I watched one of the best actual parody films of the current century (trust me, there isn’t a lot from which to choose), the 2000 hit comedy:
That’s right, Scary Movie. This film is the perfect example of right place, right time. Horror movies were on the mend financially as hits like Scream 1-2, I Know What You Did Last Summer (and Still Know), Urban Legend, and more, proved success at the box office once again.
If you were one to grow up watching horror in the 90s, then this film spoke directly to you. The jokes – when based on the films they were parodying – were of the then-modern era of horror, like the aforementioned examples.
The film spawned four more sequels and a laundry list of shitty “parody” films that only ruined the subgenre of comedy entirely. But funnily enough, there was a “Twin Movie” at the time (a film released almost at the same time, with extremely similar plots), and that film was Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th.
The filmmakers of Shriek (available on Amazon), had heard of Scary Movie and scrapped their own theatrical release and instead released it on home video. I personally remember watching it as a premiere on the USA Network.
That film doesn’t hold up too well, but Scary Movie most certainly does (see below section on how).
Where/ when did I first see it?
I first watched Scary Movie when it was released on home video in early 2001. This came right before my year of constant moviegoing.
How does it hold up?
What’s alarming to note here, is that, even without understanding all of the references, Scary Movie does a great job of setting up their one-note characters, and telling a serviceable story; the latter mostly due to the smart mashing of Scream and I Know What…‘s plots and throwing in a few extra film nods.
What did I like about it and why?
Well, first, what I didn’t like. The film began a disturbing trend of parodying what was popular at the time in pop culture and NOT just film. This continued further with the Date Movie junk and so forth.
The second Scary Movie had their take on the Nike brand commercial, complete with a basketball beat and players in the dark, bouncing their balls. In this first one, they parodied the Budweiser WASSUP commercials. But that thankfully, was all that this film really tackled on that front.
I loved this movie’s blue humor. It was unabashedly vulgar, and had some terrible homophobic jokes, which back then, I ate up. On this viewing, I did laugh, but it was because the jokes were based around a dubious character, and not just a “gay” character. Ray was a shifty person, and while it was certainly not their intention to give him any more depth than “gay,” I saw more come through than that.
It’s similar to someone writing a straight character who is a horndog: if written funny it can very well be perceived that way. Okay, my argument here will not be hinged on the screenplay talents of two Wayans and the trash that has spewed from Seltzer and Friedberg.
- Parody films are on life support.
- This one will always be the best of the series (and the rest of the … Movie titles).
- “No Sequel” Pfft …Please.
Where can you see it?
Check out Scary Movie on CanIStream.It?