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Off Topic => Everything Else => Topic started by: max_cady on March 27, 2013, 05:49:02 pm

Title: Where did Spoof Movies go wrong?
Post by: max_cady on March 27, 2013, 05:49:02 pm
When I was a kid, the comedy movies that stuck the most were films like Hot Shots: Part Deux and Airplane! I was a huge fan of the Police Academy movies and American Graffiti also ranks pretty high on the list.
But the spoof films have always had a special place with me and my friends, when my birthday was around I'd invite 'em over and we'd watch Airplane or Hot Shots, laugh like madmen every single year!

Recentely, The Hangover series has become our major go-to franchise, but on the other hand, what exactly happenned with this sub-genre of comedy?

It seems like the last spoof movies that were actually amusing were in 2003, with the original Scary Movie and Not Another Teen Movie (the perfect movie to poke fun of the onslaught of post-John Hughes Teen Dramedies).

After that... I don't know what happened, Friedberg and Seltzer came along and the genre was twisted and mangled beyond repair. Date Movie was mildly charming. Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans and Disaster Movie will make you sick. The Scary Movie franchise also seems to get progressively worse with every iteration, not as bad as F&B but close enough.

The Wayan's split from the SM franchise and they haven't done much better with Dance Movie and A Haunted House was panned.

What is wrong with spoof films nowadays?
Title: Re: Where did Spoof Movies go wrong?
Post by: Chaosmaster8753 on March 27, 2013, 10:11:57 pm
Apparently Friedberg and Seltzer's next movie is called "The Starving Games." I wonder what happened to The Biggest Movie of All Time 3D though...
Title: Re: Where did Spoof Movies go wrong?
Post by: max_cady on March 28, 2013, 08:43:50 am
The less we know about those movies the better...

I can only imagine that the Avatar spoof did not get any kind of distribution deal and was canned. The Starving Games is in production the last time I checked...

But I really wanna discuss why spoof movies have become just so lazy and unfunny in these past years.

Title: Re: Where did Spoof Movies go wrong?
Post by: Barry the Nomad on March 28, 2013, 09:08:40 am
Interesting thread, and glad you mentioned Not Another Teen Movie. I really enjoyed that one, I watched it quite a bit with my roommate in college. I've found that it is typically unfairly lumped in with the shitty Friedberg and Seltzer films, despite them having no connection to it. My guess is, the title and poster style is similar to the Friedberg and Seltzer films. Not Another Teen Movie actually has closer ties to Zoolander, and Comedy Central.

Really, I think the spoof film genre went off the deep end when Friedberg and Seltzer fucked up the genre. In my opinion, a successful spoof film creates its own universe built off the back of a strong genre. Parodies aren't used literally, but rather are weaved in using the original characters created for the film. Look at Airplane!, The Naked Gun, Hot Shots, Austin Powers and Not Another Teen Movie. All of those are cleverly written, contain original characters (who themselves are parodies of existing character tropes) and have equal parts parody and original humor.

The Friedberg and Seltzer films, meanwhile, have very forgetful leading characters and lean far too heavily on direct parody, often cramming in reference after reference with very few actual jokes. In The Naked Gun we might see Frank Drebin in a situation similar to one seen in a cop thriller, but in Frank Drebin's case its played for laughs and they'll straight up poke fun at the ridiculousness of cop films. Friedberg and Seltzer, meanwhile, would just straight up hire look-a-likes for a scene pulled directly from a cop thriller, and would probably have somebody getting kicked in the nuts, or a woman whipping out her boobs, or have Mitt Romney appear in the scene for no reason other than it being "random".

Just look at home many great characters came from the successful parody films, and compare that to the Friedberg and Seltzer shit. I think it all comes down to writing and original characters. I'd take Austin Powers, Frank Drebin and Topper (Hot Shots) over the celebrity look-a-likes found in the Friedberg and Seltzer films any day.
Title: Re: Where did Spoof Movies go wrong?
Post by: max_cady on March 28, 2013, 12:12:09 pm
That's a good way to put it.

If you've never seen any Rambo movies, you can enjoy a movie like Hot Shots: Part Deux and still get all the references and jokes.
This one in particular, it's got a lot of humor and general sillyness. In every single frame there's always something happening in the background.

A "movie" like Meet the Spartans is just mimicking the movie without doing much with it. It's odd that with so many references they have to actually name the celebrities or movie characters that they are spoofing...
Title: Re: Where did Spoof Movies go wrong?
Post by: Barry the Nomad on March 28, 2013, 12:29:16 pm
Exactly. It's sort of like the difference between The Simpsons and Family Guy (I am not a fan of Family Guy since their return from being cancelled). Simpsons will work a parody into the show, using the characters from the show. Sometimes the parody might go over people's heads, and is just funny as is. I recall The Simpsons spoofed The Graduate and I didn't get the reference, but thought it was funny. Same goes for when Maggie spoofed The Great Escape.

Family Guy, meanwhile, will straight up tell you what is being parodied, even to the point of laying out the whole situation and noting the reference.