By Simon Miraudo
August 16, 2013
Railing against Scary Movie V for diminishing the series' standards would be as effective as criticising Brooke Hogan for disgracing her proud family name. And yet, the fifth instalment of the Scary Movie franchise does do that. The commercially successfully - if not all that creatively bountiful - first entry was spawned by three of the seemingly infinite Wayans Brothers, who followed it up with a sequel that would be better classified as a tragedy than a comedy. Part Three was taken over by David Zucker; the director responsible for such classics of spoofery as Airplane, Top Secret, and The Naked Gun. As a result, Scary Movie 3 and 4 were pretty amusing, even though they never touched the greatness of Zucker's signature pictures. He returns to script Episode Five, which is practically an act of infanticide; to kill - once and for all - the genre he pretty much birthed. Maybe he saw what he wrought with Disaster Movie and Meet the Spartans and pledged to undo it all, like Ashton Kutcher in The Butterfly Effect.
It begins with renowned crazy person Charlie Sheen and career criminal Lindsay Lohan - playing themselves, mind you, because this film is a shame spiral that knows no bounds - enjoying acrobatic sex to the tune of Benny Hill's theme tune, Yakety Sax (a reference the young viewers must love). It's a jab at Paranormal Activity, with Sheen making a sex tape, only to be violently interrupted by the ghostly presence of 'Mama.' You know, like the movie! The movie Mama! Following this, we are transported to the woods, where rappers Snoop Dogg and Mac Miller are inexplicably debating Obamacare and drone strikes (Zucker is a famed conservative, FYI) before happening upon a mysterious cabin and finding Mama's three grubby kids. Ashley Tisdale and Simon Rex play the couple who adopt the rugrats, and later, Tisdale becomes a ballerina, because Black Swan is also a movie that came out somewhat recently.
Malcolm D. Lee directs this time around, so let's not heap all the blame on Zucker and his co-writer Pat Proft. He displays no finesse as a comic filmmaker or ability as a cohesive storyteller, with skills that fall somewhere on the spectrum between 'Man Who Has Received a Camera for his Birthday' and 'Bird That Has Landed on a Camera's Power Button.' It's a hastily assembled, pop-culture cribbing waste of talent, even for not-quite-thespians Sheen, Lohan, and Snoop Dogg. I dare say this might be the only motion picture bettered by a phone obscuring your view. Checking your Twitter and Googling who the hell 'Simon Rex' is might be the perfect distraction from the events taking place on screen. Then again, maybe instead of a phone, a giant, sound-proof, steel sheet would be a better divider. Yes, that's what would really enhance the experience.
I did laugh at one of the feature's jokes, mostly because it was a joke, and not Honey Boo Boo popping out of a cardboard box (which is a thing that actually happens). Black Swan's handheld camerawork is satirised - smartly! - in one sequence, and it inspired a chuckle. But that's as close as this filmed fart comes to being even remotely ingenious. The presence of Katt Williams, Heather Locklear, and Mike Tyson - along with Sheen and Lohan - only remind us that a lot of unstable people have been cast here, suggesting that perhaps this was all a money-making ploy by the producers to get a tax break by claiming the production as a charity.
Scary Movie V is now available on Quickflix.