Scary Movie 4: Unrated Edition (DVD)
Starring Anna Faris, Craig Bierko, Anthony Anderson, Bill Pullman, Carmen Electra, Regina Hall, and Leslie Nielsen
Directed by David Zucker
Distributed by Dimension Entertainment
Ever hear that old saying about going to the well too many times? The Scary Movie franchise has not only gone to the well, but it has jumped in, splashed around, ingested every ounce of liquid, and then pissed it all out, only to repeat the process. The original Scary Movie was actually a clever little reflection on our genre. Even Scary Movie 2 had its moments. But then it happened. The genius minds behind the projects, the Wayans brothers, dropped out of sight and took all of the funny with them. So let's look at the situation. After two very successful films, poor Dimension found themselves stuck with a franchise whose creators wanted nothing to do with. What's a company to do? Simple. Hire established comedy director David (Airplane!) Zucker to pick up the reins. That choice sure looked good on paper. Before we knew it, Scary Movie 3 was in theatres, and wow, did it suck. I have no idea how, but another film in the series was given the proverbial green light, and here we are with Scary Movie 4. How I wish . . . How I wish we WEREN'T here.
Scary Movie 4 follows the continued exploits of Cindy Campbell (Faris), the bumbling broad with a knack for getting herself in the most bizarre situations on the planet. This go-around lands her smack in a new job caring for an elderly woman (see: The Grudge) when all of a sudden the vengeful spirit of a tiny Asian boy informs her that in order to stop a soon to be in full throttle alien attack (see: War of the Worlds), she must find his real father, who lives in a small village whose inhabitants live in fear of monsters from the outside world (see: The Village, or better yet, don't. That sucked worse than this.). Once said information is obtained, Cindy and company must get aboard the alien spacecraft and confront the guy(s) who's really running the show -- a couple of puppets (see: Saw). Yep. That about covers it.
Still reading? You are brave. The main question here really is, what happened to David Zucker? Here's the man behind some of the funniest motion pictures ever made; yet, given the chance to explore a genre that is rife with material, he falls flatter than Olive Oyl's chest. What gives, David?
To be fair, Scary Movie 4 is a way better flick than Scary Movie 3, but is saying something sucked less even a valid compliment? I found myself laughing maybe three times the whole entire movie. In a comedy, that is not a good sign. While the first two films in the series were somewhat inspired, the last two have just been insipid.
Now what about the words "Unrated and Uncensored" that are emblazoned on the packaging? Could it be the real funny was cut out to garner a PG-13 theatrical rating? I searched high and low. In my mind, given the fact that I had absolutely nothing else to do, I tried to explore the possibility that something about this cut could be better. Was it? No. Everything is just as dumb. Now it's just a bit longer.
The extras on this DVD, while in abundance (I give Dimension credit; everything you could possibly want is here), each play exactly the same way. It's as if the folks that made this film are sitting next to you and screaming in your ear, "Look how funny I am! Ain't that great?" There are extended and deleted scenes with commentary, a self-indulgent feature commentary, about six minutes of unfunny bloopers, a featurette about working with Zucker and his laugh, a look at the film's FX, and some valuable insight as to why it's important to cast rappers in a film. Sadly, they were actually serious about that last one. Look! It's Chingy! Wow! The Youngbloodz! Hey, Lil John even made the back cover of the DVD even though he's in the film for less than five seconds. Why not put a disclaimer in the ad campaign stating that you should see this movie just because rappers make cameos? I ain't hatin'; I am mystified.
There's one extra on the DVD that is worth its rental price in gold! It's the Interviewer's Worst Nightmare featurette. In it the stars of the film are told beforehand that they are not to tell the person conducting the interviews anything about the movie or what it was like working on it. By far this is the funniest damn thing on the entire disc and the only reason to consider watching this drivel.
Despite what I or anyone else says, I'm sure people, as if through the power of mind control, will flock to stores and saddle this missed opportunity right onto the top ten DVD sales chart. That's neither funny or scary. It's just plain sad. I guess the joke's on us.
Deleted and extended scenes with commentary
The Man Behind the Laugh: David Zucker featurette
Zany Spoof Humor: Zucker Style featurette
Interviewer's Worst Nightmare featurette
The Visual Effects of Scary Movie 4 featurette
The Youngbloodz featurette
Rappers and Actors featurette
2 out of 5