Tag Archives: parody

The Friedberg-Seltzer Massacre: Vampires Suck (2010), The Starving Games (2013)

This is the fifth installment in “The Friedberg-Seltzer Massacre: How Two Men Single-Handedly Destroyed the Parody Genre.”

In this penultimate installment, we will examine two of the late career parodies of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer: Vampires Suck and The Starving Games. As I see it, Friedberg and Seltzer’s career can be separated into two distinct phases. There are two reasons why I think about it this way.

For one, there is an easy delineation one could make between the writers’ 2000s output and their 2010s output. As I outlined in previous articles, the 2000s saw a healthy resurgence of the spoof movie, but by the end of the decade it was starting to become clear that the poor quality of these films were catching up with them. Through the 2010s, parody films grew increasingly less popular at the box office.

As such, Vampires Suck serves as a crucial turning point in Friedberg and Seltzer’s career. It was the last of their films to Continue reading The Friedberg-Seltzer Massacre: Vampires Suck (2010), The Starving Games (2013)

The Friedberg-Seltzer Massacre: Meet The Spartans and Disaster Movie (2008)

This is the fourth installment in “The Friedberg-Seltzer Massacre: How Two Men Single-handedly Destroyed the Parody Genre.”

Following the profitable Epic Movie in 2007, Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer saw two of their films released in 2008. If one was skeptical about the over-saturation of spoof films at the box office in the second half of the 2000s, that sentence should alleviate any further suspicion.

These parodies were being churned out like a factory assembly line product. Mere months after Meet the Spartans opened, it was announced that the pair were in pre-production on what would become Disaster Movie (the project started life as an ill-advised Superbad send-up). Disaster Movie filmed in late spring and was released before the year was out.

One could theorize that studios were eager to rapidly produce and ship to theaters these parody films while someone (anyone) was willing to Continue reading The Friedberg-Seltzer Massacre: Meet The Spartans and Disaster Movie (2008)

The Friedberg-Seltzer Massacre: Epic Movie (2007)

This is installment three in “The Friedberg-Seltzer Massacre: How Two Men Single-handedly Destroyed the Parody Genre.”

Here we go. This is the point after which discussing the works of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer becomes an arduous chore. Epic Movie signals the beginning of the end for the blockbuster parody film. This is not to say that the Friedberg-Seltzer movies stop making a profit after this movie. But Epic Movie embodies all of the things that detractors of the parody genre point to when they argue for its extinction. And while Friedberg and Seltzer (mostly) weather the severe backlash to their films through the 2000s, the parody genre as a whole starts to fade away.

Since 2007, major spoof releases have grossed the following worldwide, in millions (Friedberg and Seltzer titles in bold):

  • Epic Movie (2007) – $86.8
  • The Comebacks (2007) – $13.5
  • Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007) – $20.6
  • Meet the Spartans (2008) – $84.6
  • Superhero Movie (2008) – $73.0
  • Disaster Movie (2008) – $36.7
  • Dance Flick (2009) – $32.2
  • Vampires Suck (2010) – $81.4
  • Casa de Mi Padre (2012) – $8.4
  • A Haunted House (2013) – $59.9
  • Scary Movie V (2013) – $78.6
  • A Haunted House 2 (2014) – $21.2
  • Fifty Shades of Black (2016) – $22.1
  • Meet the Blacks (2016) – $9.1
  • Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016) – $9.5

There hasn’t been a major theatrical parody since Continue reading The Friedberg-Seltzer Massacre: Epic Movie (2007)

The Friedberg-Seltzer Massacre: Date Movie (2006)

This is installment two in “The Friedberg-Seltzer Massacre: How Two Men Single-handedly Destroyed the Parody Genre.”

In the first installment of this ill-conceived series, which shamelessly adds on to the immense online discourse that has made writer-directors Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg Hollywood’s favorite punching bags, we took a look at the 2000 film Scary Movie. The film was a massive financial success, and the amount that Seltzer and Friedberg contributed to that success is debatable. Some have questioned whether they had any creative hand in that film, at all.

No matter the case, the duo certainly used the writing credits they received on the film to launch themselves into the comedy film game. Date Movie, the pair’s first directorial effort, proudly displayed a slightly disparaging poster tagline: “From Two of the Six Writers of Scary Movie.” The home video release would go one step further in comically diminishing the writers’ prior credit by placing “2 of the 6” as a parenthetical caret above the tagline.

At the same time as this tagline downplayed the writers’ contribution to Scary Movie, it also reinforced that Continue reading The Friedberg-Seltzer Massacre: Date Movie (2006)

The Cabin in the Woods: Cliches Manipulated or Perpetuated?

Note: This is an in-depth analysis of the film The Cabin in the Woods. As such, it is heavily-laden with spoilers. Proceed with caution. If you want to watch The Cabin in the Woods, you can find it on Amazon Video to rent and buy here.

 

The 2012 film from Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, The Cabin in the Woods, presents an original take on an old favorite. The film on its face, and by its title, is just another teen horror romp, but this “cabin in the woods” narrative is more than meets the eye, as the film quickly progresses down the path of a strange mythology.

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In approaching the conventional horror movie narrative with a unique take, Goddard and Whedon use their pen to turn Continue reading The Cabin in the Woods: Cliches Manipulated or Perpetuated?

[Quickie] See This Movie: Kung Fury (2015)

 

Kung Fury is a 30 minute, throwback spectacle of an action comedy. It is epic in its absurdity. A Miami cop (David Sandberg), after witnessing the death of his partner, who he claims is like a father to him, becomes a kung-fu master after he is struck by lightning and bitten by a cobra. He then must travel back in time to assassinate Hitler after the Fuhrer guns down the police chief.

 

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Sandberg plays the cop gruff and merciless in the best over-the-top way. He is the ultimate lone wolf, speaking only in gruff whispers. It works perfectly with the parodical nature of the film.

Continue reading [Quickie] See This Movie: Kung Fury (2015)

Casino Royale (1967) Movie Review

 

Casino Royale is the first of two films to adapt Ian Fleming’s character James Bond under a production company other than EON Productions. The film is a spoof of the genre that its lead character helped to popularize. In it, Bond (David Niven) is long retired, and is approached by an international array of spy organization leaders–including John Huston as Fleming’s MI6 head M–who attempt to goad him out of retirement.

 

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All the while, global terrorist organization SMERSH vie to ruin Bond. The shadowy leader of the organization states boldly that “Sir James Bond is back with his morals, his vows, and his celibate image. We must destroy that image.” This, a direct attack at Continue reading Casino Royale (1967) Movie Review

Scary Movie 5 (2013) Movie Review

Scary Movie 5: A Scene-by-Scene Analysis (sort of) and Movie Review

Caution: Spoilers ahead

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From the opening scene, it is clear that the Scary Movie franchise lost its comedic value at least two installments ago. In the cold open, Continue reading Scary Movie 5 (2013) Movie Review