I’m at the point that I’d really like to put Shawn and Marlon Wayans in a locked, windowless room with an alligator and a lion and see who emerges the victor. That might not be entirely fair to Shawn and Marlon, since their name doesn’t appear on the crew list for Scary Movie 5 other than to say the movie is based on characters created by them on IMDb, and they haven’t actually appeared in one of the movies since the second one, but… they started it. By ‘it’, I mean the current parody movie trend that we are subjected to.
I’ll admit, I liked the first installment, and the second wasn’t horrible. After that, though, I washed my hands of it, and every other parody movie to come out from then on. It became impossible to appreciate the irony within the movie itself – instances where the main characters might break the fourth wall and do things that would typically get screamed at the screen in a theater when a character in the actual movie was doing something incredibly stupid. Instead, the joker became the joke, and the parodies became pathetic excuses to cram as many crude references to sexual or bodily functions thinly masked as humor. The Scary Movie franchise is garnering most of my ire here not because of the fact that we are now on the fifth – FIFTH! – Installment, but from what I can see, those that came after seem to me to be little more than proof that when a studio sees that something is really raking in the dough, all they can see is the dollar signs to be made by exploiting a whole generation of people who have been dumbed down to the point that they really find these sort of trite attempts at comedy amusing.
There’s no originality anymore – all we’re getting is the same old jokes, rewrapped (badly) in some newish paper, inserting some bad shadow of New Villain A and/or B opposite silly incarnations of Supposed Protagonists A-F, popping in some references to recent popular horror/sci-fi/fantasy/romcom films, and calling it a day. To put it into perspective: that nine dollars you might have dropped on seeing Scary Movie 4? You might as well have been seeing any version of Scary Movie 1-3. Which means that if you saw all four of these movies, you basically paid to see the same movie over and over and over again. That’s one thing if you intended upon it – I personally saw Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban three times in the theater within two days – but when you’re expecting four different movies and paying for it, it can certainly feel sort of… gippish.
Since we’re too late now to stop Scary Movie 5 from coming out, can we now take a page from Fox’s book and send a cease-and-desist letter to the studios producing these travesties, insisting that they stop bilking us out of our hard-earned money by showing us the same movie five times in a row? I have to figure that would certainly make more sense than Fox’s boneheaded move to cancel a beloved show and, ten years later, see nothing but the dollar signs and insist that people stop paying homage to a show they loved and help to make themselves a little bit of a living at the same time… but that’s a whole other story.