Scary Movie (2000)

SCARY MOVIE, which opens on July 7, poses an interesting question:  
is a spoof of a spoof even necessary?  Especially when the spoofed 
spoof, SCREAM, wasn't all that funny to being with??  More on that 
later...  Keenan Ivory Wayans (I'M GONNA GET YOU SUCKA, "In Living 
Color") directs this ultra-raunchy, very silly comedy that out-
goofs even the NAKED GUN films.  (If you can believe it.)  Most of 
the jokes are about sex-- sexual acts, sexual organs (both his and 
hers), sexual discourse (oral, of course), etc.  And at times, so 
many of them are packed into a single scene that you suspect some 
sort of record is being broken.  (In fact, a couple of screen pre-
cedents *are* set.  The first is a scrotal gag so graphic that two 
people in the preview audience actually walked out!)  The script,
merged from a pair of separately created screenplays, also con-
tains plenty of *non* crotch-related riffs, like drug jokes, vis-
ual gags, and an unusual amount of physical violence outside the 
slasher stuff.  (I'm not sure what to make of all the punching, 
pounding, slugging, and slapping, *or* the fact that so many peo-
ple were laughing at it.)  Pop culture icons periodically get 
their due, too, such as a "Wassup" sequence that's one of the 
film's funniest.  Or a snotty BLAIR WITCH bit that had 'em howl-
ing.  Or even some out-of-left-field silliness swiped from the 
late Tupac Shakur's Tim Roth-teaming GRIDLOCK'D.

What's trying about this scattershot, if admittedly enthusiastic 
spoof is Wayan's lame insistence on recreating the events of the 
original(s).  His characters go step-by-step through the same mo-
tions that Neve Campbell, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and all those o-
ther busty brats did.  And, of course, those "same motions" were 
already stale he *first* time around.  Like, duh.  Wayans could 
correct this problem with added inventiveness or an increased a-
mount of over the top-taking, but he doesn't.  Not until the near-
end.  (The early exception is Doofus, a drooling, retarded, and 
brazenly politically incorrect supporting character who, it ap-
pears, is also an extreme take on David Arquette.  Right, like
the guy married to Courtney Cox isn't laughing all the way to the 
bedroom...)  Okay, so now for the magic question:  is it funny?  
Or, more accurately, who would find it funny??  I'd recommend this 
one if and *only* if (a.) you're a fan of graphic sex jokes, (b.) 
you thought SCREAM *rocked*, or (c.) you're in (or close to) your 
twenties.  (This reviewer's answers: yes, no, and mid-thirties.)

As for the earlier mentioned ball-sack shocker, SCARY MOVIE con-
tains a couple other "R"-rated jaw to the floor-droppers, featur-
ing (and showing!) an homicidally erect penis, a female pubic re-
gion undergoing cunning linguistics, and *the* ejaculation shot to 
end all ejaculation shots.  (How in the *world* did they get this 
past the male genitalia-fixated MPAA?)  Another amusing (and long 
overdue, if you ask me) bit blasts both a loud (black) woman in a 
movie theater and the increasingly frustrated (all white) audi-
ence.  (Cheering is permitted.)  Alas, there *is* one big, blind 
spot here-- a glaring lack of star cameos.  Wayans' ensemble ef-
fort all but *begs* for familiar faces, and beyond the lone, "Hap-
py Days"-related cast member who appears to a large round of ap-
plause.  (Carmen Electra is also around, though I neither know who 
she is nor what she looks like.)  And, if you're a Gloomy Gus who 
gets dragged kicking and screaming this one, don't fret.  The mo-
vie's gleeful mugging is one hundred-percent infectious.  (Go a-
head, try to maintain a straight face.)  Yeah, you gotta love a 
filmmaker willing to show, or have his cast *do* anything for a 
laugh.  His film may be rude, crude, silly, and sloppy, but it 
still manages to wrap with an inspired USUAL SUSPECTS gag.  Com-
plete with repeatedly dropped coffee mug.  Funny.  (Rated "R"/88 

Grade: C+

Copyright 2000 by Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies as MOVIE HELL: Silly Movie

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Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros -Movie Hell™ is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros