The Good

The Bad

Something told me that when David Zucker, the genius director of Airplane! took the reigns of this movie, somehow he would pick up the pieces of Scary Movie 2. I was thankfully proven correct in my assumption because this was one of those films that started off funny, remained funny and never let up the entire way. In fact, when it ended, I had one of those rare movie theater experiences where I was almost sad when it was over.

Scary Movie 3.5 fires on all cylinders as it pokes fun at Signs, The Ring and a host of other popular horror films that are familiar in our culture and lives. I could talk about the plot of this movie (which really is just a combination of plots from all the movies it is laughing at) but I don’t think that that even matters. What Scary Movie 3.5 really is, is a combination of funny sketches that somehow comprise a movie. No sense has to be made, no plot points have to be followed, the only prerequisite is comedy. The movie has to be honestly funny and Scary Movie 3.5 honestly is.

Features

New Deleted and Extended Scenes With Optional Commentary; New Feature Commentary Track from the Filmmakers

These extra features are really a lot of fun. The deleted and extended scenes are interesting to watch, mainly because it seems like the filmmakers have found the right degree of levity in what they left out of this movie. It is interesting seeing what worked in the movie and what was ultimately deemed “taking the joke too far.” I also enjoyed the running commentary as that helped to give these scenes a sense of perspective. The “Feature Commentary” lets us hear from David Zucker, producer Robert K. Weiss, writers Pat Proft and Craig Mazin. There really should be awards for individual special features on DVDs. I say this because I found this commentary track to be very funny and interesting. It wasn’t just guys sitting around trying to outdo one another. They were funny and informative and as a result this is the kind of commentary I plan to listen to again and again.

Making Scary Movie 3; Making Scary Movie 3... For Real; Outtakes and Bloopers; Alternate Ending and Hulk vs. Aliens – Behind the Scenes of the Alternate Ending

You have got to love a Special Edition DVD that has two “Making Of” pieces. One is real and one is fake, and while it is always obvious which is which, this doesn’t mean that they both aren’t enjoyable. The “Outtakes and Bloopers” seem like par for the course on a DVD of this nature. One would almost expect this DVD to have them. These are funny, I just found that I wasn’t knocked out with laughter, probably because of all the other funny stuff I had already seen from this DVD. Something tells me this extra feature would have resonated more if I had watched it first. Without giving too much away about the “Alternate Ending” (although I think the title of it’s “behind the scenes” piece sort of already does that), you know that you are in very funny company when they make a “Behind the Scenes” look at the alternate ending. That said, seeing how some of the FX of this movie were done was insightful, although I was never sure how serious I should take this.

Video

1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. Enhanced for 16x9 TVs. What I think is the most unique about this films look is how it captures the look of the movies it is parodying. When we see parts of the movie that are supposed to look like Signs, they look like Signs, although there is a comedic twist. I was just really amazed at how much this film was able to “ape” the films it was essentially copying. This is where I think the true humor lies, because once we believe the situation, and then we see the comedy in it, it becomes something we almost can’t believe we are seeing.

Audio

Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. English and French Audio. French and Spanish subtitles. The sound is also used to create the sense that “horror” is taking place. In fact, other than things being extremely comedic, the main thing that seems to hurt this movie is when known celebrities are in it. Yet, at the same time they parody themselves, so maybe I don’t really know what I am talking about? Sometimes it’s hard judging the audio on a movie like this, simply because in comedy, if the audio is good it should really be something that we don’t notice. It isn’t intrusive and doesn’t really stand out. I would have to say that this is pretty much the case with the soundtrack here. Other than bolstering what is on screen, the audio is pretty much by the numbers.

Package

They have really made this DVD look good. Using what I remember being the original poster art from the the one sheet, the cover of this release looks familiar yet they have messed with it enough so that people might even be confused when they see it. Also, adding the .5 at the end of the title was a good touch, even though I have no idea what it means!! The back features some scenes from this movie, a description of what Scary Movie 3.5 is about, a “Special Features” listing, a cast list and some technical specs. While I may not get the joke of this cover, I am laughing as I write this so that is probably enough, right?

Final Word

This movie doesn’t just “send up” horror movies, it sends up every movie and in addition to that, it sends up events happening in the world! I really think that these kinds of “parody films” can only really work as sequels if there is a lot of time between when they are released. Truthfully, I think that this was the problem with Scary Movie 2. It didn’t have enough time to really be a good movie because not enough movies had been released before it came out. As a result, the comedy had to be original and organic and I just think that that is a tall order for anybody, especially when you factor in that they were probably working under HEAVY time constraints.

Scary Movie 3.5 marks the reinvigoration of the Scary Movie franchise, as well as David Zucker’s return to the top of his comedic form.

Scary Movie 3 was released October 24, 2003.