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Scary Movie

Starring Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Shannon Elizabeth, Cheri Oteri, Carmen Electra, Anna Faris, Jon Abrahams, Lochlyn Munro, Regina Hall and Dave Sheridan
Screenplay by Shawn Wayans & Marlon Wayans & Buddy Johnson & Phil Beauman and Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer
Directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans

IN SHORT: Who cares about bad taste when you can be grossly funny? [Rated R, 88 minutes]

What is the point of parody-ing every slice 'n' dice movie ever made if all the gratuitous teen nudity is male. Huh? Do we guys, and most of the teen plus ticket buyers are guys by the way, really need to have the expression "stick it in your ear" redefined in graphic terms on the big screen?

Oh. waitasec. Parody. I get it.

Still, Carmen Electra in bra and panties is not exactly a bit of [you know], which would have nicely balance out the overkill of dangling scrotum and male members, 'cuz everything else about Scary Movie screams BAD TASTE in letters bigger than anything the Farrelly Brothers have unleashed upon us, as of yet. It's also one of the reasons why we sit with a "real" audience, 'cuz movies like this just aren't funny in a screening room (we learned that with Austin Powers. Paul Fischer, out in LA, has yet to. His review here). The critic sitting next to me walked out mumbling "these people wouldn't know a good movie if they fell into it" 'cuz all the real people were saying how good Scary Movie was. Then they snuck into Shaft, in the theater next door.

Yeah, that's snide. And it would be hypocritical to say that Scary Movie is a piece of crap 'cuz I laughed more than enough to justify the price of a ticket. We never thought much of "film critic" standards, though this isn't a flick that I'd be running to the theater to get on line for. I don't care much for slice 'n' dice and kinda figured that most of the parody jokes would fly way above my head. True, three quarters of the jokes inserted into scenes lifted whole hog from movies like Scream are about bodily functions easily numbered (and some that are not), as well as the aforementioned penile comedic implants and a whole bunch of dope jokes, but there's no requirement that you see any of the classic shredder flicks which have stereotyped themselves into history. If you do know the sources, you'll catch a number of jokes that were way beyond me.

With six writers getting screen credit, Scary Movie is an amalgamation of scripts that have floated around Hollywood for a while, Last Summer I Screamed Because Friday the 13th Fell on Halloween and Scream If You Know What I Did Last Halloween, both well massaged by the Wayans Brothers (writer/actors Marlon, Shawn and director Keenen Ivory) in a style reminiscent of their teevee show, In Living Color. Which, in general, I liked. For those in the know, Scary Movie was the original title of Scream. Which makes it appropriate that the Scream trilogy forms the basis for an Airplane like shred, though Airplane was [G] rated compared to this.

You know the characters: Greg Shriveldick (Lochlyn Munroe), Buffy the Peabrain (Shannon Elizabeth), Cindy the pro virgin (Anna Faris) and her boyfriend Bobby (Jon Abrahams), Not Gay Ray (Shawn Wayans) and his clueless boytoy Brenda (Regina Hall); Shorty the pothead (Marlon Wayans) and "cutthroat news reporter Gail Hailstorm" (Cheri Oteri) and local cop Officer Doofy (Dave Sheridan). You know the scenario: masked man in black robes and ghost face mask hacks a group of high school kidlets to death with a big knife. You know that the story won't make a bit of sense even as you recognize scenes from movies now haunting the used video bins in your local store.

You also know if you have any inclination of sitting through the flick. If you do, you're probably well prepared for a parody that runs well beyond the scareflick genre to SF like The Matrix and big drama like the one with the boat and the guy yelling "I'm the King of the World!". We walked in knowing that the release of this flick had been delayed from last October -- not a good sign. But Anna Faris, in her bigscreen debut, holds everything together and Dave Sheridan does a dead on David Arquette parody -- we're talking the real life Arquette, as seen on The Tonight Show. We walked out shaking our heads, numb from the barrage of below the belt humor and able to report that there are at least two jokes so funny that the audience laughter obliterated the scene that followed. Not enough that we would have headed back in to figure out what we missed, though.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Scary Movie, he would have paid...


yep, dateflick level. 'Cuz if you're inclined, that's what you're gonna do. What this flick does to the Blair Witch Project will be talked about for at least a week...

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