I just love movie parodies. They present a lite and comical perspective to the concentrated tones and themes of blockbusters. Take the Scary Movie tetralogy, which generally gave a comical tone to the themes of horror films. With the fourth and final installment of Scary Movie in 2006, I thought my fill of film parodies were over. But thankfully, other productions came out with a widened array of films to spoof, which made me more excited. There was Date Movie and Epic Movie; and now, Meet the Spartans, Superhero Movie, and The Comebacks, which I viewed within the past three weeks (That’s a lot of time to watch a limited number…).
I. Meet the Spartans
Meet the Spartans is a general parody of the blockbuster film, 300. It also spoofs other films like Ghost Rider, Happy Feet, Rocky Balboa, Shrek the Third, Spider-Man 3, Stomp the Yard, Transformers; and some television shows and celebrities like American Idol, America’s Next Top Model, Deal or No Deal, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (Brangelina), Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Sanjaya Malakar, and Ugly Betty. It also featured the YouTube videos, Rick Roll and the infamous “Leave Britney Alone.”
As a parody of 300, it has a similar storyline, only shorter by an hour and with the other parodies in between. At the end, it gives a musical number by the actors themselves to the beat of the song, It’s Raining Men. After the credits, it also featured footage that was not included in the final cut–mostly other celebrity impersonations being pushed down the the “Pit of Death,” like Ellen DeGeneres, the American Idol judges, and a lot more.
Unlike in 300, there were only 13 Spartan soldiers who were able to make it into Leonidas’ army. They were chosen according to specific criteria which I believe, the original Spartans wouldn’t meet. The biggest shocker: It presented King Leonidas, the main character, as a homosexual! *Bheh!* It was fun seeing Spartan soldiers in a different image, skipping to get around (obviously spoofing the way the original soldiers marched), having an obese soldier on the squad, and watching Spartans breakdance (Now really!). The dialogue was green in nature but otherwise, invoked a lot of laughter.
II. Superhero Movie
This next spoof that I saw was generally a parody of Spider-Man and other superhero movies such as Batman Begins, the X-Men trilogy, and Fantastic Four. The film was a better parody than that of Meet the Spartans, as it was evidently filmed with more effort and the props looked more realistic. The scenes were actually like those in Scary Movie 3(my favorite part of the tetralogy). In fact, I would consider this one as being tied-up with Scary Movie 3. The poster’s concept was also derived from that of the Scary Movie series.
Superhero Movietells the story of Rick Riker (Drake Bell) aka The Dragonfly, who was bitten by a genetically-altered dragonfly, thus giving him superhuman strength, the ability to scale walls unaided, and armored skin. He uses his newfound powers for good and becomes a costumed superhero (*sigh* Another superhero is born…). His archnemesis is The Hourglass/Lou Landers (Christopher McDonald), who has the ability to absorb the life-force of every living thing for his own. The two entities battle all throughout, giving Rick a hard time wooing the girl of his dreams, Jill Johnson (Sara Paxton).
I’ll say this for Superhero Movie: The comedy was good but the acting was bad.
III. Not Another Teen Movie
I learned that this flick was released in 2001, but I never bothered to give it a look. I was in high school by then, and I guess I didn’t have any interest for parodies back then. And even after its release, I never thought of watching it because I affiliated it with the American Pie series; and frankly, I have a distaste for the said series even though it was under by favorite movie genres. But since I was observing “parody week,” I rented it out anyway.
I learned that Not Another Teen Movie is a parody of the teen movie genre (Obviously!). I have limited experience in this particular genre so I didn’t know what films were being spoofed. This may also be the reason why I didn’t find the film funny all throughout. A lot of times, it tried to invoke humor, but I just didn’t laugh. I also observed that once you watch a spoof first, before the actual movies being spoofed, the parody would turn out to be an original film. So that was how I felt: I was watching a non-humorous film spoof with no idea what films were being murdered. Okay, so maybe I laughed a couple of times…but that’s just it…
IV. The Comebacks
Because it was titled Sports Movie in Australia, I guess you have already figured out that this is a spoof of sports movies. Again, for my part, I unfortunately have had little experience in the sports movies genre. *sigh* But with the way the film was presented, even though you had a broad background in the said movie genre, you still wouldn’t find this flick funny. I did laugh, or should I say chuckle, A BIT! It wasn’t that comedic, something that I expect in a spoof. It is a spoof, so IT SHOULD BE FUNNY AT MOST. But since, I viewed it as an original film, I did find the interest as to how the film would end. But if you’ll watch this flick specifically to laugh out loud, you’re in for a disappointment.
That’s just about it. I heard of another parody, Airplane! (also known as Flying High), which was shown in 1980. The problem is, all video rental shops within my vicinity don’t carry that title. Well, I just hope that I will come across it in the future. I wish they would do another Scary Movie, something as funny as the third installment. It was the best among the film series. Also, I hope filmmakers would do a spoof of the movie musical genre. You know, maybe a Phantom of Chicago who stumbles in the Moulin Rouge theater who falls in love with The Producer’s daughter, only to find that she’s in love with High School Musical’s basketball star, whose Mamma Mia! is a prostitute, where a twist ends up in a murder along the lines of West Side Story. Uh, something like that. Oh, and in case you didn’t know, another spoof is coming up on August 29: Disaster Movie.