Friday, 22 May 2015



It's inevitable that any successful formula will be [1] ripped off and [2] parodied, invariably without much in the way of glory. There have always been spoofs and the Wayans certainly didn't invent chortling horror knockabout with Scary Movie. Twenty years earlier we were getting lame comedy versions of the horror genre: Student Bodies, Saturday The 14th, and this attempt to do for campus slashers what Airplane! did for disaster movies. It doesn't work, unsurprisingly: it's not as good as the first Scary Movie or the first ten minutes of Scary Movie 2, but it's certainly down there in the slough of unfunniness of Scary Movie 3 onwards. It's not that there aren't any jokes - there certainly are, by the score, but hardly any of them raise anything more than a knowing smirk.

Wacko tries to replicate Airplane!'s trick of hiring proper actors to play everything straight-faced and seriously rather than getting comedians to mug and gurn: they've got Joe Don Baker, Stella Stevens and the mighty George Kennedy (who of course would later follow Leslie Nielsen into the Naked Gun series). On the thirteenth anniversary of the infamous Lawnmower Killings, the maniac escapes from the local mental hospital and looks set to start another rampage at the Halloween Pumpkin Prom at Alfred Hitchcock High School, Angry cop Joe Don Baker (who hasn't slept in thirteen years) is out to stop him; Stevens and Kennedy are the parents of the most likely target, the sister of one of the victims thirteen years ago....

It's really not very good: I know I don't have much of a sense of humour but even so I was surprised how much I didn't laugh. It's not that I didn't see and understand the jokes, I just didn't find them funny enough. There are meaningless nods to The Exorcist, Psycho and The Omen, which are more like acknowledgements of those films' existence than actual gags, frequent use of the Alfred Hitchcock TV theme music (Funeral March Of A Marionette), Andrew Dice Clay basically playing The Fonz, middle-aged Kennedy perving over his nubile daughter. and a plot that doesn't actually make any sense though it probably doesn't matter. It's not actively offensive in terms of bad taste, but that's literally all it's got going for it.


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