Scary Movie [2000]

Some comedy is like a scalpel; the Scary Movie series is a hand grenade, spewing bodily fluids and big-breasted women in all directions as they lampoon the latest horror. In Scary Movie 4's case, the main targets are War of the Worlds, The Village, The Grudge, Saw, and Tom Cruise jumping all over Oprah's couch (the scariest of the lot). Along the way, potshots get taken at non-horror fare like Brokeback Mountain and Million Dollar Baby, as well as obvious targets like Michael Jackson and George W. Bush, among others. Anna Faris (Lost in Translation) and Regina Hall (The Honeymooners) return as the central characters wandering through a crazy quilt of horror scenarios, joined by Craig Bierko (Cinderella Man) doing a dead-on parody of Cruise at his most manic. Cameos include everyone from Charlie Sheen to Shaquille O'Neal to Carmen Electra. Some of it's funny, some of it's not, but there's a generally buoyant zaniness that comes from director David Zucker, one of the creators of Airplane!, which started the whole firehose-of-jokes aesthetic. --Bret Fetzer

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