Walter Mencken 4 p.m., May 3
Review: Scary Movie V
After Beetlejuice's cameo in Scary Movie II provided the only legitimate laugh in the film, a pass on all future sequels seemed unavoidable.
I was working the day watch out of the Clairemont Town Square. Trance, my 11:05 wake up movie, failed to cast a spell. Danny Boyle is too nice a guy to make something as inherently unclean as Trance work. I needed another movie in the worst way. With only 20 minutes separating the shows, I set sail on Scary Movie 5.
There's a lot to be said for quitting while you're behind. The worst way is exactly what I got.
The Dickie Goodman song parodies of yesteryear helped to pave the way for these copyright-infringing movie parodies that, for me, ran out of fuel after the first Airplane!. Goodman would "sample" lyrics from popular songs and re-purpose them as punch lines for his hugely successful string of call-and-response novelty songs. None of the Scary Movie entries are so bold as to tamper with clips from other actual movies -- they couldn't afford the royalties.
What put my butt in a seat at yesterday's matinee performance was director Malcolm Lee's participation. No slouch when it comes to parodying existing forms, Undercover Brother handily outclassed both Austin Powers pictures combined.
What good is a PG-13 parody of R-rated movies? They bleep profanity, for fuck's sake! The list of films SM5 deems ripe for ridicule must also be brought into question. Cabin in the Woods, Mama, and Evil Dead are all scary movies, but what about Inception, Black Swan, and the blood-curdling Rise of the Planet of the Apes? When the joke machine sputters, as it frequently does, cue Boots Randolph's Yakety Sax, set the camera to undercrank, and pay tribute to one of pop culture's most horrifying and diabolical creations, Benny Hill.
Fans of Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen (do such creatures even exist?) won't get much more than what was already leaked in the trailer. Other celebrity day workers -- Usher, Heather Locklear, Mike Tyson, Snoop Dogg, Katt Williams, Sarah Hyland, etc. -- are on hand to pick up a paycheck and hot bowl of soup. And I'm betting that right about now former Disney dolly, Ashley Tisdale, is strangling her agent for not getting her a part in Spring Breakers.
The ill-timed sight-gags and Lidia Porto's borderline racist depiction of a domestic account for more cringes than chuckles. There were more laughs than anticipated, most of them coming at the expense of the underage cast members.
I stuck through the closing credits hoping to catch the name of the actor responsible for the sharpest, most satirically honed performance in the piece. Alas, our narrator, "The Voice of Morgan Freeman" received no screen credit.
Reader Rating: Zero Stars
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