When it comes to sub genres, parody films have blossomed from a couple of films here and there to movie franchises that seem to hit two or three times a year. There is no guarantee that each movie in this subgenre will be comedy gold (and most of the recent ones are not that great), but the folks who put these films together are brave. The latest addition to the sub genre, Scary Movie 5, will be unleashed into theaters soon. As a reminder to the upcoming release, it’s time to point out the best and worst films that are out in the spoof world, particularly the bad because there’s a lot out there.
The Top Five Best Parody Films
5. Don’t Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood
Somewhere in a far off universe is a group of people who aren’t the biggest fans of this movie, and I’m not sure as to why. Don’t Be A Menace is a brilliant spoof in its own unique way, and arguably one of the best comedy scripts that the Wayans put together. They poke fun at a variety of dramatic tropes that you would find in a majority of films released in the late 80s/early 90s that dealt with living in the hood, and it works! There’s so many hilarious scenes in there that you can’t help but love, between the foul mouth grandmother and just the overall stupidity of the character Ashtray.
4. The Naked Gun
When it comes to making fun of police films, look no further than The Naked Gun trilogy. Leslie Nielsen cemented himself as the king of parody movies when he starred as the fictional goofy character Frank Dreblin in The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! in the late 80s. Airplane! director David Zucker, applying the magic comedy touch on yet another spoof film. Up to this day I still wish that at an Angels game they’ll play the faux baseball blooper reel which includes a car suddenly coming onto the field, running over a baseball player.
3. Mel Brooks Films (Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs, etc)
You can’t mention parody films without bringing up Mel Brooks, arguably one of the kings of this subgenre. There’s so many of his parody movies that are hilarious that we can’t just name one. We have to lump them all together in order to give each one of them proper credit. Some of the movies that hail high up on our list include Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs, Young Frankenstein, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights among many, many others. Yes, I understand that some people aren’t the biggest fans of Robin Hood: Men in Tights, but I am. It’s permanently altered the way I hear the phrase “Lend me your ears,” in a good way.
2. This Is Spinal Tap
Rock documentaries have never been the same ever since the creation of This Is Spinal Tap. Rob Reiner directed the mockmentary focusing on the offbeat rock band Spinal Tap. To this day you even hear radio announcers make little nods to the rock mocumentary by turning up the volume to 11, which this Is Spinal Tap made famous. There hasn’t been any other mockumentaries made on the music business ever since because they can’t even touch the greatness that This Is Spinal Tap was able to encapsulate in the 82 minute long film.
“Have you ever seen a grown man naked?” There are at least twenty other lines that I could quote from Airplane! that everybody would know, but instead of drowning you with memorable lines, I’ll explain why this, in many ways, a perfect parody movie. We’ve seen plenty of movies unsuccessfully integrate the pop culture references of today along with the comedic nods to whatever genre or topic they’re poking fun at. Airplane! is the perfect example of how to successfully integrate those aspects and integrate them into a coherent, and hilarious, story. Along with that, Airplane! introduced us to the comedic talents of Leslie Nielsen, so we’re grateful for that.
Honorable Mention: Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
There aren’t a lot of people who mention Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story when referring to spoof films, and that’s disappointing. Walk Hard is a comedic gem when it comes to recent parody movies but sadly never found an audience. As you can guess, Walk Hard spoofs the musician biopics that dominated the Academy Awards throughout the mid section of the 2000s. It contained some of the better comedic performances out of John C. Reilly and Jenna Fischer, along with some goofy, fun songs sprinkled in there. Seriously, check it out if you can. It’ll be worth it.
The Top Five Worst Parody Films
5. Scary Movie 2
Let’s categorize Scary Movie 2 as the beginning of the end when it pertains to spoof sequels. The original was fine in it’s own way, raking in the cash and giving the studio a thumbs up to move forward with another film. So it makes complete sense that they would want to capitalize on the popularity. It’s just a shame that they forgot to insert the comedy in Scary Movie 2. The film is dull and lacks any sort of wit and humor that the first one had. After that point it’s safe to say that the general interest in the Scary Movie franchise began to fade away, but has not stopped them from producing even more sequels.
4. Date Movie/Epic Movie
Epic Movie and Date Movie are examples of how not to shove every single popular film that’s been released in the past couple of years into your own. Both of these movies aren’t really making fun of the movies they’re mimicking so much as they are just placing their lead characters in there to get some sort of response out of you. The jokes don’t work and after awhile you just want them to stop trying to shove random movie and pop culture references in your face. Also, Epic Movie is cringe-worthy just when it comes to a majority of the costumes on the film. It looks like most of the cast shopped at Party City for that stupid movie.
3. Meet The Spartans
Okay, I’m sure that Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer are nice people, but man do some of their movies stink. Sure the two made Scary Movie, but after that many could argue that their work hasn’t been up to par in the past decade. The two have made a name for themselves in the spoof genre, but Meet the Spartans is a parody that isn’t entirely one at the same time. There are so many unnecessary references to celebrities in the film that the actual movie parody aspect of it all disappears in the first few minutes of the film. It’s just a pain to watch.
2. Leonard Part 6
Some could say that Leonard Part 6 is one of the crown jewels of bad spoof movies, and has the awful box office record to prove it. This is one of those weird situations where even the star of the movie (Bill Cosby) didn’t want to have anything to do with it, and when he first made that known the film wasn’t even released in theaters yet. Leonard Part 6 tries to make fun of espionage films but fails to even capture your attention. By the end you’re completely bored, feeling like you sat through one of the longest movies of your life but realizing only 85 minutes of your life has passed. It’s okay Mr. Cosby, we forgive you.
1. Not Another Teen Movie
It absolutely bugs me how many people believe that Not Another Teen Movie is a legitimately good parody film. The film uses sexual, adolescent humor and amplifies it to an annoying degree. We weren’t asking for bland toilet humor, yet they decided to drown us in it. The film tries to make fun of the teen drama/comedies of the late 90s/early 2000s but is just a repulsive piece of dung. Not Another Teen Movie could have been something hilarious to point and laugh at, but instead it’s the prime example of how to not make a parody film.
What are your favorite (and least favorite) parody films?