I haven’t seen “Vampires Suck” so I have nothing to say against it. I’m not big on Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer’s most recent spoof flicks, but all credit goes to them for starting a fun series with “Scary Movie.” I think my problem with subsequent efforts, like “Date Movie,” “Disaster Movie” and “Meet the Spartans,” is the lack of a strong narrative thread. Most of the greatest classic send-ups tell a story first and mix in the humor second.
I hear that “Vampires Suck” does that as well, following the basic story beats laid out in “Twilight” and “New Moon.” I can’t say if they’ve been taking notes from some of the classics, but whenever one of these movies comes out I always thumb through my catalog and pull out some favorites to watch again. I figure with “Vampires Suck” out tomorrow, now’s a good time to share the latest spoof movie playlist I’ve put together.
Any list of must-watch parody films needs to start and end with “Airplane!” Essentially a riff on the lesser-known film “Zero Hour,” “Airplane!” follows the exploits of a plane on which just about everyone aboard is hit with a nasty case of food poisoning, including the flight crew. Only Ted Stryker can save the day!
“Murder By Death”
“Murder By Death” is a mid-’70s send-up of the “whodunit in a remote house” genre. The cast is insane, starting with freaking Truman Capote. Then add in Peter Falk, Maggie Smith, Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers, David Niven and James Cromwell, not to mention a magical script from Neil Simon(!!!). If you appreciate classic mysteries and characters like Sam Spade, Charlie Chan and Hercule Poirot, this one is not to be missed.
“Leonard Part 6”
“Leonard Part 6” is a Bill Cosby-starring send-up of blockbuster sequels. For the record, parts one through five don’t actually exist. I imagine some of you might be balking at this movie’s inclusion on the list; to many, it’s just not particularly good. But c’mon– the movie is about an evil vegetarian’s plot to take over the world using mind control and a keyword trigger (Kwellish!) to send animal death squads after any enemies. You will see scenes of: meat burning human skin, frogs hopping a car off a pier and Cosby in ballerina slippers. Plus, a tricked-out Porsche with a camouflage paint job and a tank-style main gun on its roof.
Michael Keaton is and forever will be Johnny Dangerously. This movie spoofs classic gangster flicks of the 1930s. Keaton plays a street kid who works his way up to the top of a criminal organization, in contrast to his do-gooding brother who eventually becomes the local District Attorney. Hilarity naturally follows, especially with a cast that includes Joe Piscopo, Marilu Henner, Maureen Stapleton, Peter Boyle, Griffin Dunne, Dom DeLuise and Danny DeVito, among others.
Let’s look at the basic elements. Mel Brooks. “Star Wars”-like plot. A bitchy Druish princess. John Candy, Rick Moranis, Bill Pullman, Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten and Joan Rivers. May the SCWARTZ be with you. Do you really need to know anything else?