Scary Movie

By Mark Ramsey | 2000/07/09

Nothing signals the end of a chapter like a satirical coda, and that makes silly Scary Movie the knife through the frightful heart of the ’90s teen horror revival. After this movie, the only franchise for Neve Campbell and Jennifer Love Hewitt will be a Super-Cuts deep in the Valley.

It’s hard to parody movies which bordered on parodying themselves, isn’t it? Lets not forget that in the heavens over Hollywood Scream 3 star Jenny McCarthy and Scary Movie vixen Carmen Electra are part of the same constellation – in fact from the proper angle, their headlights can be mistaken for the Big Dipper, not to mention the Big Nipper.


At least Carmen understands her strengths, which are of the might-as-well-unplug-life-support-at-age-30 variety. What Carmen doesn’t understand is that folks are laughing at her, not with her. Someone needs to clue her in that she’s the real butt of the joke – and the boobs of the joke and most of the big hair of the joke.

Scary Movie, which should have been the working title for Rocky & Bullwinkle, is from super-talented Keenen Ivory Wayans and a cast that includes Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Mike Wayans, Carol Wayans, Greg Wayans, Peter Wayans, Bobby Wayans, Marsha Wayans, Jan Wayans, and Cindy Wayans.

Shockingly, In Living Color vet Damon Wayans and sister Kim, who was one of my favorite parts of the Keenen classic I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, sat this one out. Hopefully they’re home at the in-vitro lab working on designs for new 2001 Wayans models: Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Zeppo, Donny, and Marie Wayans.

Are these Wayans brothers restocked in the middle of the night like the supermarket? Do they arrive in LA by a pipeline from Alaska? Was there an accident in the transporter? Who’s their cousin, Dolly the sheep? These guys seem to spontaneously manifest like cockroaches – very funny cockroaches, that is.


Scary Movie even manages to spoof the David Arquette Scream character – something which David himself has spent every waking and working hour doing with no help from the Wayans boys. Every millennium has its Crispin Glover, I always say, and David is it for the new one.

Naturally, Keenen and company have not ignored the popular vogue for all things icky. For example:

• Our heroine can lose her virginity only after her beau landscape architects her pubic region with a weed-whacker. Sensing a ratings windfall, CBS immediately recruits a dozen volunteers and strands them in the bush while cameras record them eating native rats and bugs.

• When Wayans brother Shawn gets impaled through the noggin by a phallus, it takes the expression “giving head” to horrifying new levels. Sensing a ratings windfall, CBS recruits plain folk penises to live for three months in a house surrounded by cameras while viewers vote out the biggest dicks.

One nit to pick: Hey Hollywood, by the time popular catchphrases like “Whasssuuuppp!” and “I See Dead People” trickle down to script rewrites and Nick at Nite promos they’re not funny anymore. Where’s the beef, indeed.

Then again, great comedy doesn’t happen without a few bits falling flat, as any 90 minutes of SNL or any 90 seconds of Comedy Central will prove.

Scary Movie is full of very funny stuff, even if it’s about an hour too long. It makes me wish all franchises would end with a comedic kick in the pants. Are you listening, producers of Lethal Weapon, Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Blair Witch, Terminator, Jurassic Park…?

I don’t care if this family breeds like bunnies, as long as what they’re breeding is as funny as this.


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