Dir: Keenen Ivory Wayans. US. 2000. 88 mins.
Prod cos: Wayans Bros Entertainment, Gold-Miller, Brad Grey Pictures. US dist: Dimension Films. Int'l sales: Miramax International (+ 1 212 219 4100). Exec prods: Brad Grey, Peter Safran, Bo Zenga, Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Cary Granat, Peter Schwerin. Prods: Eric L Gold, Lee R Mayes. Scr: Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Buddy Johnson, Phil Beauman, Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer. DoP: Francis Kenny. Prod des: Lawrence F Pevec. Ed: Mark Helfrich. Mus: David Kitay. Main cast: Anna Faris, Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Cheri Oteri, Shannon Elizabeth, Jon Abrahams, Lochlyn Munro, Regina Hall, Dave Sheridan, Carmen Electra.
A boisterous spoof of teen horror movies, Scary Movie is the grossest mainstream Hollywood movie of the year and will be an instant must-see for the biggest cinemagoing demographic in the world - the teenage boy. Despite prohibitive ratings, this powerful audience segment will do anything to see it (in the multiplex world, that means buying a ticket to see Dinosaur and then slipping in to Scary Movie) and it will be a big hit.
Its childish sense of vulgarity is refreshing after the calculated antics of the Farrelly Brothers' Me, Myself & Irene, although there are many more misses than hits in its comedy and it will be driven more by its hilarious trailer than by word-of-mouth.
Essentially a reworking of Scream, but taking potshots at I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Blair Witch Project, The Sixth Sense, The Matrix and The Usual Suspects among others, Scary Movie follows a series of murders in a high school. Central character is the virginal Cyndy (Anna Faris, nicely aping Neve Campbell) who a year previously had been part of a group which had accidentally killed a man. On the first anniversary of his death, the aptly named Drew Decker (Carmen Electra) is killed, signalling the start of a massacre that sees all her friends picked off one by one.
It's highly offensive in every way - from numerous fart jokes to the already infamous penis-through-the-head sequence to a hilarious deflowering sex scene - but no target escapes mockery and there's something irresistible about a cinema audience watching Shakespeare In Love who collectively stab a woman to death for talking too loud during the film.