dalekboy (dalekboy) wrote,

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Parodies and 4th movies...

Someone commented on my kicking the crap out of Scary Movie 4, saying "I wouldn't judge a franchise by the 4th movie in it.

Are there any *good* 4th movies in franchises?

Not that I've seen *any* of them, I don't watch horror movies so the references, clever or not, just wouldn't work for me, it just seems a little harsh."

Which is a fair comment. Most 4th movies are pale photocopies of the original. However, I do think that the adverts for the Scary Movie series are an accurate portrayal of what to expect from the franchise. Most film companies would put a range of their funniest jokes in the trailers. And none of the previous films got my interest with their trailers, either.

Here's the trailer for the first Scary Movie. I have seen all the films it's referencing in the trailer. The Matrix fight looks mildly amusing, but the only thing that made me laugh was the piano down the stairs.

Scary Movie 4 needs you to have seen the films it's sending up for the majority of its gags to work, and its 'original' gags just aren't that funny. At this point, and based on the trailers for Scary Movie 2 and SM 3, I can't see any reason why I would bother with the series. And if I'd rewatched the trailer for SM 4, I wouldn't have bothered to turn on the TV last night at all.

A good parody stands on its own without needing one to have seen the source material. If you know the things it's parodying, then that adds an extra dimension to it. Blazing Saddles is a good parody, as is something like Best in Show. They are funny without foreknowledge of the source material, because they are genuinely humourous in the first place, and generally have actors that are capable of good delivery and comic timing.

Spaceballs and Robin Hood - Men in Tights really need the audience to have seen the things they send up. They have whole sequences that don't work without that foreknowledge.

And while I admit these are definitely exceptions to the rule, here are a few good fourth-films. I'm not saying they are brilliant, most certainly aren't as good as the first in the series, but they are worth watching on their own merits or as a continuation of the story -

Tremors 4
You Only Live Twice
The Ghost of Frankenstein
House of Dracula
Tarzan Finds a Son!
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home
Hornblower: The Frogs and the Lobsters
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
Ma and Pa Kettle Back on the Farm.

Naturally this is a purely subjective list, based on my personal tastes, and what I've seen. I haven't seen all the Die Hard films, for instance, or the fourth Hammer Horror Dracula and Frankenstein films, and I need to rewatch Elm St. 4 before I could comment fairly on it.

So, who has other fourth films to add to the list? Or other good/bad parody films?
Tags: movies, reviews

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