Bo Duke from “Dukes of Hazzard” because YES) is named Gilley and you call tell he’s a dick because (a) he spends most of the movie trying to shake people down, (b) he throws Pauly’s girlfriend in jail, and (c) he’s always doing that thing that asshole Southern sheriffs in movies do where they slide their Aviators halfway down their nose and look at people through the opening between the top of the frames and the rim of their cowboy hats. He gets his comeuppance at the end of the movie when the moonshine maker stands up to him and punches him hecka hard in the face.
When the sheriff gets punched in the face … is there some sort of sound effect that you’d usually hear in a cartoon to let you know he has a pretty serious concussion?
Yes. A loud ring of a bell. Because he got his “bell rung,” you see.
I thought so. Now, about this endig…
OK, here we go. After the sheriff gets Tom & Jerry’d in the bar and all the patrons come to Pauly Shore’s assistance, Dino grabs the bartender girl and runs off into the woods.
So they all chase after him, right?
Nope. They send Pauly after him by himself, even though (a) all of the people in the bar are her friends, (b) Pauly does not know how to use a gun, and (c) they are just celebrating the fall of the corrupt sheriff so it’s not like they’re busy with anything else.
Why wouldn’t they help Pauly save their friend?
I thought about this for a while, and my best guess is that they saw her kidnapping as a great opportunity to score a ton of free drinks in her bar. So, basically, Shinbone is full of dicks.
It sure is.
Anyway, Pauly Shore chases after Dino and the bartender, and eventually tracks them down. Dino notices him and pulls out a pistol, but — for reasons only understood by villains in Bond films and cheaply-produced movies like this one — he passes up multiple clear, point blank shots, and once he corners Pauly and the bartender, he gives them like a minute-long speech about how and why he is going to shoot them instead of just doing it.
So how do they get away?
Does Pauly trick him and shoot him?
Do the townspeople finally stop robbing the bar of liquor like jerks and show up to help to their friends?
Does Dino have a heart attack or maybe recognize the error of his ways?
No. HER FATHER STUMBLES ACROSS THEM WHILE HUNTING FOR THE CUTLERY BANDIT POSSUM AND SHOOTS DINO IN THE CHEST.
I KNOW. And then — THEN — the possum runs into frame and looks at them.
Does he shoot it?
NO. After meeting his adversary face-to-face, he realizes he has come to respect the woodland burglar, and lets him go.
Holy sh-t. Then what happens?
Then Pauly has to go into witness protection for a while so he can testify against Dino, and he says goodbye to everyone in the town, including his new girlfriend. Before going underground, though, he visits his father and tells him he doesn’t want anything to do with crime from then on, and the two of them hug.
That’s a nice ending.
You’re right. It is.
It is not the ending. They cut to a few months later and show the bartender packing her things into her truck. It looks like she’s moving. But just as she’s loading the last boxes, Pauly pulls up to surprise her. After they embrace, she explains that they found a buyer for the bar, so she is finally going to get out of Shinbone and head up to New Jersey to take classes at Rutgers, and maybe, possibly, be closer to him.
Great! She’s following her dreams!
Holdonholdonholdon. Guess who bought the bar.
What kind of Gift of the Magi bullsh-t is this?
Yeah, I know. But here’s the best part: once Pauly tells her he bought the bar, they never mention Rutgers again. Not at all. They immediately cut to a party scene in the bar featuring the two of them and all of the jerkoff Shinbone residents who left them out to dry when a mob hitman was trying to kill them. So apparently Pauly bought the bar and made her stay in this craphole town and keep working there instead of going to college.
That makes no sense at all.
It really doesn’t. Well, I guess that about wraps it up. You have any more questions before we close the book on Whiskey Business?
Just one: At any point in this movie, do the locals trick Pauly Shore’s character into eating a bull testicle?
They do. They call it “The Shinbone Surprise.”
You were right. This movie sounds amazing. I must watch it immediately.
Thanks to Jerkwheatery for bringing this masterpiece to my attention.