While the spoof has been a beloved part of the cinematic landscape for decades, it is only recently that the genre received such a strong reputation, in the past, it was beloved. Among the pioneering forces in this genre is Zucker, Zucker and Abrahams, rising high with spectacular spoofs, typically trading on the deadpan charms of Leslie Nielsen. In 2003, Zucker returned to the helm, to offer an experience that could be classed as a close comedic encounter of the third kind in Scary Movie 3.
After surviving spooky shenanigans for most of her life, Cindy now has a new job working as a news reporter, looking for her big break. When a fresh batch of crop circles appear to more plainly demonstrate plans for the Earth’s demise, Cindy is keen to investigate. Meanwhile, a mysterious video keeps circulating, one that foreshadows doom in seven days, targeting Cindy’s friends. While trying to get to the bottom of both these incidents, leads to a hilarious turn of events.
Going after Ring this time, especially for the first four minutes, gives Scary Movie 3 an ingenious way to introduce Pamela Anderson shows she can certainly poke fun at herself (and her infamous tape). Whereas other stars like Michael Jackson appear on the opposite end of being receptive to their spoofing. The remainder of the film focuses on combining the ghost of The Ring with the wider trappings of M. Night Shyamalan beloved classic Signs. It’s an intriguing mix, yet, Shyamalan’s filmography is such a recognisable collection of films, that limiting it to just Signs feels like an untapped opportunity. It does provide a chance for Charlie Sheen to make his debut appearance here.
Keeping with the star-studded cast of the previous instalments, S.N.L’s alumni Darrell Hammond joins Scary Movie as yet another priest, complete with jokes about the profession. A large chunk of the film is also taken up with an enormous rap battle, serving as a fine opportunity for a myriad of well-known rappers to get in on the fun. It is not all music however, The matrix spoofs return (as did the two matrix sequels, so that is to be expected) Along with George Carlin, appearing as the Scary Movie’s version of the Architect. Speaking of, the whole alien aspect is treated as its own thing, and it is a delight to see Leslie Nielsen return, this time as President Harris bringing his ineptitude to the Oval Office and the alien threat.
Feeling more in line with a Seltzer & Friedberg film than the Scary Movie that has their writing credits, Zucker’s debut to the franchise feels like it is paying off the homage set up by Spy Hard. Especially so with Leslie Nielsen back on the screen. The sci-fi tint (while not entirely horror) is mixed nicely with the overarching Ring parody, while providing a parodic look of the horror landscape just before the renaissance of prestige horror. An intriguing mix of early 2000s silliness, and modern movie spookiness, Scary Movie 3 is a parody that is out of this world.
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