Movie Review By Monica Sullivan
All the way through "Scream 3," Wes Craven focuses lovingly on photographs of Neve Campbell's mother when she was a young starlet. I could swear the young starlet was Anna Faris, who plays Cindy Campbell, the key figure in Keenan Ivory Wayans' "Scary Movie." WB viewers will be stunned by Faris' satirical spin of Katie Holmes. Faris not only looks & sounds like Holmes as Joey Potter, but at one point the soundtrack zaps into Paula Cole's "I Don't Want To Wait" and James Van Der Beek as Dawson Leery himself climbs into Cindy Campbell's bedroom. Whoops, wrong set, but he's given us the subliminal message that he and Cindy's boyfriend Jon Abrahams will return in yet another summer movie, "The Texas Rangers."
"Scary Movie's" references are clear: it goofs on all the other horror movies that goof on the horror movie genre: "The Craft," "I Know What You Did Last Summer," the "Scream" trilogy, "Final Destination" and so on. You don't need to be hep enough to catch every single cutural reference, but the pervasive imagery is unmistakable: Carmen ("Baywatch") Electra as Drew Decker, bouncing in slow motion through sprinklers, Shannon Elizabeth as beauty queen Buffy, who never shuts up, even when she loses her head, & Second City's Dave Sheridan as Deputy Doofy, torn between his vacuum cleaner & SNL'S Cheri Oteri as intrepid reporter Gail Hailstorm. The Wayans Bros. (including co-writers Marlon & Shawn as Shorty & Ray) are most clearly influenced by vintage Warner Bros. cartoons: they go for huge laughs front & center, although what's going on in the background is funny stuff, too.
Although shows by Kevin Williamson, Joss Whedon, Ryan Murphy, Aaron Spelling & Jason Katims now get most of the hype at the WB network, the Wayans Bros. were the WB's ratings busters between 1990 & 1995. "Scary Movie" was a midnight matinee sellout the day it opened: No surprise, since the Wayans Bros. know how to make you laugh till you're breathless: The sequence in which Regina Hall as Brenda makes her noisy exit from "Scary Movie," takes place at (Where else?) a "Shakespeare In Love" screening.
© 2000 - Monica Sullivan - Air Date: 7/12/00
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