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WARNING: Calling the following piece an "Idiot's Guide" is a bit of a misnomer. You may or may not be aware of what happens in the "Scary Movie" movies, but there's no way you will emerge from reading this a smarter person overall. I just watched all four "Scary Movie" movies consecutively and my brain is currently curled up in a ball shivering in a far corner of my skull, asking what it did to deserve that.
That said, it is true that you will know more about the "Scary Movie" franchise — a LOT more — after having read this piece. We here at NextMovie would hate to see you go into "Scary Movie 5" without having a lick of knowledge about the first four movies. Imagine the embarrassment in front of your friends! "Ugh, you didn't know that The Oracle, played by Queen Latifah in a spoof of 'The Matrix,' farts for no reason in her only scene in 'Scary Movie 3'? I thought I knew you!"
Like "Scary Movie 6," let's prevent that from happening for everyone's own good.
'Scary Movie' (2000)
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The first-ever joke in the "Scary Movie" franchise? That's right, friends — a fart joke. Yes, circa-2000 Carmen Electra (I had admittedly forgotten how hot circa-2000 Carmen Electra was) farts in the "Scream" Drew Barrymore role (her character's name is "Drew," of course) while on the phone with the Scream-masked killer. "Sorry, I didn't think you'd hear it." Oh, he heard it, Carm, and so did we. The killer looks through a Playboy featuring Electra while keeping her on the phone. She's eventually chased outside through sprinklers and does a soaked striptease to her underwear, because sure, why not. The killer stabs her chest but gets her breast implant instead. That probably still hurts a lot. Her dad drives by and hits Electra with the family car (a recurring theme) because he's receiving, ahem, "road fellatio" from her mother. Good for them for keeping that going through their marriage's twilight years. The killer winds up to stab again when the title flashes, and we're off.
We cut to Anna Faris, whose career would be made by these movies resulting in a misplaced loyalty to its producers and a starring role all the way through the third sequel, but we'll get to that later. Her boyfriend Bobby (Denny from "Meet the Parents") climbs through the window to Paula Cole's "I Don't Want to Wait," and we all have a good laugh about how that song was popular once before James Van Der Beek himself starts to climb into the window himself. "Sorry, wrong set," he says before descending again, but we can't help but wish he stayed. Bobby only wants to have sex with her, but Cindy (Faris) wants to wait, unlike Ms. Cole.
Cindy, Bobby, and their friends, including Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans and Shannon Elizabeth, discuss Electra's murder on a fountain in front of the school, a la "Scream." Cindy asks the group if they think it's weird that the murder happened a year to the date that "they hit that guy with their car," and we now have scary movie reference #2 ("I Know What You Did Last Summer," of course, which now that I write it out might be the worst title in film history). The guy they hit was fine until he was subsequently hit in the head with a bottle of alcohol accidentally thrown at him by Elizabeth's boyfriend, and then he actually did die. Whoops.
Shannon Elizabeth has a mentally disabled brother on the police force named "Doofy," playing the David Arquette "Scream" role. They establish that he's an idiot and that sometimes he has sex with vacuum cleaners. Great.
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Like any slasher flick, one by one, all of Cindy's friends die. First, Elizabeth's sadly small-penised boyfriend is stabbed to death by the killer while she competes in a beauty pageant (She is, appropriately, "Miss Fellatio.") The killer chases Cindy out of her bathtub (where, yes, she farted) and around her house before Bobby shows up and is arrested by police, who have arrived because of a "White Woman in Trouble" alert.
The killer and Marlon Wayans (playing a massive pothead) parody the "Wazzup" commercials for no reason, the first in a recurring theme of "The 'Scary Movie' producers will parody anything, no matter how brief its cultural shelf-life" parodies. Cindy gets a call from the killer, who tells her it isn't Bobby, though she remains scared of him.
The girls' female gym teacher actually has a long scrotum.
Moving on, the killer murders Elizabeth in the locker room, who insists it's a joke all the way until she's decapitated — and even then she believes it's still a joke. Cindy flips out and screams an unfortunately-timed "What are you waiting for?," causing a suicidal teacher to jump off the school's roof and kill himself.
Shawn Wayans makes his girlfriend dress up in football gear in bed because he's actually a closeted gay guy.
Moving on, Cheri Oteri, playing the Courtney Cox "Scream" role, interviews a girl as she is being murdered before being chased herself by the murderer. She parodies "The Blair Witch Project" by filming herself admitting how scared she is as a wave of snot pours out of her nose.
Shawn Wayans and his girlfriend go to the movies. In the bathroom, Shawn is stabbed through both ears with a giant penis through a glory hole, apparently killing him. Meanwhile, his girlfriend is stabbed to death by the theater's patrons for talking too much during the movie. The killer watches and relaxes, able to enjoy the movie himself following her public death.
Cindy throws a party where the killer quickly kills "a day player" (her words) in the garage. Meanwhile, Marlon Wayans (who "sees dead people," he's so high) and other stoners smoke weed with the killer while Bobby and Cindy finally have sex.
To have sex, Bobby has to take a hedgetrimmer to Cindy's pubes, and he eventually blows her to the ceiling with the force of his orgasm after having abstained for so long.
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Moving on, Bobby ends up shooting Marlon Wayans and, with a now undead Shawn Wayans, shows Cindy her tied-up father, revealing themselves to be the co-killers. Shawn Wayans stabs Bobby to make it look like a struggle, but he accidentally dies. Then another killer shows up out of nowhere, stabbing Shawn Wayans and engaging in a fist fight with Cindy, featuring "Matrix"-style dodging and Irish step-dancing, before getting away.
In a subsequent interview with police, Cindy drops her mug a la Chazz Palminteri in "The Usual Suspects" as she realizes the killer was Doofy all along. We cut to Doofy, who Stefan Urquelles himself into James Dean before hopping into Cheri Oteri's convertible and speeding away. Cindy screams "No!" at the sky in the middle of the road before being hit by a car. Fin.
And OH MY GOD THAT WAS A THOUSAND WORDS. Not to worry: the sequels aren't exactly complex.
'Scary Movie 2' (2001)
Father Andy Richter plays "Shake Ya Ass" on the piano for some high-class guests in a giant haunted house. The demon-possessed daughter of one of the women there comes down and pees on the carpet. Father James Woods shows up to exorcise her, and boom, we have a fun little "Exorcist" parody. Then we see James Woods on the s**tter, and we're having less fun. Woods, Richter and the possessed girl puke on each other a bit before Woods ends up shooting the possessed girl in the head, and we're off again.
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Cindy, Shawn Wayans and his girlfriend (now both alive again, which, sure) and Marlon Wayans are now all at college. They are now friends with Chris Masterson, Tori Spelling and Kathleen Robertson, because everyone misses the glory days of '90s Fox television. Various members of the gang go through parodies of both "Save the Last Dance" and "Dude, Where's My Car?" before we see a random couple hit by a car for no reason, and we really feel like we're watching a "Scary Movie" movie again.
Creepshow professor Tim Curry and his assistant David Cross wish to research the haunted house depicted in the opening scene. Learning that Cindy and her friends are the "survivors" of the famous massacre from a year ago, he wishes to throw them in the haunted house and observe. They agree for some reason.
At the haunted house, Cindy greets a parrot who swears a lot and talks about its penis. She also meets housekeeper Chris Elliott, another creepshow who has a mangled hand with which he loves to touch people/food/animals, etc. At dinner, Elliott sticks his mangled hand in the potatoes, turkey and pie before everyone leaves the table in disgust.
Then they parody a short-lived but memorable Nike basketball commercial from 2001, out of nowhere.
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Creepy things begin to happen to the gang. Tori Spelling is pretty much raped by a ghost (though she likes it because who doesn't like being raped by ghosts?). Cindy is attacked by a cat, to which she alerts the group by shouting that her "pussy has gone crazy." A stuffed clown tries to rape Shawn Wayans, but since he's a secret sexual deviant, he loves it and creeps the stuffed clown out, eventually (yep) wrapping his elongated penis around its neck to pull it back under the bed. (You absolutely needed to know that for "Scary Movie 5.") Finally, a weed monster wraps Marlon Wayans in a bed sheet and smokes him by lighting his fro on fire.
Masterson overhears Cross tell Curry that there's a poltergeist in the building, and they team up to stop it. The ghost, as a Brooke Shields lookalike, lures creeper Tim Curry into an alley before killing him. The ghost locks Masterson and Cindy in a freezer, where she gives him an HJ while delivering a "Never let go" "Titanic" parody before again being pulverized with semen, a la the first "Scary Movie."
Eventually, through parodies of "The Matrix," "Charlie's Angels," "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and "Hannibal," they're able to corral the ghost. In the denouement, Cindy has taken the parrot back to her dorm room, where he promptly power-sh*ts all over her wall. Chris Elliott reappears as a hot dog vendor before being hit by a car by Marlon Wayans, distracted from receiving fellatio by the Brooke Shields ghost.
DEEP BREATH ...
'Scary Movie 3' (2003)
"Scary Movie 3" begins with Pam Anderson and Jenny McCarthy trying to watch a movie, and we immediately recognize that this is a parody of "The Ring." There is a breast implant joke, a Pam sex tape joke and a "Lord of the Rings" reference before Pam ultimately finds Jenny dead from having watched a tape seven days prior.
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Meanwhile, Charlie Sheen discovers crop circles in his farm, and the audience looks at each other nodding as if to say, "Oh, this is a parody of 'Signs' now." Sheen's brother Simon Rex is an aspiring rapper who takes a bus "to da hood" to compete in rap battles, and we're already on our third parodied movie ("8 Mile") at like the ten-minute mark.
Rex's niece is in class with Cindy's (Faris again) nephew, and they hit it off. The class is taught by Shawn Wayans' girlfriend from the first two films, Brenda, who is still not dead. Rex invites both Cindy and Brenda to his rap battle the following evening. They both agree to go.
Cindy leaves her psychic nephew in the custody of an obviously pedophile priest (Darrell Hammond) before attending the battle, where Simon Cowell is a judge. Everyone in the room shoots Cowell after he expresses his disapproval for the first battle, which is fun. Eventually, Rex defeats Fat Joe in the rap battle, but his sweatshirt's hood resembles a KKK hood and he is thrown out of the building violently.
After the battle, Cindy and Brenda hang out at Brenda's house, where Brenda is killed after the girl from "The Ring" emerges from the television and survives Brenda's initial array of punches.
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We transition back to Sheen, who flashes back to the time where his wife (Denise Richards in a cameo) has been trapped against a tree by a car, dying (a la "Signs" again). She tells him never to have sex. This is funny, because Sheen himself actually has lots of sex.
At Brenda's funeral, Cindy notices more "Ring"-ish things, like people's mangled faces. She eventually visits Brenda's Aunt Shaniqua, who is meant to be the Oracle from "The Matrix" movies, as aforementioned 76,000 words ago. Aunt Shaniqua reveals that the crop circles are related to the tape. Then they both fart.
Charlie Sheen fights with Michael Jackson about something. Sheen pulls Jackson's nose off, because it was fake.
Meanwhile, bumbling President Leslie Nielsen (HUGE score) and his secret service agent Ja Rule (HUGE meh) begin to suspect that everyone is an alien. They both go crazy.
At the same time, Cindy researches a lighthouse from the death video. She visits Chesapeake Bay and speaks to the tape's "architect" (George Carlin, score), again parodying "The Matrix" franchise. He admits to drowning the dead "Ring" girl in a well.
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Everyone reconvenes at Sheen's place, where they discover that the crop circle-making aliens are peaceful, English-speaking, and are just looking to destroy the tape as well. Cindy digs up the basement floorboards, where she discovers the "Ring" girl well. President Nielsen opens the door into the dead girl to say, "I just want to tell you both, good luck, we're all counting on you," referencing his character from "Airplane!" and knocking her back into the well, killing her.
Cindy and Simon Rex wed in the denouement.
ONE MORE WE'RE ALMOST THERE ...
'Scary Movie 4' (2006)
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"Scary Movie 4" begins with Shaq and Dr. Phil are chained together, "Saw"-style. They both die. The nation mourns for Shaq only, probably.* (*deleted scene, I'd imagine.)
It's revealed that Cindy's husband Simon Rex from the third movie is dead now. Charlie Sheen, back from the third film, is fornicating with three young ladies recreationally but still wishes to off himself. He accidentally takes Viagra instead of sleeping pills, gives himself a giant erection and falls on it over a balcony to die. Ow ow ow. Ow. Owwwww.
Meanwhile, Cindy (Faris to the fourth power) has begun caring for old lady Cloris Leachman in her giant creaky haunted house, an obvious parody of "The Grudge." Cindy is eventually hit in the face with a baseball from the next yard, and it's Craig Bierko and his son, parodying "War of the Worlds." The two fall in love instantly.
Crazy s**t keeps happening in Cloris Leachman's house that Cindy doesn't realize. Eventually, she accidentally washes Leachman in her own pee.
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After getting hit in the face again, this time with a football, Cindy reconvenes with Bierko. This is when we get a flashback of how Simon Rex died. Cindy was a female boxer (cough "Million Dollar Baby" cough). One day she had to fight female Mike Tyson. She swung, missed, and the chain reaction not only broke Simon's neck, but the necks of about ten other people in the arena. "I blame myself," Cindy admits. "You should," replies Bierko.
Right as they kiss for the first time, aliens attack in the mold of "War of the Worlds." A butt cloud — yes, a cloud in the shape of a butt — attacks the area with lightning before a giant iPod emerges from the ground. It plays the Culture Club's "Karma Chameleon" for a few seconds before launching a giant bug that destroys everything.
Before Bierko and Cindy are forced to split up, the little kid haunting Cloris Leachman's house reveals that he knows how to defeat the aliens.
We cut to President Leslie Nielsen again, with a kindergarten class reading a children's story about a duck. He is told by a secret service agent (no longer Ja Rule) that aliens have attacked, but he wants to hear the end of the story in an obvious nod to our commander-in-chief on 9/11.
Cindy finds Brenda (from the first three movies) scavenging a crashed plane, having not died like 77 times now. After a joke about Detroit and a cameo from Lil Jon, Bierko and his kids are pulled out of the car by violent nomads. They begin to walk.
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President Nielsen is informed that the aliens have a gun that removes people's clothes, but he still wants to know about the duck. He tells an ugly woman that works for him that it's a good thing the gun didn't hit her.
Cindy and Brenda sneak into an Amish village, of which Bill Pullman is the leader (giant score). They're caught and ordered to stay there forever, but not before Carmen Electra walks into the court room and empties her bowels, because of course.
Nielsen informs the UN (to him pronounced like the first syllable of "unreal") of the alien's gun. The gun accidentally goes off on Nielsen and the rest of the UN. Everyone is naked. Nielsen farts, naturally.
Bierko's kid runs into Michael Jackson, whom Bierko fights off, and they hide with Michael Madsen, clearly upset that he's in this movie and this is what has become of his career. Bierko lullabies his daughter to sleep with the Ying Yang Twins' "Bad Bitch," but an alien sneaks into Madsen's house and takes them after having sex with a vacuum cleaner, perhaps in a nod to Doofy from the first "Scary Movie." Soon afterwards, Cindy and Brenda are captured by the aliens as well.
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They all end up in the room at the beginning, captured by Jigsaw from "Saw" and fitted with torture devices. Jigsaw has hid the key behind Cindy's eye, but her eye is fake and she is able to get the key easily. Cindy then realizes that Jigsaw is the father of the child from Cloris Leachman's haunted house, and the whole invasion was for revenge. After initially threatening to kill them all with various torture devices, Jigsaw lets everyone go.
In the denouement, Brenda gives birth to a baby Jigsaw and James Earl Jones is for some reason hit by a car while trying to talk to us. Then Bierko is on Oprah going apes**t because he's in love with Cindy, a Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes parody.
DONE! Thank goodness! You're now ready to see "Scary Movie 5." Oh, you're not going to see it? Ignore everything I just wrote, then.