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Spoof movies used to feature some of the best parody and satire to ever come out of Hollywood. The likes of Airplane and Young Frankenstein were some of the funniest comedies of their respective eras. Practically every genre Mel Brooks chose to parody turned into comedic gold. But in recent years the spoof movie has fallen from its previous cultural height. Somewhere along the line, people seemed to forget that making a movie parody didn’t mean copying its every plot point and making sophomoric jokes that could barely pass muster on a middle school playground. But somehow, terrible comedy writers took all of the wrong lessons from the masters of the spoof movie. In a way, the modern spoof movie is such an exquisite form of anti-comedy that their almost kind of hilarious in how unfunny they manage to be. So we’ve dug through the bottom of the barrel to bring you our picks for some of the best worst spoof movies of all time.
What began in Scary Movie took its ultimate form in Epic Movie, a film that was designed to parody big fantasy blockbusters that were everywhere in the 2000s. But the series lost focus and went on to just parody any big blockbuster that had come out in the past few months. Epic Movie features references to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Cribs. It also follows the old comedy staple of spoofing famous celebrities like Paris Hilton and Puff Daddy, then having things thrown at them. In some ways, writer/director director Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer are brilliant. They make hundreds of thousands of dollars off of just throwing objects at famous people and making pop culture references. If only it was so easy for the rest of us to have hack Hollywood careers out of throwing stuff at people with little effort put into anything else.
Austin Powers in Goldmember
Remember when everyone couldn’t stop quoting Austin Powers? Back when the film the that everyone ignored found an audience on video and proceeded to slowly take over pop culture? The zenith of the Austin Powers fever came in the third movie which was laden with huge cameos like Steven Spielberg, Tom Cruise, Kevin Spacey, Britney Spears, and Beyoncé. But this film was so bad it managed to kill the entire Austin Powers franchise. It also managed to mark the slow decline of Mike Meyer’s career and stopped anyone from yelling “Yeaaaahh Baby.” Austin Powers used to be at the height of spoof movie greatness, but whatever cultural legacy remained was completely tarnished by Austin Powers in Goldmember turning it into one of the best worst spoof movies.
A Haunted House
Marlon Wayans returns to wreak havoc in the parody movie genre after a long absence by adding an urban element to the ever-so-popular genre of found footage ghost movies. It also takes a stab at other supernatural films like The Exorcist and the Devil Inside. Mostly it uses lot’s of borderline racist jokes. The usual white guys walk like this, but black guys walk like this kind of humor that works wonders to make a quick buck. It’s pretty terrible, but is has a weird sort of charm that other spoof movies don’t posses. Making it the best kind of terrible. It's kind of like hearing jokes from an awkward cousin or family member who you can tolerate in limited doses, making it an easy inclusion as one of the best worst spoof movies.
Fifty Shades of Black
Marlon Wayans is at it again urbanizing Fifty Shades of Grey with Fifty Shades of Black. It’s a schtick that works well for him taking traditionally white pieces of media, but filling them with urban humor. But in many ways white people deserve it. They steal black people’s clothes and music, and given all the debates about cultural appropriation with everything from dreadlocks to Chinese food, maybe it’s just the universe course correcting itself. If white people can steal black people’s culture, then it’s only appropriate that black people should be able to steal white people movies and make them their own. So you can call this movie one of the best worst spoof movies, but then you're a racist. This is what the white movie going population deserves after continuing to not nominate any African Americans or other person's of color for the academy awards. So until there’s better representation in big budget film any white movie should be open game for the spoof movie treatment. So just sit back enjoy the comedy and laugh about how if you're white you probably deserve this for making Fifty Shades of Grey such a hit.
If there was ever a genre that deserved to be parodied it’s the romantic comedy. It’s a genre that will never go away, but will always be a staple of mainstream film diet. Plus, there’s so much fodder to mock. Of course in the hands of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer that means instead of skewering the tropes of romantic comedies it just means the cast finds themselves replaying a few scenes from other famous movies and a few romantic comedies. Although that bit with the fat suit would not ever stand up in the current political climate given how much bad press is given to body shaming. It’d be hilarious to see all of these films get skewered by the liberal internet shaming police given how many of these jokes would not past muster in the current cultural climate.
One of the more recent Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer joint ventures, this direct to video on demand and DVD release is designed to parody the Fast and Furious movies. They even went as far as releasing it to concur with the much anticipated Furious 7. Here they try to parody all of the Fast and Furious films and, despite having such easy targets, they still miss the mark. The Furious movies are very dumb films and perfect spoof film fodder. The jokes write themselves given how brazenly dumb the films are. Of course they completely miss the mark on a super easy target.
After the beating Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer took from Disaster Movie, they took a break from constantly pushing out a movie on a yearly schedule and put more love and care into their next major production. They got a bigger budget and somehow managed to blackmail Ken Jeong into starring in it. It mainly sticks to parodying the first two Twilight movies because those were the only ones that had come out by then, but also forces references to Jersey Shore and Alice In Wonderland. It’s kind of like the old manatee joke from South Park in that they pick an idea out of a ball pit that is vaguely relevant and then have a joke where that thing gets hit over the head or falls in a hole. Instead of following in the footsteps of Mel Brooks, who managed to pay tribute to the genres he loved and understood them in his films like Dracula: Dead and Loving It, Vampires Suck goes for the easiest and laziest jokes. Mel Brooks might be responsible for the best spoof movies, but Vampires Suck is the best of the worst for spoof movies. But at least Ken Jeong got a decent paycheck and went on to do better comedy work.
The Starving Games
Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, after having a series of diminishing returns with their cheaply produced spoof films, were banished from making theatrical releases after Disaster Movie. From there on out, they were forced into the realm of taking their craft to the direct-to-DVD and VOD where, perhaps, their content always belonged in the first place. This time they focused their attention on The Hunger Games. While there is a great parody movie waiting to be made by the glut of YA dystopia films that have been clogging up multiplexes for the past few years, they did not achieve this feat. But at least they were able to keep The Hunger Games as the main theme of their parody. In retelling the story they manage to also include references to The Avengers, "Gangnam Style," and The Hobbit. If there was ever anything that was meant for lazy Netflix viewing combined with cold pizza and warm beer it’s The Starving Games.
As you can tell from how frequently the duo of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer appear on this list, the dynamic duo became the bane of parody through their never-ending line of spoof movies. There's a reason they appear on this list given their responsibility in single handedly dragging the good name of the spoof movie through the dirt. The culmination of their complete and utter laziness hit it’s zenith with Disaster Movie, where they were too lazy to find a cohesive spoofing theme like their other films. In many ways this one represents the culmination of a decade of laziness. It’s less a real movie and more a collection of gags from movies that were released in 2008. The film is only eight-years-old but its references to Enchanted, Juno, and Sarah Silverman’s "I’m Fucking Matt Damon" song make it feel like an ancient relic. It’s sort of like watching your college improv group get a million dollars to replicate SNL and being forced to watch them throw joke after joke at the wall, all while the exit door is locked shut. This is more of a comedy endurance test and becomes almost transcendental in its awfulness, like a form of Tim and Eric anti-comedy. This makes it an easy inclusion on the best worst spoof movies list.
Scary Movie 4
The original master of parody comedy David Zucker returned to the genre he helped create with Scary Movie 4. This movie in many ways began the larger trend of just taking popular movies from the past year and stringing them together to create a frankenstein beast and inspiring many of the best worst spoof movies on this list. Did you ever want to see War of the Worlds combined with Saw? No one else did either, but it happens here. Not to mention the bizarre opening scene featuring Dr. Phil and Shaq forced into one of the Saw torture games. But this film has the benefit of also featuring Charlie Sheen just before his massive breakdown. At least we get to see Anna Farris try her hardest to keep this beast afloat with her comic charm.