Movie Reviews: Scary Movie 2




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     Dimension Films (1 hr. 30 min.)
     A follow-up spoof that picks up where the original satire left off, taking aim at supernatural thrillers such as The Exorcist and Stigmata, parodying the root of great classic horror movies.
     Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans, Anna Faris, Regina Hall and Tori Spelling.
Bottom Line:


Scary Movie 2’s tagline: "No Shame, No Mercy" translates to "No Good," thus leaving the film credits and the words "The End" the best scene in the movie.

How so?

Scary Movie 2 is a long series of gross-out jokes where body fluids, female anatomy, illegal drug usage or disfigurement are the standard and repetitive punchline.

OK. Scary Movie films are suppose to be off-color campy spoofs of popular Hollywood’s horror flicks. However, director Keenen Ivory Wayans, who made more than $260 million on the first exuberantly smutty film, should have trusted to natural comedy instead of relying on mean spirited jokes appealing to the lowest denominator for laughs. In addition to horror flicks, Scary Movie 2 also parodies just about every pop-culture film you can think of from Charlie’s Angeles to Unbreakable.

It’s been widely reported that Wayans was in the midst of post production hell -- recutting, editing and shooting pickup shots two weeks before Scary Movie 2’s scheduled release.

Part of the production problem was that Marlon Brando (cast as a priest in the film’s opening Exorcist spoof segment) dropped out after one day of shooting because of illness and was replaced by James Woods.

Those scenes had to be reshot.

Wayans admits the mood on the Scary Movie 2 set was more business-like than fun, a mood the exact opposite of that during shooting of the first Scary Movie – a much better film. With its many off-screen problems, Scary Movie 2 has the on-screen feel of a slapped-together movie that the studio said, "hurry up and make it so we can ride the coat tails of the first film and cash in on the lucrative summer dollars this year."

A year later finds Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris) from the original film now in college with her surviving Scary Movie friends -- Shorty (Marlon Wayans), Brenda (Regina Hall) and Ray (Shawn Wayans) who are tricked into spending the night in the haunted house by their evil professor (Tim Curry). The film opens at a haunted house where Woods is performing an exorcism. The scene sets the film’s tone with a few uncomfortable jabs at religion proving there’s no such thing as a sacred cow in a Keenen Wayans movie. Curry's foil in the film is his disabled assistant (David Cross), again punctuating the fact that sacred cows end up as so much hamburger in a Wayans' film.

However, Wayans’ direction does provide a few laughs, such as high-society aristocrats singing hard-core rap lyrics and a ghost who trips down a staircase as well as a few more haunted film spoofs. Unfortunately these laughs are too few and like many of the film’s best sight gags are used in the trailer and have lost their potency once you see them again on screen.

Scary Movie 2 does manage to muster the first film's high-tech special-effects; however, its pacing and direction are uninspired.



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