SCARY MOVIE 3
Television reporter Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris) is trying to find a hard news story and soon uncovers an onslaught of globe-threatening developments including freaky crop circles and killer video-tapes. When she meets George (Simon Rex) an aspiring rapper who wears a beanie, it’s love at first sight. But there’s plenty to contend with: George’s brother (Charlie Sheen) is a priest-turned-farmer, whose corn fields have been destroyed by suspected aliens, while Cindy’s nephew has a sixth sense and a penchant for watching forbidden videos. Chaos ensues when US President (Leslie Nielsen) gets involved.
Review by Louise Keller:
A spiffy spoofy parody of the horror/thriller genre filled with slapstick, visual gags and baloney, Scary Movie 3 is a moderately amusing mix of genres and film references. The concept relies heavily on the script and material used, and in this, the third film of the franchise, the best bet to have fun with it, is if you have seen most of the films spoofed.
It doesn’t matter whether you have seen the others in the series (the first Scary Movie, under the directing baton of Keenen Ivory Wayans ran rings around the second), Scary Movie 3 has a new director in David Zucker plus a new team of screenwriters Craig Mazin and Pat Proft, whose mission is to reinject the concept with freshness and hopefully more laughs. And speaking about rings, The Ring is one of the main films satirised, along with Signs, Matrix Reloaded, 8 Mile, The Others, to name a few. There are also references to Men in Black, Sliver, Spellbound, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre while the Michael Jackson skit cuts pretty much to the bone. The Mother Theresa Community Awards with nodding china Mother Theresa dolls is a bit of a hoot too. There’s fun in just spotting the references.
Zucker is the man with such projects as Airplane!, Ruthless People and the Naked Gun series to his credit, so he has a natural flair when it comes to comedy. And yes, the script has some inspired moments, with Queen Latifah’s Oracle (who finishes everyone’s sentences) having a physical fight with the dark-haired girl from the Ring through the front of the television set, but it does not offer the ‘laugh-till-you-ache’ humour I was hoping for. What works best for me is the incongruity of concepts, such as hearing the vibrato-filled voice promising ‘I’m coming for you, my precious,’ when answering the ringing phone that promises death in ‘seven days’. There’s nothing subtle about the mayhem when one of victims from The Ring is lying in an open coffin at the family wake, when a misunderstanding prompts a violent attempt to bring her back from the dead. Arms, legs and bodies are flying everywhere. In case you never thought it was possible, we learn how it is possible to ‘wake up dead’ – believe it or not. Great to see Leslie Nielsen as the President of the United States (‘Don’t spell in front of me,’ when his aides alert him to the UFO danger; ‘Ah good, the air-force is here with our new round planes’ he mutters as the UFOs circle above the corn-fields.)
Most of the enjoyment with a film like this comes from the element of surprise, when the unexpected takes us off at a tangent. It’s silly and totally mindless fun while it lasts - probably even funnier after a few drinks. But I expected more.
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SCARY MOVIE 2
SCARY MOVIE 3 (M)
CAST: Anna Faris, Anthony Anderson, Leslie Nielsen, Camryn Manheim, Simon Rex, Geroge Carlin, Queen Latifah, Eddie Griffin, Denise Richards, Regina Hall, Charlie Sheen.
PRODUCER: Robert K. Weiss
DIRECTOR: David Zucker
SCRIPT: Craig Mazin, Pat Proft
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Mark Irwin
EDITOR: Malcolm Campbell, Jon Poll
MUSIC: James L. Venable
PRODUCTION DESIGN: William Elliot
RUNNING TIME: 84 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Buena Vista International
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: December 11, 2003
VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: BVHE
VIDEO RELEASE: May 19, 2004