Scary Movie 2 isn’t scary, funny-scary, or even just plain funny. It spoofs many of the recent supernatural and gross-out horror films that were spoofy to begin with. This double whammy represents a redundancy on par with, say, creating a fictitious movie critic to blurb real movies. Why bother? Besides, audiences watching horror spoofs often become their own comedy troupe, coming up with funnier lines than the filmmakers. One of the many problems of the recent Hannibal, parodied in Scary Movie 2, is that it went over the edge into giggly ghoulishness, without leaving viewers anything to get worked up about. The same could be said of House on Haunted Hill, What Lies Beneath, and many other expensive recent scarefests. Perhaps studio executives are so locked into the idea that movies must appeal to the widest possible demographic that they feel they can no longer risk making a scare picture that doesn’t, on some level, also build in its own wisecracks. Better to make fun of your own movie than to play it straight and let the audience make fun of it for you.
That’s still no excuse for Scary Movie 2, which is even shoddier than Scary Movie, also directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans. Along with his posse of screenwriters – if that’s not too elevated a term – Wayans seems to think that all you need to make people laugh is fart jokes and vomit jokes and doody jokes and the sort of silly raunch that probably will have even the middle-schoolers in the audience yawning. (The R-rating, of course, won’t prevent that crowd from sneaking in to see the film without adult chaperones.) Marlon Wayans, his eyes popped in fear, has his hair frizzed out like Buckwheat’s; Chris Elliott, playing the proprietor of a haunted house where some college students camp out for an experiment, has a deformed hand that’s milked for yuks; David Cross is a wheelchair-bound research assistant whose disability occasions a lot of cruel jibes. It’s all enough to make you want to enlist in the p.c. police. The only bright note here is that Keenen Ivory Wayans, not content to work only off of spooky films, also throws in equally abysmal jibes at movies like Mission: Impossible 2 and Charlie’s Angels. Which means, if we’re lucky, that Scary Movie 2 will spare us an Action Movie 1.
Based on a best-selling French novel, Baise-Moi (“Rape Me”) is getting undue attention because it’s a “serious” movie with hard-core sex. Virginie Despentes, the author of the novel, and her co-director, Coralie Trin-Thi, who has performed in French porno, hired two adult-movie actresses, Raffaëla Anderson and Karen Bach, to star in this sordid Thelma & Louise-ish spree, which also has certain affinities with Breathless but would be better termed Affectless.
Manu and Nadine, a porno performer and a prostitute who go on a rampage against men, are meant to be feminist warriors whose sexuality, according to an interview with the filmmakers, is their “integrity.” The various johns, goons, and slobs who get in their way are dead meat. The hard-core sequences in Baise-Moi are anything but titillating, but since there’s not much else in the movie to pay attention to, you wait for them anyway. Anything to relieve the angry prattle and the torpor. This being a French movie with pretensions, it was inevitable that a pensée, uttered by one of the women, would emerge from the muck, and here it is: “The more you fuck, the less you think and the better you sleep.” Pascal could not have said it any better.
Scary Movie 2
Directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans; starring Marlon Wayans, Chris Elliott, and David Cross.
Baise-Moi (“Rape Me”)
Directed by Virginie Despentes and Coralie Trin-Thi; starring Raffaëla Anderson and Karen Bach.