s c a r y m o v i e v
12th April 2013
Malcolm D Lee
Win / Winner
12th April 2013
The problem with moonlighting as a movie critic is that we do things on our own time. This is a long way from the day job so it’s pretty difficult to keep up with everything. I tell you this not for sympathy, but as an attempt at justifying what is to follow. See, we felt we ought to review Scary Movie V as it inexplicably seems to have been given a cinema release. It should be part of the service, after all, we sat through Identity Thief. However, there is a limit to our time / money / patience. And this is it. But given that I have to see this every day when I get off the tube, this will be our first and only movie poster review. Feel free to judge us for what is to follow, or skip back to the other films that we’ve actually reviewed properly.
So, defying all decency, the initially mildly amusing Scary Movie franchise has limped into a fifth instalment When I say mildly amusing, I’m referring specifically to the scene in the first movie where the Scream-like killer keeps falling over repeatedly whilst pursuing whoever it was he was pursuing. I found that pretty funny. But that was in 2000. Skip forward 13 years (holy hell I’m getting old) and four lame sequels later, somehow somebody has green-lit $20 million for this one.
I’m pretty sure (subject to the first paragraph above) that the poster for this movie says it all. Front and centre we have everyone’s favourite perennial win/winner Charlie Sheen with a simultaneously bored / scared look on his face. If ever anyone is phoning in a movie poster appearance, it’s Charlie. And hysterically he seems to have a ghost shaped erection. Or at least a ghost shaped sheet on his erection. Quite what that is spoofing is anyone’s guess.
The top line of the poster doesn't even seem to be pretending to be spoofing anything. Er, okay, after the dude on the left who’s holding up a book that seems to refer to Sinister which I haven’t seen either but across from that we have Snoop Dog, looking like, well, Snoop Dog. He’s not even really dressed up for the shoot. At least he looks like he’s enjoying himself though. Next to him we have Ted, star of Ted. A film about a bear who comes to life and embraces a life of slovenly pot smoking. We loved Ted, although it’s not without its critics. The point is, Ted is shown in this hilarious poster smoking. Which is what he did in the original film. So this is spoofing a living teddy bear who smokes. Just brilliant. Where do they find such inspiration. Next to Ted is everyone’s favourite rehabilitated criminal Mike Tyson. Dressed as.... I have no idea but I’m pretty sure I saw it in a Nick Broomfield documentary on Channel 4.
The rest of the poster seems to show a variety of girls looking bored / evil, honestly, it looks like the worst Halloween party you didn’t bother to go to when you were fifteen because you had other stuff on. Like GCSE homework. The whole sorry mess is presided over by something that I’m assuming is the ghoul out of Mama. Which we actually enjoyed for part of it. Only in this one it has very long arms. Just inspired. Long arms!!
I guess the point I’m labouring to here is, where have the good spoofs gone? Were they all shock value and once the novelty had worn off, they lost their edge? I can remember crying with laughter at Airplane, Blazing Saddles, Top Secret! (surely one of Val Kilmer’s best), Naked Gun and even the first Loaded Weapon (the helicopter levelling the trailer before a beleaguered Bruce Willis crawls out of the wreckage to direct it to the correct address is still funny now). Have we had anything near this in recent times? Why have spoofs been monopolised by the kind of simple minded attempts at humour that we see in this poster? And I haven’t even started on the trailer yet. A Lindsey Lohan gag about poor driving is not good enough people, this shit used to be knowing and funny, now it’s just a crass excuse for “celebs” to attempt to revive their self-immolated career by pretending to be in on the joke.
I mock because I’m angry. I want proper spoofs back. I’m sick of having this rubbish pedalled at me. When the high-point of Identity Thief is seeing the trailer for this and realising that I could be watching worse, I despair. There must be intelligent main-stream spoofs to be made out there, I’m not asking for anything mould-breaking, I’m not being a snob, I’m not looking for highbrow. Here is a five point guide from someone sat in a pub, desperate to see a funny spoof:
- Pick a genre! Chucking every kind of pop-culture reference into a film does not make it funny.
- Pick a genre that hasn’t been well served by this already, there must be some out there.
- Enough with the lame “ooooh, it’s edgy because they’re actually a crackhead in real life” cameos. Spoofs should be edgy but this is not edgy. It’s self-serving, narcissistic and dull.
- Play it dead straight. Watch any of Leslie Neilsen’s early stuff, in particular Police Squad! No winking at the camera, no knowing looks, we know it’s a spoof, stop rubbing it in.
- For the love of whichever god you support, keep it current. A 2013 film spoofing Child’s Play (1988) is just redundant. If there is anybody in the audience for this that really remembers Child’s Play (a properly good horror movie by the way, the scene where the kid’s mum finds the batteries haunts me to this day), they should really be saving the money from the babysitter.
I feel bad for not reviewing Scary Movie V properly. But I think I’m going to be okay with that. I’m sure the cast and crew aren’t losing too much sleep over it.