Scary Movie 3

Scary Movie 3


Reviewed by: David Stanners

When it comes to horror, Hollywood doesn't know where to go next. One minute, it's busy grinding out straight-talking remoulds of the old school B-movie slashers and the next it's backing a tiresome Scream-style parody genre, which should have been nailed in the coffin after Scary Movie's first appearance.

Horror parodies are fine and well. Wes Craven filled a niche cleverly with Scream 1 and 2 (forget 3). But parodies of parodies have limited appeal. The first Scary Movie was watchable, cashing in on Scream's box office success and finding some good gags and decent comedy values. But, by the third edition, the formula for early smash hits, such as the Police Squads, Airplane!, The Naked Guns, Hot Shots and other slapstick copycats, has been tried and tested once too often.

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Scary Movie 3 takes most of its pot shots at 8 Mile, Ring and Signs. The plot is ludicrous, haphazardly fusing titbits from each film into something silly and indefinable. Cindy Campbell (Anna Farris) plays the reporter caught up in a global threat from aliens; Charlie Sheen is the ex-minister, whose farm the aliens take a shining to. Somewhere in the wrinkly plot, there's a psychic boy - heavily borrowed from Signs, as well as more blatant thieving to create sub plots, most notably the infamous TV scene brought to life in Ring.

Where highly random storylines have worked a treat in director David Zucker's aforementioned previous endeavours, here the gags are at death's door and most of the time he's scrambling for cheap laughs. The best line comes when Sheen has a fight with Michael Jackson over his daughter.

"What did you do with my daughter?" he demands.

"Nothing," Jackson replies, "She's a girl."

The cast is large and sprawling, ranging from Charlie S - clearly scraping the barrel - to Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy, looking extra dumb, blonde and plastic, to the Wu Tang Clan and Queen Latifah, as the Oracle. There are cameo appearances from Leslie Nielsen, as the President - a nod and wink to funnier past times - and Denise Richards, as Sheen's wife, literally held together by a truck. Finally, Simon Cowell pops up, as pompous and dislikeable as ever, and finally receives justice - if only it were for real.

The final hour has long past on the horror spoof and, sadly, all that's left is hackneyed jokes and trite dialogue. Lets hope the lid is sealed this time.

Reviewed on: 22 Jan 2004
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Third instalment in the comedy horror spoof.
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Director: David Zucker

Writer: Craig Mazin, Pat Proft

Starring: Charlie Sheen, Anna Faris, Pamela Anderson, Jenny McCarthy, Queen Latifah, Regina Hall, Leslie Nielsen, Simon Rex, Drew Mikuska, Jeremy Piven, Jianna Ballard, Mary Eng.

Year: 2003

Runtime: 84 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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