Comfortable and Furious

Scary Movie 3 (2003)

Gone are the Wayans Brothers and in their place, the master of the intentionally stupid, Mr. David Zucker. With his influence, the emphasis has moved away from gross-out humor and hyper-sexualized situations to more obvious sight gags, moronic line readings, and limp parodies. I had only seen the first installment prior to this one, [Ed Note: Scary Movie 2 is a real pile of shit.] but I do remember that it squeezed every bit of life from the R-rating and managed to push the envelope as far as it could go..

Of course, it was silly and juvenile, but it was, for all of its intentions, a moderate success. Scary Movie 3, on the other hand, is rated PG-13 and as such, has scaled back the raunch and elevated the same sort of humor that made the Airplane! and Naked Gun films are so wildly popular. Still, while those films seemed genuinely funny, Scary Movie 3 is a complete dud; pointless and lacking any real creativity. I laughed only twice (mere chuckles, but I won’t deny them) and that’s never a good thing when comedy is intended.

The film parodies many of the latest horror and thrill fests, including Signs, The Ring, and The Sixth Sense. And for some reason, there are attempts to parody 8 Mile, although those scenes go on much too long and only made me realize how much I disliked the original film. Watching these attempts at humor, I realized that parody is a tricky business and it is not enough to take the characters, ideas, and settings of a film and replicate them, adding only a silly line or penis joke. The parody must expose something in the original that was inherently silly or no one believed to be ridiculous at the time. Take Airplane! for example.

The situations in that film were funny primarily because we remember the cheesy disaster movies of the 1970s and how they pretended we actually cared about the celebrity passengers and ridiculous dangers that threatened the crew. [Ed Note: It also features a ten-year-old girl explaining that she likes her coffee black, like her men.] Scary Movie 3 also parodies films that took themselves seriously, but what we see does not force us to question what those films were trying to say. When the nutty chick from the well in The Ring shows up to perform a few karate moves, it isn’t funny because it’s nothing more than that nutty chick from The Ring showing us a few karate moves. Why then are people laughing?

And yes, they were laughing; all 150 of them. It was a wild Friday night crowd that saw this movie, the sort of crowd that promises misery for those folks who just want to collect a bit of information for a review then get the fuck out. As far as I could tell, my wife and I were the only Anglos about, although she claims to have seen at least one other white face (I still say she’s full of shit). And yes, dear readers, it was a rough crowd, although most of the filmgoers were under the age of ten.

These young people, many of whom appeared to be sans parents, laughed uproariously at just about every scene, even though there is a strong possibility that none of them have seen the films being parodied. True, there were people bumping into lamps and enough shaking boobies to delight everyone, well-versed in contemporary cinema or not, but I could not help but be confused by the chimp-like screeching that accompanied images the children could not hope to understand. Maybe they were still a little buzzed from the six-packs they split with dad before leaving him to work on his car in the driveway, but even that would not explain the pure delight I heard.

Everyone without a career or hoping not to have one in the near future appeared in this film, from Charlie Sheen to Pamela Anderson, Leslie Nielsen to Macy Gray. If I’m not mistaken, Jenny McCarthy also showed up, proving once and for all that her disappearance after Singled Out was one of the best things for American pop culture. There is talk of a fourth installment, which will certainly occur if this film makes any money. It should, as it is close to Halloween and anything with “scary” in the title is bound to bring in assorted lunkheads who don’t ask for much from their entertainment.

But from where I’m sitting, this genre — the intentionally idiotic spoof — has run out of gas and is no longer necessary for cinema. I can’t think of a genre that hasn’t been the target of satire or parody, unless of course someone has the balls to go after Schindler’s List. In the end, I did not have a good time and regretted my decision every second I sat in that vomit-stained seat. Unfunny, boring, and insipid — count on it. Or listen to the children. Maybe you’re just the sort who is comfortable admitting that you share similar tastes with an age bracket that still takes shits in the center of the room. And no, I’m not talking about your grandparents.

Special Ruthless Ratings:

  • Number of human beings in the theater: 150
  • Number of babies: 8
  • Number who could claim English as their native tongue: 3
  • Number of days left on my “Cinema 50” card that has allowed me to see shitty movies for free even though the Denver Film Society told me it would no longer be accepted by United Artists theaters but has been because my local cineplex is staffed by drunks, retards, and illiterate savages: 6
  • Number of obscenities roared at the heavens after reading in the paper this morning that Radio is a special engagement that doesn’t accept passes, even ones that have technically expired: 99
  • Number of dollars that will still be shelled out for Radio because it is begging to be reviewed for this website: 16 [See Here]



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