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Director Keenen Ivory Wayans
"Everybody who goes to the movie feels like they're included"
 real 28k

Friday, 6 July, 2001, 19:19 GMT 20:19 UK
Scary sequel 'out-grosses' first
Scary Movie II targets supernatural films -
Scary Movie II targets supernatural films - and more
By BBC News Online's entertainment correspondent Tom Brook

Scary Movie II, the sequel to last year's surprise lowbrow gross-out comedy hit, has arrived in US cinemas brimming with bodily fluids, crude sexual references and lavatory humour.

The original movie spoofed teen slasher movies but the sequel takes aim at supernatural films, as well as advertising, the 2000 US Presidential election and Anne Robinson.


We are giving people a chance to come in and just laugh and sort of exorcise themselves

Director Keenen Ivory Wayans

The film opens dramatically with a parody of the cult horror classic The Exorcist.

Natasha Lyonne plays Regan, the demonically possessed little girl who spouts obscenities and urinates interminably on her mother's living room carpet.

James Woods is one of two priests who try to perform an exorcism on her.

His character quickly becomes engaged in a round of revolting projectile vomiting that also involves a local priest and young Regan.

Constipated

Marlon Brando had originally been cast in the role that Woods plays, but he withdrew because of ill health.

Woods, who brings to the screen a constipated priest, also has a memorable and rather explicit lavatory scene, details of which are best left to the imagination.

Scene from Scary Movie II
Woods and Lyonne in a take-off of The Exorcist

In addition to The Exorcist, the Scary Movie sequel takes aim at a whole host of other films that include Hannibal, Poltergeist, What Lies Beneath and Hollow Man.

Director Keenen Ivory Wayans, who created the film with his siblings and several associates, says for their background research they combed through more than 130 horror movies.

As he explains: "What we tried to do was first we took the most popular ones, then we took the worst ones we could find, and then tried to find the commonalities, tried to find the clichés within the genre."

Butler

The sequel has a plot that is very loosely based on the haunted house film The Haunting.

Cindy Campbell, played by Anna Faris, as in the first film, is invited to a spooky mansion with her friends by an evil professor who is ostensibly conducting a scientific experiment.

Anna Faris and Marlon Wayans in Scary Movie II
Anna Faris and Marlon Wayans return in the sequel

Tim Curry is the professor, but another member of the household, Hansen, an eccentric butler, overshadows him.

Hansen, who is brought to the screen by Chris Elliott, is one of the film's prime attractions.

He sports a deformed and smelly hand which the house guests find disgusting because he uses it to stuff a turkey and mash potatoes.

He also gets sidetracked into numerous perverse activities like sniffing women's underwear.

Weakest Link

But Scary Movie II does not keep to a tight brief of spoofing just horror pictures.

It also parodies Charlie's Angels, Mission: Impossible II and Nike shoe commercials.

Weakest Link presenter Anne Robinson is also lampooned when a foul talking parrot utters her infamous line: "You are the weakest link, goodbye!"

Anne Robinson
Robinson: Has the Mickey taken out of her

When Marlon Wayans, who once again plays the hapless Shorty in Scary Movie II, is asked why Robinson's show is mentioned, he says quite simply: "I like her, and it's such a popular thing now in the States, so we decided to do it."

Although opinions differ, there is ample evidence to suggest that the grossness in the sequel matches that of the original.

Once again, the film's crude humour is bound to provoke condemnation from the nation's moral guardians.

Although gross-out films like Scary Movie II are outrageous, Wayans concedes that in certain political respects these pictures are quite conservative because they're not asking audiences to take up arms or challenge the status quo.

Wayans claims the Scary Movie films are very benign in terms of social impact.

He says: "We are giving people a chance to come in and just laugh and sort of exorcise themselves and let it all hang out - they're popcorn films."

Profitable

If there is anything socially redeeming in this sequel, it is inclusive, like the original. Everyone ends up being lampooned.

The Scary Movie franchise is different from standard Hollywood fare because the films have a diverse cast and a wide audience reach that crosses social boundaries.

Scary Movie
The first Scary Movie was a big hit

Marlon Wayans points out: "We all laugh, black, white, Puerto Rican, Mexican, gay, it don't matter, everybody laughs."

His brother Shawn adds: "Scary Movie has got something for everybody to enjoy."

The original Scary Movie had a budget of $19m, but it became hugely profitable because it took in more than $270m around the world.

The creators of Scary Movie II, which had a budget of $45m are clearly hoping to enjoy another success.

Unfortunately, the sequel is a disappointment. It feels rushed and slapdash with no coherent story and many scenes seem included for no good reason.

Also, the lowbrow comedy, even for those who love lavatory humour, wears thin quite rapidly.

But Scary Movie II has arrived in US cinemas with a must-see cachet, so its initial box office should be strong.

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See also:

08 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Scary babes speak out
11 Apr 01 | Film
Brando 'takes Scary role'
08 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Cheap frills in Hollywood
10 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Scary Movie's rude success
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