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A beautiful [of course] high school student is murdered [slashed? slaughtered?] and the students [all 20s and 30s aged actors] led by Cindy (Anna Faris ), and including Buffy Shannon Elizabeth), Brenda (Regina Hall), Bobby (Jon Abrahams), Greg (Lochlyn Munro), Shorty (Marlon Wayans), Ray (Shawn Wayans) - realise the murderer is amongst them. It may well be the hooded figure in a scream mask [same] who keeps making phone calls. They must protect themselves and put up with the pesky, short-fused tv reporter Gail Hailstorm (Cheri Oteri).

"For the first half of its slender running time Scary Movie packs in enough laughs to look like it might become the Flying High of a generation raised on Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer. It's much more gross than the famous 'plane disaster comedy but has the same feel of being made by people who know and perversely love the territory they're sending up.

As Leslie Nielsen might say "the plot isn't important right now, what is important is that it's really the same as Scream". You know, over age high school kids being bumped off by a knife wielding killer dressed in a black cloak and plastic horror mask. It kicks off in good style with a very funny spoof of Drew Barrymore's opening scene from Scream (watch that popcorn expand!) and gets even better when heroine Cindy (Anna Faris) promises her drug dealer dad to flush the evidence if the cops turn up while he's away...."say hello to Uncle Escobar". The cheerfully vulgar fun continues as Cindy and her brainless friends realise that somebody knows about that body they threw in the river exactly a year ago.

Just a few of the gross-out highlights include a creatively staged oral sex/car accident scene, a Matrix inspired fight with Riverdance additions, female tongue-shaving and a high disgust-factor ejaculation scene. The most amazing moment I won't describe but it involves male anatomy and ears...I must also express a great fondness for the scene in which the killer's work is done by angry cinema goers who decide en masse to stab a talkative audience member.

Similar though perhaps slightly less Draconian measures should be legalised at multiplexes immediately. Plenty of lewd activity, political incorrectness and send-ups of everything from The Sixth Sense to The Usual Suspects makes this great fun for about forty minutes. It flags in the second half before the nifty climax arrives but the overall impression is you've had your money's worth. The extended Wayans filmmaking fraternity has, in various configurations, produced savvy items like I'm Gonna Git You Sucka and dreck like Major Payne and this is one of their better efforts. Apparently the original cut of this wasn't shaping up and about half of it was re-filmed with new material. Hey presto! - a box office hit and despite the advertising slogan promising "no sequel" Scary Movie 2 is indeed on its way...

It's not the best satire ever made but will stand up well to repeated viewings especially with judicious use of DVD's chapter search facility. The extra features are OK although I'm glad the deleted scenes are just that!"
Richard Kuipers

Published March 22, 2001

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CAST: Carmen Electra, Anna Ferris, Shannon Elizabeth, Dave Sheridan, Frank B. Moore, Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans

DIRECTOR: Keenen Ivory Wayans

RUNNING TIME: 85 minutes

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Home Ent

DVD RELEASE: March 14, 2001

Deleted Scenes
Behind The Scenes Featurette
Photo Gallery
Language: English
Subtitles: English For The Hearing Impaired
Scene Selection
Dolby Surround 5.1

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