Scary Movie 2

on July 04, 2001 by Tim Cogshell
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   Last summer's spoof comedy "Scary Movie" split audiences into two camps: those who reviled it for its tacky brand of humor and insulting condescension to films much better than it, and those who thought it was funny. The latter seem to have won the day. "Scary Movie" earned over $100 million in box-office receipts and spawned the sequel they promised not to make.

   "Scary Movie 2" is a truly awful movie--at least twice as bad as the original--though this doesn't seem to be a deterrent to its target audience.

   The "Scream"/"I Know What You Did Last Summer" slasher genre was the reference for the original "Scary Movie." For "Scary Movie 2," a broader a range of classic horror films is the source of the kitsch.

   Only 40 seconds into the film's opening sequence, a spoof of "The Exorcist" with cameos by James Woods, Andy Richter and Natasha Lyonne, the toilet jokes are quite literally unleashed. This is before the credits have even run. The film returns several characters from the original movie, including Cindy (Anna Faris), Ray (Shawn Wayans), Shorty (Marlon Wayans) and Brenda (Regina Hall), now college students. Tori Spelling, Kathleen Robertson (as Jamie Lee Curtisto--even the spoof names aren't clever), Tim Curry and David Cross round out the cast. The central joke borrows the plot of "B"-horror movie "The Haunting," as a professor (Tim Curry) takes a group of students to a haunted house to secretly study their reaction to poltergeists. Juvenile, disgusting, homophobic and racially stereotyped hijinx ensue.

   Among the problems with the "Scary Movie" films--and there are many, including a good deal of technically bad filmmaking that one might expect in a student film--is the unabatingly scatological nature of the humor. Unlike most spoof films, going back to the Zucker Brothers' "Kentucky Fried Movie" as well as their "Airplane" and "Naked Gun" series, where the humor was directly related to the film being spoofed, the "Scary Movie" model pulls jokes from thin air without reference to context or character. It also lifts familiar sequences out of popular films--often of an entirely different genre, as when they send up several action sequences from "Mission Impossible 2." This might be funny in some other satire, but here it just points up "Scary's" brainlessly scattershot approach. Starring Anna Faris, Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Tori Spelling, Christopher Masterson, Kathleen Robertson, Regina Hall, James Woods, Andy Richter, Chris Elliott, Natasha Lyonne and Tim Curry. Directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans. Written by Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Buddy Johnson, Phil Beauman, Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer, Greg Grabianski, Dave Polsky, Michael Anthony Snowden, Craig Wayans and Alison Fouse. Produced by Eric Gold. A Miramax release. Comedy. Rated R for strong sexual and gross humor, graphic language and some drug content. Running time: 88 min

Tags: nna Faris, Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Tori Spelling, Christopher Masterson, Kathleen Robertson, Regina Hall, James Woods, Andy Richter, Chris Elliott, Natasha Lyonne, Tim Curry, Directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans. Written by Shawn Wayans, Buddy Johnson, Phil Beauman, Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer, Greg Grabianski, Dave Polsky, Michael Anthony Snowden, Craig Wayans, Alison Fouse, Produced by Eric Gold, Miramax, Comedy
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