On April 12, the world will be subjected to another Scary Movie. This will be the fifth one in the famed horror parody movie series. Yes, you did read that correctly, it’s the FIFTH Scary Movie. At some point, your formula for making a parody movie ceases to be relevant, and your movies just become a parody of themselves. Not only is Scary Movie becoming a parody of itself, but the worst part of this is the multitude of parody movies of different genres that it has given birth to in the last decade.
There are currently parody movies for the Twilight series, superhero movies, and “epic” movies. Each of these “films” pales in comparison to the first Scary Movie, which was actually a well done parody. Every once in a while, Hollywood needs to be reminded not take itself so seriously that is where the parody film should come into play. They have a long-standing place in movie history, and were made famous by Mel Brooks. He is the King of these comedies with such classics as Spaceballs, High Anxiety, and Blazing Saddles. What Brooks did, and what the franchise has drifted away from, is writing smart, clever satire. Everything in his films and in the first Scary Movie flowed nicely, and they didn’t seem like a bunch of jokes thrown together in a script, which is exactly what parody film writers do today.
The formula is: pop-culture reference here, make fun of celebrity there, and maybe — just to remind the audience why the film was financed — mix in a bad part of the movie being parodied. If you’re going to make a pop-culture reference, make it fit the theme of the movie. Unfortunately, it feels like the writers don’t even try, or even realize what a true parody movie is. The jokes feel more like a bunch of guys sitting in a room, making jokes back and forth while watching TV than a skillfully dissected comment on the genre of movie they’re parodying with a few poop jokes thrown in here and there.
The saddest part is — no matter how terrible these movies are— they will still get made because people will watch them. There’s a reason why a fifth Scary Movie will be made. At this point, the Scary Movie name will make money just like a movie with 007/James Bond on the poster. And honestly, that’s just sad. I completely believe that gone are the days of great parodies like the Brooks’ films, or Scream, or Airplane, or even a good, dumb parody like Hot Shots.
Now, I don’t want you to think this means I believe Twilight, or The Hunger Games, or any other phenomenon don’t deserve to be made fun of in parody form. On the contrary, these movies should be eviscerated on screen because these great phenomenons are the prime example of Hollywood taking itself too seriously.
But I just hope in the coming years, as we get the second and third installment of the The Hunger Games or some other young adult book that gets made into a movie that someone out there right now — maybe they’re reading this post — will write a clever, well thought out comedy. And not something that feels like four frat boys sitting around a dining room table making themselves laugh. Right now, this seems like a pipe dream, but I do hope I’m wrong.