As Superhero Movie becomes the latest spoof movie to fall flat on its face, we hark back to the 80s and 90s, when films in the genre still managed to, well, make you laugh…
1 AIRPLANEIt’s actually a closer call than you’d give it credit for, given the strength of the film that’s coming up in second place. But when you consider that there are not only hundreds of jokes in there, but that so many of them are funny, then it’s hard to rank anything above it. It’s also the only spoof to bring together Lloyd Bridges and Leslie Nielsen in the same comedy. Airplane II just missed the list, incidentally.
2 TOP SECRETThe underrated film from the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker stable, and one we’ve written about before at Den Of Geek. However, the belly laughs come with abandon, as Val Kilmer’s singer Nick Rivers ended up caught in spy mystery, that gloriously rips the piss out of the genre. Highlights? The East German Women’s Olympic team, the potato farm, the eye glass – ah, we could go on for ever…
3 A VERY BRADY SEQUELWe’ve only allowed ourselves one Brady Bunch movie, but both of them expertly rip the Michael out of old television values, by sticking the characters slap-bang into a contemporary setting. They’re very smart, and very funny, and gave Gary Cole his best comedy role outside of Office Space.
4 THE NAKED GUNYou can throw the TV show Police Squad! in here, too. The adventures of Frank Drebin may not have convincingly spanned the sequels, but the first Naked Gun film is a flat-out delight. It’s not as sly in some of its references, but it is very, very funny, and Nielsen has never been better in a comedy role.
5 SPACEBALLSActually, Spaceballs isn’t a particularly great film, if you weight it all up. But it is very good at spoofing Star Wars, and it finds itself elevated to fifth place off the back of some of the wonderful moments within it. Great cast, too, with Rick Moranis and John Candy among the highlights.
6 AUSTIN POWERS: THE SPY WHO SHAGGED METhe Austin Powers saga is another set of films about their moments, and while the first sequel isn’t particularly subtle, it fires at precise, easy-to-hit targets and gets the laughs. The highlight though was surely the spoof trailer that played on people’s anticipation for the The Phantom Menace, which was released the same summer.
7 SCARY MOVIEThe first half of Scary Movie is a terrific send up of Scream, which is all the more impressive as Scream is a part send-up itself of the films that preceded it. And while the second half of Scary Movie tails off, never to rise again in spite of umpteen sequels, when it strikes gold it happily braises the funnybone.
8 HOT FUZZIf there was a major tonal difference between Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, it was the former felt like a parody of the action genre, and the latter was a strong comedy that didn’t get its laughs so much by taking the rise. Hot Fuzz is a fine spoof, though, even if it doesn’t hit the heights that Messrs Wright and Pegg have managed before.
9 HOT SHOTS! PART DEUXThere’s a great Apocalypse Now gag in the middle of the Hot Shots! sequel, that nobody but me laughed at in the screening I was at. But Hot Shots 2 is a superior film to its prequel, and while Charlie Sheen isn’t a convincing spoofer, there’s enough poking at the Rambo franchise around him, and Lloyd Bridges in his last great comedic role (Jane Austen’s Mafia simply doesn’t count).
10 BASEKETBALLA fun send up of sports movies, and we put it in because we couldn’t decide whether Dodgeball was a spoof. And also because, in spite of a colleague of ours’ insistence, we still haven’t seen I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (and also, this writer didn’t like Galaxy Quest that much, else that would have snuck in). Baseketball is the Matt Stone and Trey Parker comedy that had nothing to do with South Park or puppets, and while no classic, it’s a bit of a hoot.
Agree? Disagree? Head off to the comments box…!