Archive for the ‘Cinema’ Category

The Parody movie Decline

Posted: July 22, 2010 in Cinema, Film, Humor, movies
Tags: , ,

Remember When Parody movies were Funny?  Those days are fleeting!

When I was a small child, bear in mind I’m only 26, but I remember getting to watch old Mel Brooks films with my Dad.

The Satire and Parody were amazing. Amazing movies that mirrored the usual stories that you were used to but with wonderful examples of:

  • Heavy sarcasm
  • Over the top stereotyping
  • Legitimate mocking of serious films or serious scenes while maintaining the central plot
  • Comical violence/actions with no consequence
  • Twists on the usual chain of events

Now, there have been movies that parodied certain parts of movies for decades. Abbott and Costello and Laurel and Hardy used to do movies like that back in the 30s. But I am speaking of The Parody Movie, where the entire movie is a jab at a genre, movie, or pop culture. The aim of the Entire film, is to mock another film!

Though not as P.C as some may prefer, we began the movies I am speaking of with Films like Blazing Saddles . It is a jab at the stranger into town – hired gun – kills everyone – saves the town – moves on Western Film.

The 70s had several of these films. Including but not limited to…

Young Frankenstein (1974) and Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Then the 80s continued the tradition with greats like:

Airplane! (1980) History of the World, Part I (1981) This Is Spinal Tap (1984) And Spaceballs (1987)

These were movies that legitimately followed the original stories and then threw in laughable satirical jabs at the genre. You would laugh as they made fun of people’s names or did something different from what you remember from the original film.

For Example, in the original Star Wars Luke and Darth Vader are having it our with Light Sabers and the dialogue goes something like this:

LUKE: I’ll never join you!
VADER: If you only knew the power of the dark side. Obi-Wan never told
you what happened to your father.
LUKE: He told me enough! He told me you killed him.
VADER: No. I am your father.

See then in Spaceballs, a DIRECT parody of Star Wars…the lines change up a little.

Dark Helmet:Before you die there is something you should know about us, Lone Star.
Lone Starr: What?
Dark Helmet: I am your father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate.
Lone Starr: What’s that make us?
Dark Helmet: Absolutely nothing! Which is what you are about to become.

These make you smile laugh Giggle and chuckle. It is not intended to a serious attempt at cinema greatness, It’s sposed’ to make you crack up!

Then The 90s cracked out goodies like:Hot Shots! (1991) And Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood (1996) and Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)

But then… something happened in the 2000s.

The parody movie slowly digressed  into the Pop Culture Reference Movie.

So the first Scary movie comes out and as far as a parody goes, they did a reasonably job as they satired a movie. They mostly made fun of scream with a few other nods to other scary movies like: I Know what you did Last Summer, Blair Witch, and Sixth Sense. It followed a reasonable theme and it made good money and got lots of laughs.

But then, These writers decided that they could keep going, and they proceeded with Scary Movie 2 (which admittedly was funny) but then 3, and 4 …I’m sure 5 is in the making!

They progressively got less and less funny as they attempted to fit more and more movie and cultural references into each picture. To the point that you are confused as to what is happening in the plot. These movies end up going with scatological humor (poop dick and fart jokes) and low-end humor. Don’t get me wrong, I smiled and chuckled at parts but they end up being goofy movies that are just one random pop culture reference after another.

And if those weren’t enough to kill my faith in legitimate parodies these two gentlemen Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer got their feet wet with the un-comical lame and tiresome films such as  “Date Movie,” “Epic Movie” and “Meet the Spartans” (starring the elderly much less attractive Carmen Electra.

These movies follow the plot so loosely and instead of satirizing 2 or 3 movies its dozens they attempt to cram into a picture. It’s a mixed green salad of awful.

They sew together one of those awful patch quilts of  countless pop culture references that don’t match up, tie together, or even look good. But to them a blanket is a blanket.

I think Meet the Spartans had more cultural references than the last 4 episodes of ET.

Meet the Spartans for example tries to poke fun at 300, yes. But also, Spiderman, Rambo, Stomp the Yard, Transformers, Pimp my Ride, Ugly Betty, Dodgeball, GTA: San Andreas, American Idol, Heroes, Dancing with the Stars, Happy Feet, Tyra, Shrek, Ghost Rider, and many more obscure non related bits.

Its like 3 or 4 script runners were all running in the halls at the studio and all crashed into one another. So they all in a frantic reached down and started picking up what they thought was theirs. Thus these colossal trash films were born that are supposed to be hilarious.

They literally got worse and worse to the point that I haven’t even attempted to see the last few that came out. There was a Superhero Movie, and one called like Disaster Movie and a few others. Its like throwing up a little in your mouth, cinematically.

So I saw a preview for:

The 40 year old Virgin who Knocked up Sarah Marshall and felt Superbad about it

And foolishly I thought to myself, that could be funny. I’ll check it out!

I was wrong., Wrong, wrong ..wRONg…WRONg wrong, wroNG, WRONG WRONG  (double u argh oh enn gee) WRONG.

It single-handedly erased my confidence that a parody movie can be made any longer that will be humorous

So I am now pronouncing a terminal illness on parody films, you had a good run guys, but no longer. It will take a transition of EPIC proportions to get me to watch another parody film.

requiescat in pace Parody Movie!