Directed by Keenan Ivory Wayans.
Written by Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Buddy Johnson, Phil
Beauman, Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer.
Starring Anna Faris, Shawn Wayans and Shannon Elizabeth.
Release Year: 2000
Review Date: 7/9/00
First, an important announcement. From a
couple of comments I have received in the last three days from
devoted family and friends, I have made an admittedly painful
decision to not use profanity in future Bellviews...with the notable
exception of movies that I rate Hard Vice, which I will preface with
a warning before going into those particular reviews. With
profanity, some people love it, some people don't. But, in order to
possibly go mainstream at some point and sell out, I had to admit to
myself that some of my tirades will have to be toned down.
Now, onto the movie. You know what is
funny? I went to a barbecue, out with a bunch of different people
dancing and what not, and spoke on the phone with a few friends over
the course of the weekend, and when I mentioned that I went to see
"Scary Movie" Saturday afternoon with Terry "Free Passat" McDonnell
and Gordon "The Professional" Stokes, almost every single person had
the exact same reaction:
"Really? Was that any good? Cause, it
didn't look that good in the previews."
I thought this was odd, because I thought
the preview was pretty funny. The other common response I got was
that people thought all of the good jokes were in the previews.
Well, I am a big fan of Keenan Ivory Wayans,
the director of "Scary Movie" and the creator/director of two of the
funniest works of the last 20 years, to be sure: the "In Living
Color" TV series on Fox, and "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka!", one of the
single funniest movies ever made (but, naturally, not on the AFI
list of 100 funniest movies because it is a blaxploitation comedy).
I can't really get into the specifics of
why, but "Scary Movie" works, and I gave it an $8.25 for a couple of
reasons. One, this movie really rewards the person that has seen
any or all of the following movies:
"The Blair Witch Project",
"Scream" (both one and two), "I Know What You Did Last Summer" (and
its sequel), "The Sixth Sense", the "Whassup!" Budweiser
commercials, "The Matrix", "The Usual Suspects", "Amistad", "I'm
Gonna Git You Sucka!" (Wayans rips off his own movie during a beauty
pageant sequence--listen for the lyrics), and a few others movies.
Things are just funnier with spoof movies when you know what the
director is spoofing!
But, more importantly, there are three or
four scenes that will absolutely make you fall out of your
chair...but, hopefully, in laughter, not total disgust. You see,
Terry had read an article about how a couple of the scenes in "Scary
Movie" were going to warrant an NC-17 rating for this film, but
somehow or another the filmmakers got around that. Now, how that is
possible is a little surprising to me, because there is stuff in
this movie that really makes you shake your head, like in the "who
in the world possibly wrote this scene?" kind of way. I mean, sick
stuff...but, like the hair gel scene in "There's Something About
Mary" (tame in comparison to the end of the sex scene in "Scary
Movie"), it is stuff that you can't really tell friends about at
your cubicle because of how dirty it is...and it is unbelievably
hilarious. I mean, laughing for 60 seconds-type of funny. Just
don't see this with the family, you know?
The plot is structured around the second
"Scream" and the first "...Summer" movies, and the characters are
played by people I have never seen before (with the exception of
Shawn Wayans, or SW1 from "In Living Color" fame!) and I won't even
bother you with their real names. But, all of the six main
characters are pretty good and fill every spoofed role perfectly.
Keenan shows up in a brief cameo, but other than that, it is a bunch
of Dimension Studios actors (i.e., cheap talent). From the get-go,
it mimics the Zucker Brothers' style of movie cinema ("Airplane!",
"The Naked Gun") of off-the-wall humor, sex gags, toilet jokes and
lots of little scene jokes that are relegated to the backgrounds of
shots with characters walking around the campus of the school where
the movie is set.
Some of the 1000-or-so jokes don't work,
most notably the ripping off of "The Matrix", which was just done by
"Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo" much better than is done here. Also,
there are so many sex jokes that they became pedestrian after a
while, and a scene where the killer is trying to "hide" out of sight
from the lead character (naturally, the killer is so dumb that he is
in plain view of the heroine) goes on far too long to be funny.
Plus, fart jokes do have an audience...just not me!
Not going to set the world on fire, but for
a good laugh, this is a great afternoon viewing...especially with a
crowded theater, because the laughs are that much better when you
are with friends. And, watch out for Ms. Mann!
Rating: $8.25 Show
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard