It brought me no pleasure to write about the sad, slow death of spoof movies. Frankly, I hated it. I'm a die-hard spoof fan. I grew up on these movies; I still watch my favorites every year (forget those books -- "The Naked Gun" is the real chicken soup for the soul). I paid my own hard-earned money to see "Scary Movie V" in the theater, hoping against hope that it wasn't screened for critics because the print got lost on a plane with "Weird Al" Yankovic, and not because it was, y'know, unbearably awful. And frankly the movie's not awful -- it's got a few funny moments. If you watched it on basic cable in four years you'd say "Eh, that wasn't the worst way to spend the halftime of Monday Night Football." But that's a far, far cry from the magic of spoofs past.
That could be why I did get a great deal of pleasure reading the negative reviews of "Scary Movie V." Sometimes the critics pile on a movie and you start to sympathize with the filmmakers. But spoofing's whole schtick is making fun of other, supposedly dumber movies. If you don't pull the mockery off, it's only fair to receive some mockery of your own. And this time, director Malcolm D. Lee and writers David Zucker and Pat Proft sure got their share.
Here are ten great lines from ten bad reviews of "Scary Movie V:"
"The evil dud."
"It's the kind of movie that leaves audience members partially lobotomized, exiting the theater and muttering absently to themselves, 'How on earth did this movie get made?' The answer: cheaply."
"I mean, having sex with a microwave is truly overrated. What, did you expect legitimate film criticism in this review? I’m doing exactly what this movie did -- indiscriminately regurgitating nonsense for your perverse enjoyment even though, clearly, it’s not working."
"Willed into existence by the sinister, intertwined forces of commerce and cynicism, 'Scary Movie 5' casts Ashley Tisdale and Simon Rex as a couple who inherit a trio of spooky children from Rex’s brother, played by Charlie Sheen, who is opportunistically cast as himself, not as the fictional character he played in 'Scary Movie's 3 and 4. (Though in those films, Rex played his brother; Rex also plays a different character in 'Scary Movie 5' than in 3 and 4 -- but not himself, because, c’mon, that’d be confusing!)"
"'Look, mommy, other movies have been made that people have seen!' Yes, dear, now why don’t you head back to your finger-paints while mommy makes herself a stiff drink."
"The ongoing 'Paranormal' spoof keeps circling back to mean-spirited jokes about a portly Latina housemaid who makes a stinky in a toilet scene and wears an overly revealing swimsuit. Also she beats a pinata, tries to run over her employer with a lawn mower and sleeps with her vacuum cleaner. Zucker and Proft: If the National Hispanic Media Coalition ever calls, pretend you’re not home."
"If 'Airplane!' was Mad Magazine at its absolute best, a real genius work of insanity, this is Mad Magazine on a particularly off issue. You’ll still laugh, and maybe the Fold-In has quality, but generally this is an issue you don’t bother trying to get back after the teacher confiscates it."
"For the art-house crowd, who may, I suppose, stumble drunk into the wrong theater after too much Chardonnay, there are nods to 'Black Swan' and '127 Hours.'"
"A film composed almost entirely of jokes that were much funnier when you read them on Twitter years ago."
"Call it the decline of our culture, or the end of cinema as we know it -- whatever you want -- just make sure you don’t watch it."