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Scary Movie 4 (unrated)
DVD disk
08.17.2006 By: Quigles
Scary Movie 4 (unrated) order
David Zucker

Anna Faris
Craig Bierko
Regina Hall


star Printer-Friendly version
The fourth in the series (and the second from David Zucker), this installment pokes fun at WAR OF THE WORLDS, THE GRUDGE, THE VILLAGE, SAW, and plenty of non-horror films (like BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN and MILLION DOLLAR BABY).
It's embarrassing to the think that the man behind the genius that is AIRPLANE would go on to direct this, a movie that is neither well-made nor all that funny. It's as if a couple of film school dropouts stole portions of the scripts from random movies (specifically WAR OF THE WORLDS and THE GRUDGE), changed the scenes so that every couple seconds would involve either someone getting struck in an arbitrary body part, something completely repulsive happening (while still adhering to a PG-13 rating), or anything else involving dicks, asses, and boobs -- sometimes all at the same time. Then, the filmmakers took the random segments, and spliced each of them together in the most ridiculously stupid way possible. After all, how else would you be able to connect SAW to WAR OF THE WORLDS than by having random Jigsaw-doll aliens?

Out of about 50,000 jokes in SCARY MOVIE 4, only about 10 actually made me laugh out loud (although, I can't deny having minor chuckles every now and again). It's not that I don't appreciate silly, immature humor - I just expect that humor to actually be funny. And in order to make those jokes funny, the filmmakers need to do two things: get a somewhat decent script, and execute the jokes in a relatively humorous manner. Neither of those important details are prevalent here, at least not very often. Take the opening sequence for example: Dr. Phil and Shaquille O'Neal awake in a bathroom with their legs chained, and in order to free themselves, all Shaq has to do is make a free throw. Now, that's a pretty damn funny conceptfor an opening scene... unfortunately, the horrid acting coupled with the lousy comedic timing ruins the fun. But even with competent actors and a more talented director, most of the jokes in the script are so poor that I can't imagine the scene being funny regardless. In order for the sequence to actually work, a complete overhaul of the screenplay would be needed. (That's actually assuming there was a screenplay, and not just a bunch of people improvising and making up random jokes on the day of the shoot.)

On the bright side of the spectrum, there are actually a number of quality jokes to be found throughout the film, such as when Anna Farris' character talks to the little Grudge-boy in Japanese. "Hello? Do you live here?" the subtitles read. But what she's really saying is, "Haro? Hibachi benihana teriyaki?" Now that's some funny shite... but moments like those are few and far between. Most of the movie's humor relies on dumb jokes, like when Cindy accidentally bathes an old woman in her own urine. Maybe there are some people out there who find jokes like that funny ($175 in box-office receipts just about confirms that), but I'm not one of them. If you are, then hey - here's a new movie to add to your collection.
The UNRATED version of the movie is apparently 8 minutes longer than the theatrical one. I didn't notice that many changes, but the altered footage does manage to be funnier than the scenes shown in theaters. The most notable differences involve a lengthier, somewhat funnier BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN parody, as well as plenty of slightly modified dialogue (like using "cock monger" instead of "ass clown").

In terms of extras, there's a lot available, but most of it is short and meaningless. Ignore the "Over 2 hours blah blah blah..." on the DVD. It's another stupid marketing ploy where they trick the consumer into thinking they get more than they do - about an hour and a half of that "2 hours" is the commentary. Assholes.

Audio Commentary (with director David Zucker, producer Bob Weiss, and writer Craig Mazin): The trio of speakers have a good time with this track, speaking a lot about what they think works and doesn't work in the film, telling plenty of on-set stories, discussing stuff that didn't make it in the movie, and enjoying each others' company as they go off on off-topic tangents. Overall, this commentary is light and sort of enjoyable, just like the movie.

Deleted & Extended Scenes (13:45 - with optional commentary): There are 15 of them, and surprisingly enough, a few of these scenes are pretty damn funny (like the sweater gag). The rest are about as bad as the movie's worst jokes.

Bloopers (7:01): You can tell the people behind this movie had fun putting it together, but this reel just isn't that funny. Most of it just deals with actors who aren't that great with their lines.

The Man Behind The Laughs: David Zucker (3:44): A lame super-short featurette that doesn't discuss anything other than Zucker's distinctive laugh.

Zany Spoof Humor - Zucker Style (2:59): Another super-short featurette going into minor detail concerning David Zucker's style of humor.

Interviewer's Worst Nightmare (4:59): Another lame semi-featurette where the actors pretend to be assholes to an interviewer. Not funny, not worth watching.

The Visual Effects of Scary Movie 4 (8:31): This featurette goes into detail about how the special effects needed to look good since they weren't part of the gag. Otherwise, they would just be distracting.

Youngbloodz (3:26): A featurette showing two excited rappers doing a quick scene for SCARY MOVIE 4. Meh.

Rappers... Actors (2:39): Basically the same as the above extra, except regarding the many other rappers making cameo appearances in the film.

Also included is the movie's Theatrical Trailer, as well as a number of Previews when you load up the DVD.
I love spoofs. I absolutely LOVE them. And honestly, it doesn't take much to make me laugh (I mean, I was literally in hysterics during Michael Madsen's little spiel about the invasion - "This isn't a war any more than there's a war between men and maggots... or dragons and wolves... or men riding dragons, throwing wolves at maggots"). So why is it that so many parodies end up being horrendous? Well, in SCARY MOVIE 4's case, the movie spends way too much time literally spoofing specific scenes from other films, as opposed to just making a general joke concerning the whole thing. This makes the "spoofs" last about a third of the movie each (since there's three main movies being poked fun at), which just gets boring and monotonous, especially for those who haven't seen what's being spoofed. It also doesn't help that the jokes just aren't funny most of the time. Eh, at least it's better than DATE MOVIE (a movie so stupid it made Paris Hilton look intelligent in comparison).
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