s skippy the bush kangaroo: parodies aside

skippy the bush kangaroo

Sunday, December 30, 2007

parodies aside

in our recent analysis of the state of american movie parodies, as well as our review of the current hilarious musical biopic send-up walk-hard, we analyzed the pro's and con's of a number of spoofs over the last decades.

some of our readers took issue with our positions; others simply added a few titles we had neglected to mention.

we thought we'd share those here.

the marked hoosier takes great exception with our analysis of mel brooks, whom, he insists, is "a genius." we can see the argument for that, as we once made it ourselves in our younger days. and we admit that spaceballs tickles our fancy ("you fool! you captured their stunt doubles!").

and, speaking of brooks, anonymous (a very prolific commenter on blogs) reminds us that the only word spoken in silent movie was uttered by marcel marceau. anonymous also insists that only scary movie 1 and 2 were done by the wayans bros., and 3 and 4 were helmed by david zucker of the zucker/abrahams team, whom we praised so highly. we are the first to admit that zucker/abrahams are not gods; witness mafia! w/jay mohr & christine applegate, two funny actors who could not save that terrible mess of a movie.

anonymous (probably another anonymous) says student bodies was a "gooder," and, if we remember it correctly, it wasn't that bad as a parody of teen slasher flicks (written by mickey rose, woody allen's early partner on bananas). but it also reminded us of two other parodies of that genre, thursday the 12th (renamed pandemonium) and saturday the 14th. of those two, saturday is definitely funnier than thursday (saturday stars richard benjamin, with whom skippy has worked, and thus we are a bit favorable).

dee loralei recommends shaun of the dead as a zombie spoof. we have not seen shaun, but we have seen hot fuzz, made by the same team, and thought it was a pleasant enough diversion as a take-off of violent cop action films. we agree w/dee loralei that hot fuzz had characters that you could actually care about.

our own jim yeager suggests a mighty wind as the last good musical biopic parody he has seen. made by christopher guest, one of the masterminds behind this is spinal tap, we agree that a mighty wind was a funny movie. tho it parodied folk music in general, we are of the opinion that it treads that fine line between farce and parody; it wasn't really a parody of a movie genre, rather than a movie about folk music full of parodies of that musical genre. still, we liked a mighty wind a mighty much.

what movie parodies work for you? please consider this an open thread to discuss various opinion thereon; spoofs we have mentioned and those we haven't, or even the iowa caucus, a parody all unto itself.

addendum: the sailor of vidiotspeak and steveaudio, who couldn't get our comments section to work too well, asks how we could forget mike meyers' spoofs of the bond films w/his austin powers franchise. point taken, tho we find all those films woefully inconsistent. and carl of simply left behind takes us to task for not including this is spinal tap in our musical biopic parody list. we are not so sure it's a parody of a movie, but a movie about a parody of a musical act, but at this point, who cares? it's a damn funny movie (and we suggest everyone rent the special edition dvd, on which there's a commentary track w/michael mcclean, christopher guest and harry shearer doing commentary in character as the spinal tap band members. even funnier than the film).

trish wilson also tells us the lost skeleton of cadavra is a hoot...it's a parody of those cheesy 50's horror films, and we've been trying to remember the name of that flick for weeks, to put on our netflix queue! thanks, trish!

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posted by skippy at 1:24 PM |


Drop Dead Gorgeous is a terrific parody of small-town pageants. I know this because I grew up in rural Indiana and there was a Rebecca Anne Lehman in every single little hamlet.

Happy New Year from Sack Of Monkeys In My Pocket.

Laura Linger
commented by Blogger Laura Linger, 3:15 PM PST  
One more thing: it's a parody and a satire, in that it is structured like one of those amazing documentaries about pageants, ala Living Dolls (aka The Greatest Film Ever Made Ever In The History Of Forever), and it has a laser-sharp skewering of the mindset and characters contained within, which are all stereotypes because these people usually are walking, talking stereotypes.
commented by Blogger Laura Linger, 3:18 PM PST  
jay mohr & christine applegate, two funny actors who could not save that terrible mess of a movie

There's your problem right there. Most of us would say it was a funny movie made a terrible mess through miscasting.

Funny parody movies:

Drop Dead Gorgeous - hands down, one of the best.

Best In Show (also A MIghty Wind)

But Skip...how on earth did you miss SPINAL TAP?!?!?!? I mean, OK, points for mentioning them in terms of the music, but...

It goes to eleven has entered the lexicon and is one of the funniest bits ever put to celluloid!
commented by Blogger Carl, 3:40 PM PST  
So long as I'm raising hackles...and believe me, some of them puppies is sharp..."Mars Attacks!"
commented by Blogger Carl, 3:44 PM PST  
Many people I've known felt that "High Anxiety" was one of Brooks' worst, whereas I think it's quite a brilliant send-up. Like "Young Frankenstein," it's parody and homage at the same time, and like "Young Frankenstein" (and unlike "Blazing Saddles" and "Spaceballs" and their ilk), there's very little overt winking at the audience; it's mostly played straight, with some degree of trust that the audience knows what's being referenced. Personally, I love it.
commented by Blogger MeanMrMustard, 3:59 PM PST  
I agree with "Drop Dead Gorgeous" and "Best In Show". A newer one you probably missed is "Fido", about a boy and his pet zombie. It's a spoof of zombie movies and a spoof of the "perfect" 1950s.
commented by Blogger Trish Wilson, 6:21 PM PST  
i have not seen fido, but i read the script.

many of the films named here and in other comment sections tread taht fine line between satire, farce and parody.

when i speak of movie parody, i am talking about films which parody the language and structure and cliches of movies.

many of what have mentioned here are straight on movies making fun or spoofing a particular subject.

in other words, to me, drop dead gorgeous and best in show (and, yes, even spinal tap) are films about making fun of various subjects (beauty pagents, dog shows, heavy metal acts making a comeback).

but not films about making fun of films.

it's a nebulous thresh hold, and i certainly don't mean to demean any of the films mentioned, they are all fine comedies.

i would debate whether they were what i define as movie parody, tho.
commented by Blogger skippy, 9:42 PM PST  
I think I could edit REPOSSESSED up to a 2 1/2 star movie.

DOCTOR: It could be the flu. We had a couple of cases of that come in last week.

[Nurse walks past in background carrying two cases marked FLU]

The ending's a loss, though.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 11:44 PM PST  
Skippy: "when i speak of movie parody, i am talking about films which parody the language and structure and cliches of movies."

Oh, then you MUST see "The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra". That one is a parody of old, black and white, 1950s monster movies. It's a total riot, and it's done very well with a straight face.

I agree that parody, farce, and satire tread a fine line between each other.
commented by Blogger Trish Wilson, 10:13 AM PST  
I'm not sure I agree with your assessment that Spinal Tap isn't a parody of a style of movie: the rockumnetary.

But it's your name on the door, Skip and you do, after all, own Blogtopia (© Skippy The Bush Kangaroo)
commented by Blogger Carl, 10:56 AM PST  
carl, i knew someone was going to mention this, and, as i said (and the countess graciously echoes), it's a fine line and gray area between parody, farce and satire.

to bolster my point, i'd suggest looking at the rutles, in which eric idle not only made fun of the beatles, but of the rockumentary style (think of the shot where he's walking along the street, giving his narration to the story of the rutles, as the camera slowly starts to move faster down the stree then he. he winds up having to run like hell to keep up while narrating).

but you could make a case that the appearances by marty di sisi character (played by rob reiner), who was the "director" of the "film" documenting spinal tap's comeback, itself was a parody of scorsese's filming of the band in the last waltz.

it's a fine point, and parody, like bullfrogs, don't deserve to be dissected, because much of the life goes out of them when they are.

trish, thanks so much, i was beating my head against the wall these past few days trying to remember the name of the lost skeleton of cadevra! haven't seen it, and i tried to find it on netflix, but the netflix website has a huge flaw in its program...you can't find a movie if you don't know the name of it.

i hope they resolve that bug soon.
commented by Blogger skippy, 12:58 PM PST  

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