Scary Movie 3 (2003) — A small step up for spoofkind

“Please La’Quesha, I’m prophesizing!”

Justin’s rating: My God, it’s full of (second-rate) stars!

Justin’s review: When the Mutant Reviewer offices got wind that a second sequel of Scary Movie was greenlit in some befouled crypt-like Hollywood studio of the damned, it became sheer pandimonium.

“Noooo!” the young ‘uns cried, seeking the comfort of their mothers’ bosoms, bosoms that were no longer there after withering away from the crudity of Scary Movie 2. We tried offering up some of the younger and weaker site visitors to several passing demons as a sort of counter-pact, but they just ate the good parts and moved on without so much of a how-do-ya-do. And then there was me, balled up in fetal position, traumatized by the thought of another Wayans parody of a parody of a parody of a sort-of parody of the horror genre, my mind blown from looking into too many reflective mirrors showcasing an infinity of badness.

When we got word that Kevin Smith or David Zucker might perhaps be used to direct instead, that Charlie Sheen and Leslie Neilson (veterans of fav spoofs Hot Shots! and The Naked Gun) were being called up into service — and best of all, that all Wayans-related folk were put to the stake and burned to prevent any further travesty — well, I uncurled a bit and felt a spark of hope plant itself in my chest. Maybe. Just maybe. Things might be all right this time.

So I went and exposed myself (catching myself a nice bout of flu in the process) to Scary Movie 3, to once again stand at the brink of the abyss and spit in defiance. The verdict? While it was by far not of the hallowed ranks of Airplane! or even Jane Austin’s Mafia!, it was a darn sight better than its predecessors, and went a long way to stitching close a wound that had been bleeding in my heart since 2000.

While Scary Movie was pretty much a shot-for-shot reconstruction of Scream, and Scary Movie 2 mistakenly thought The Haunting was popular enough material to spoof, Scary Movie 3 draws its inspiration from a grab bag of modern horror hits, including Eminem’s Eight Mile, The Ring, The Others, and Signs. It bounces back and forth between these parodies like a pinball game on a leaky fishing boat, scoring points here and there while missing all the rest.

One of the big problems is that the cast is really full of genuine comedic talent this time (which is a good problem to have). While Anna Faris is a funny little lass, I’m sorry, you just don’t give her more screen time than Sheen or Neilson. In fact, the guy who spoofs Eminem gets more lines and jokes than those two, and that just ain’t right. Fortunately, what material Sheen and Neilson are given to chew on, they chew magnificently. Just, there should’ve been more, is all.

Director Zucker might’ve been operating on auto-pilot, relying on many old tricks instead of inventing new ones, but he manages to craft a film that’s far less offensive (PG-13 this time, versus the R-ratings of the first two) and more consistently enjoyable from start to end. Except the aliens, who really don’t have any funny jokes, but the sheer screen time they get makes you think that the director was hoping just their presence would eventually become funny to you.

So this is Justin, limping along with a hopeful face for the future. Sure, they’ll make a fourth installment after the bounty that this brought in, but even if it is the pits, hey, no more Wayans. Now, to complete my recovery, I’m going to go donate some comedy for needy parodies everywhere.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s