Parody heaven: 11 spoof movies to treasure
|LISTS - MOVIE LISTS|
Here are the 're-imaginings' that frequently overshadowed their subject material...
With the prevalence of the likes of the continuing Scary Movie franchise (yes, more instalments are in the pipeline) you might be forgiven for thinking the art of a good parody died with Leslie Nielsen. You might be right, but at its peak, parody is one of cinema’s most memorable screen presences and these picks of the best surely prove that...
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
Parodies: Just about any 1970’s broadcasting corporation. Anchorman’s charm lies in sending up such institutions with enough affection to remain comical rather than satirical.
The Quote: Probably too many to mention, although Brian Fantana’s appraisal of his cologne Sex Panther – “They've done studies, you know. 60% of the time it works, every time,” and Veronica’s declaration “Mr Burgundy, you have a massive erection,” are pretty good for a chuckle.
Best Scene: Despite the newsroom antics, one of the best scenes takes place outside the studio as egos and cameos converge for the mother of all fist-fights:
Naked Gun 1, 2 & 3 (1988/91/94)
Parodies: Born out of the Zucker Bros.' early 1980’s TV cop spoof Police Squad, you can take your pick from Columbo, M Squad and the like. Though diminishing returns set in slightly, all three rank as genuinely hilarious parodies, as Frank Drebin bids to rid LA of crime.
The Quote: Though a lot of the humour rests on visual gags, many lines were supremely funny. Encapsulating Drebin’s buffoonery completely comes, “Wilma, I promise you; whatever scum did this, not one man on this force will rest one minute until he's behind bars. Now, let's grab a bite to eat.”
Best Scene: Too many to mention, so grab a drink and enjoy this compilation:
Top Secret! (1984)
Parodies: Every spy film/Elvis film known unto man. Sort of. The Zuckers’ Top Secret! has recently enjoyed a resurgence thanks to its treasure trove of visual gags (the eye, the underwater fight, the big phone, the barn gun-fight). Even Val Kilmer comes off looking good.
The Quote: Surely “I know a little German. He's sitting over there,” tops the pile.
Best Scene: The Underwater Fight just shades the big phone, but they’re both here.
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007)
Parodies: Walk The Line, almost scene for scene. Probably the best parody in recent years sees John C Reilly comedy chomp on some brilliant moments. Full frontal nudity, drug ignorance, suggestive lyrics. It’s all here.
The Quote: “I don’t wanna succumb to the temptations,” after refusing drugs but walking straight into an acapella soul masterclass almost nabs best scene too.
Best Scene: However that goes to the fabulously innuendo-filled musical delight “Let’s Duet.” Brilliant...
Hot Shots Parts 1 & 'Deux' (1991/93)
Parodies: Mainly poking fun at Top Gun and Rambo respectively, there are also nods to Kickboxer and Apocalypse Now among others. Charlie Sheen shows he can do deadpan better than most, although Airplane!’s Lloyd Bridges steals the show as goofy Admiral/President Benson.
The Quote: See, he even gets the best quote. You can’t help but laugh at a man who, when greeted replies “Really? That's my name too.” Although Sheen’s appraisal of Great Expectations is pretty good as well – “It's not what I'd hoped for.”
Best Scene: Coming right near the start of the second film, this replica parody of Kickboxer’s antics makes old school barn fights look easy.
Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery (1997)
Parodies: Bond, James Bond. The best thing Mike Myers has done is crammed full of great jokes. While the two sequels couldn’t match the first’s gag rate, it gave us the fiendishly foolish Dr Evil and some great moments.
The Quote: Forget the catchphrases and delight in Dr Evil’s self-aware behaviours. “I'm going to place him in an easily escapable situation involving an overly elaborate and exotic death. All right guard; begin the unnecessarily slow-moving dipping mechanism.”
Best Scene: Demonstrating Myers’ ability to look beyond the main players (as shown in his 'henchmen family' scenes), Will Ferrell sneaks a cameo and bags the best death scene. Not everyone dies according to plan, do they?
This Is Spinal Tap (1983)
Parodies: The joke’s on them. Originally envisioned as a mockumentary, the success of which put Spinal Tap on the road and in our hearts, Rob Reiner’s musical troupe combined some of the best comedy talent of the time to spoof pretty much any rock/heavy metal band who took themselves too seriously.
The Quote: How can you beat Nigel Tufnel’s “I'm working in D minor which is the saddest of all keys, I find. I'm really influenced by Mozart and Bach, and it's sort of in between those, really. It's like a Mach piece. It’s called ‘Lick My Love Pump’.”
Best Scene: Yes it an obvious choice, but it’s a certain classic. Not just for the line, but the befuddled reaction. It really does go to 11...
Parodies: The film that jettisoned Leslie Nielsen’s 'straight-man' career was actually based on the 1957 film Zero Hour, but take any in-flight-based disaster movie and you can guarantee that Airplane!’s parodied it.
The Quote: With the highest gag-rate per minute of any movie, it’s hard to pick just one. Nielsen’s “Don’t call me Shirley,” Bridges’ “Looks like I picked the wrong week...” and the pilots’ “We have clearance, Clarence. Roger, Roger. What's our vector, Victor?” are prime contenders for comedy lines of the millennium, not just the film.
Best Scene: Again, too many to choose. So just enjoy the trailer which features nearly all of them.
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