Sometimes, we take our cinema so seriously that we really need someone to come along and make fun of it, reminding us that "oh yeah, all of this imaginary crap isn't real anyways." So much of our modern day cinema is repetitive and cyclical and is simply made up of rehashes of the same stories over and over again. A little girl finds a haunted object and upsets the family; a camera records suspicious activity that's seemingly invisible to the naked eye; a quirky girl falls for a hot guy who's debating his feelings for the mega-hot but shallow girl; a natural (or not-so-natural) catastrophe occurs that predictably upsets society. WOW! WHAT A SHOCKER!
Except not really. Cinema has become eerily unoriginal, so much so that it's getting to be painful. If we see another paranormal activity possession movie, we're going to shoot vomit all over the screen. And we're so done with the chick-flick tropes, not even women are charmed by the rom-com bullsh*t anymore.
There are certainly some good spoofs out there, like Austin Powers, Shrek, The Naked Gun, and Spaceballs! They're spoofs that are totally original and mock cinema in ways we didn't even realize were hilarious. But nowadays, there are so many spoofs that we need spoofs to spoof them. (Could you follow that?) And so many of these spoofs are so dreadfully awful, we'd rather drudge through the movies they're based on. Here are fifteen parodies that are infinitely worse than the movies they've spoofed:
Not Another Teen Movie, which came out back in 2001, wasn't the worst thing ever -- but it certainly wasn't the best. The movie was mocking all of the 1990s comedies and chick flicks that were targeting teenagers and young adults, trying to inspire them to be their weird, quirky selves because rebellion against conformity is sexy! Okay, we get it.
This spoof focused its mockery on She's All That, 10 Things I Hate About You, American Pie, Never Been Kissed, Bring It On!, Varsity Blues, and the barrage of 80s movies that were obsessed with teen culture. Okay, the makers of this movie were definitely right about one thing: these movies needed mocking -- but couldn't you have sneaked in a bit of higher-brow humor? Not just whipped cream nipples and potty humor? But yeah, we loved seeing actors like Chris Evans, Josh Radnor, and Jaime Pressly in such weird roles.
Here's the thing: it's one thing if you spoof something that's genuinely bad. If something deserves to be spoofed, people are probably going to laugh at it whether it's funny or not for the sole purpose of acknowledging the shortcomings of the franchise. And seriously, zombie stories, in general, are everywhere these days. The movie mocked other zombie stories like Warm Bodies and Zombieland, but they focused their parodying on The Walking Dead... which is arguably the best version of a zombie apocalypse story out there. There is very little to make fun of in this franchise, except perhaps for Andrew Lincoln's Georgia accent or how Chandler Riggs is a terrible actor... and maybe the deathly cyclical writing format the show has adopted. Otherwise, it's a solid series, and no one cares to make fun of it. So, no, it's not wise to mock a series for shortcomings it doesn't even have.
The Scary Movie franchise has gone on for a long time. The first movie came out back in 2000 and was kind of incredibly warranted. It focused its hilarious attacks on Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, and it was spot on. It was so successful that the franchise continued for four more movies -- some which should not have perhaps been made. Scary Movie 4 is a prime example of that. By this point in the franchise, the writers were running out of bad horror movies to spoof and started branching into other genres -- a bad move. This movie focused on Saw and The Grudge... but also The Village and War of the Worlds. And even the jokes that were rightfully affiliated to horror movies were kind of racist and unfunny. Writers ought to have stopped the franchise after Scary Movie 3, which was only moderately well-received by audiences.
With the craze over the Paranormal Activity fad being as wild as it was, it was no surprise that a group of annoyed spoof writers would undertake a parody; that said, none of us were really expecting the Wayan brothers to be the ones hurriedly churning out a script. The movie was... dreadful. But then again, some of the Paranormal Activity movies have been truly dreadful, too -- so it was kind of an accurate spoof. The biggest problem was that the writers added a ton of crap that didn't have to be in the movie -- primarily a stinking, hot, mess of a load of sex jokes -- sex jokes, mind you, that weren't even funny. Maybe an awkward eleven-year-old who just discovered masturbation would find it hilarious, but anyone old enough to understand these jokes couldn't have been entertained by them. We'll talk more about this atrocious writing team later, unfortunately...
With a cast starring Alyson Hannigan, Eddie Griffin, and Judah Friedlander, you would've thought that this movie was going to be a genuine laugh-riot. Well... sorry to say, but you would've thought wrong.
This movie, focusing on parodying all of the terrible romantic comedies of our modern day and age, had plenty of source material to pick from. Writers chose to focus on My Big, Fat Greek Wedding, Hitch, The Wedding Planner, and My Best Friend's Wedding, though it obviously had bits from a dozen or more movies thrown in. Sounds like it had the makings of a good parody, right? But then they messed it all up! We didn't need crude boob and butt and fart jokes to parody romcoms; we needed frank acknowledgment of the tropes and stereotypes constantly at play in these repetitive movies! It's as if they had designed the parody of all chick flicks to be for a male audience, which clearly wasn't the case.
The casting call seriously must have said: "Seeking young women to play pirate's gaggle of sluts. Only white women with large breasts and fake blonde hair need apply."
Epic Movie was made by the same group of writers that have made the Scary Movie series and Date Movie (as well as a few others you've yet to read about on our list), and they must've wanted to pick on a bunch of other movies that didn't really fall well into any other category. So they made Epic Movie, a hodge-podge mess of movies that didn't really belong together but were generally kind of sort of epic. The movies it focused on were The Chronicles of Narnia, Pirates of the Caribbean, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and Harry Potter. They had nothing in common, and most of the movies were so popular and well-written that they didn't deserve a parody. So what the hell?
By the end of the Hunger Games fanaticism, after the books had fed a ravenously hungry teenage-reading audience, and the movies fanned that flame as much as they could, this trilogy (turned into a tetralogy by the movies) was truly in need of a good, healthy spoof. The series was about a teenage girl who is pretty much given the entire responsibility of leading a revolution against a powerful and tyrannical dictator; in any real world situation, they would've been doomed from the start. Yet somehow, this parody wasn't able to capture any of the hilarity it ought to have. Reviews were dismal and for good reason. Why is there a Lord of the Rings reference in the middle of it? And what's with all the sex jokes? THEY'RE TEENAGERS!
Here's another genre of movies that was certainly in need of a great spoof! Step Up was one of the first modern-day dance movies that triggered a barrage of movies all about hip-hop and urban dancing as a way of self-expression and a medium through which young people could learn vital adult lessons and even fall in love. How cliched is that crap? It totally deserved to be spoofed! We just wish it were spoofed well...
Dance Flick was made by the Wayans brothers and focused on mocking movies like Save the Last Dance, You Got Served, Stomp the Yard, and, of course, the entire Step Up series. And yet again, they resorted to sex humor and crude jokes to tell a story they didn't need to tell! These movies pretty much make fun of themselves if you simply allow them to! Seriously, it must be one of Damon Wayans's worst movies ever.
Yeah, we know -- we've already talked about one of the movies in the Scary Movie series. But this one is so much worse, just INFINITELY worse, that it deserves an honorable mention here on our list.
Anna Faris didn't even want to come back after Scary Movie 4; that should tell you a lot about how little the movie had going for it from square one -- the star who made it famous wouldn't even come back for a nostalgic sequel in this sh*t. So they replaced her leading character with Charlie Sheen, Ashley Tisdale, Lindsay Lohan, and Snoop Dogg; what could go wrong there? Apparently everything. Between their bad acting, the movie's terrible writing, and focusing on plenty of movies that didn't even belong in the scary genre (like Black Swan, Inception, and Madea, to name a few), this movie was the horribly perfect death to the Scary Movie franchise.
Actually, that's not even the full name of the parody. It's really Don't be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood. Not that the extended title makes it sound any better... hope you weren't looking for an improvement here.
Another Wayans brothers original movie, this parody of "hood" movies came out back in 1996 -- when it was still really kitsch to be making films about the hardships of living in a rough, gang-activity ridden neighborhood. And some of those movies were really good! If you've ever seen Boyz n the Hood, you know just how remarkable and revolutionary these movies can be, calling attention to often ignored groups of people. But the Wayan brothers took it to another level and decided to mock these movies, plummeting their cause back into the dirt as they mocked the films Boyz n the Hood, South Central, Menace II Society, Higher Learning, and Juice.
If this list has taught us anything, it's really that the Wayans brothers need to stop making movies. We already had the first Haunted House movie on here, and it was dreadful, so how did they gather the nerve to make another?! While the first Haunted House movie focused on Paranormal Activity, the second (and hopefully final) installment focused on... Paranormal Activity. Don't get us wrong, it wasn't a total rehash of the first. It also pulled in jokes from Annabelle, Sinister, and The Exorcist... but otherwise, it was an absolute rehash, a do-over of the same terrible movie, which, to be fair, seems like what every sequel to Paranormal Activity is, so...
The thing is, the Wayans brothers can make good movies. They've been in really funny parodies, like Scary Movie 2 and White Chicks, but they've made so many terrible movies at this point that their fans are losing faith in them. Pull it together, boys, or you'll lose your audience.
To be fair, vampires do suck. And this parody was absolutely 100% well deserved. The Twilight series -- oh sorry, SAGA -- was a load of crap intended for lonely pubescent teenagers that wanted their shy and constipated angst to be embodied in fanfiction -- like romance that would sweep them off their feet. And that crap WORKED. These movies absolutely needed a spoof -- it's too bad this parody wasn't funny enough.
There were some moments that really worked. The actress playing Becca was great at mocking Kristen Stewart's weird facial expressions, and anytime she was caught whining about something (which was a lot of the movies) was hilariously mocked. But otherwise? This movie should have been ten times funnier than it was! There was so much great material to pull out of these terrible movies, and they only drew from the first two! They left out so much crap they could've made fun of!
Here's another spoof that was made way too early. Superhero Movie came out back in 2008, when the biggest franchises available to make fun of were Spider-Man, X-Men, and the Fantastic Four... can you imagine if they'd made this movie today? When they'd have not only those brands (which have each spawned off multiple, terrible sequels) but also countless others in the D.C. and Marvel universes to choose from? They would have had a field day with Zack Snyder's work...
But as it was, this movie was not at all worth watching. It was another typical crude spoof mocking surface level plot points in the movies but centering most of its humor around boob, butt, and fart jokes. The movie starred Leslie Nielsen, which kind of inspired hope, but then it also starred Drake Bell, Sara Paxton, Christopher McDonald, Kevin Hart (before he was funny), and Pamela Anderson... so all hope was indeed lost.
Can we just start this entry off by asking someone to tell Carmen Electra that she's kind of aged out of the sexy babe role? Sorry, honey, but your time in the spotlight has come to an end, and we can think of plenty other ladies that would look better in that toga.
Meet the Spartans was made with the intent of mocking 300, which rightfully deserved a spoof; it was such a macho-man dude film that took itself way too seriously. Sure, it was a good movie, but it was such a testosterone fest that we could hardly focus on the solid story points. Besides that, there were hilarious historical inaccuracies that could have kept us laughing for a while -- but they didn't mock any of that. They actually made fun of things they didn't need to mock, like painted on abs... 300 painted no abs on guys; those dudes spent months getting in shape for their roles. Then they dragged weird shit into the spotlight to mock, like American Idol, Budweiser commercials, and Britney Spears's crazy phase.
Finally, the pinnacle of terrible parody movies: Disaster Movie. This movie was, in and of itself, quite the disaster. It had the intent of mocking movies centered around catastrophes... but such catastrophes were loosely defined. Sure, there were movies like Cloverfield being made fun of, but they also picked on Juno, Enchanted, and a bunch of superhero movies (which they should've just had a whole other movie for). Furthermore, none of these movies merited a spoof! Cloverfield is an amazing horror movie, Juno is a cult classic of our modern times dealing with a very sensitive topic, and Enchanted is cute and, more to the point, has zero disasters occurring in it. We would almost recommend watching it just to consider how awful it is, but we wouldn't want to waste your time -- it's so bad, we wouldn't recommend leaving it on for your dog to watch when you're out of the house.