Retro Review: Scary Movie 3

Hands down, my favorite comedy of all time is 1980’s “Airplane!” which was conceived by the comedy writing team of ZAZ or David Zucker, Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker. ZAZ were responsible for some of the funniest films of the past 20 years.

From the “Naked Gun” series to the “Hot Shots” movies to 2001’s “Rat Race”. Their parody comedy and comedic timing was second to none and is still emulated in a lot of the comedies of today.

The third installment of the “Scary Movie” franchise’s script has the talents “Airplane!” co-creator David Zucker, “Hot Shots” co-creator Pat Proft and indie film-maker phenom Kevin Smith all attached. The film also stars ZAZ alumni actors Charlie Sheen and Leslie Nielsen and it is also directed by co-writer David Zucker. How could it not be a laugh riot?

“Scary Movie 3” has very little in common with its predecessors other than returning cast member Anna Faris as “Scary Movie” staple character Cindy Campbell. Cindy is now a television journalist and has a young son. Her first major assignment finds her meeting farmer Tom Logan (Charlie Sheen) and his brother George (Simon Rex). When Cindy finds out that the Logan farm is the key to an all-out alien invasion this alerts the President of the United States (Leslie Nielsen). If an alien invasion weren’t enough, Cindy also has to deal with a mysterious videotape and a mysterious death. Let the parody begin!

“Scary Movie 3” is a hilarious entry in the franchise as it re-awakens what this series is all about, poking fun at horror movies. There are so many hilarious moments that are sure to make the stiffest audience howl. There is a lot controversial jokes but given the over-the-top context they come off as just plain goofy. The film pokes fun at such films as “The Ring,” “Signs,” “Matrix Reloaded,” “Eight Mile,” “The Others” and even “American Idol.” It is so clever how each is woven into each other.

For me what was the best part about watching this film were the performances of Charlie Sheen, Leslie Neilsen and Anna Faris. Sheen’s mannerisms and dialogue reminded me so much of his beloved character from “Hot Shots!” Topper Harley but he was also able to meld those with a caricature of Mel Gibson in “Signs”.

I loved Leslie Nielsen who plays his president a lot like the great Lloyd Bridges did in “Hot Shots!” and probably the most treasured scene for me was an honorary line Nielsen delivers near the end of the film in homage to “Airplane!” if you love that film as much as me then it will make you fall out of your chair. I also found some similarities to Anna Faris’s Cindy to that of Julie Hagerty in “Airplane!”. The film was a pleasure ride for the comedic senses.

A couple small problems I had with the film were how short it is and how the filmmakers could have parodied so many more films. I wanted more. I also felt that a couple of the gags did go a little overboard especially at the wake.

When doing or watching a parody, you are bound to offend someone but it takes a real master to offend so many people but still keep them laughing. That is exactly what “Scary Movie 3” is.

If you love parodies, ZAZ movies or the movies made fun of here, then you are sure to love this film.

(3.5 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer

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