Scary Movie 3

Fall is the time of year when students return to school, the leaves fall from the trees, and as sure as the weather changes, there are horror films at the local multiplex. There is always a crop of filmgoers anxious to be scared out of their wits by the latest Hollywood dealings and with horror flicks resurgent at the box office this year, and if the film is a modest success, then a line of sequels is likely to follow ensuring big returns from video and cable revenue. With the success of the first two films in the series, it was only a matter of time until “Scary Movie 3” arrived.

In “Scary Movie 3”, Director David Zucker has taken over for Keenan Ivory Wayans, and sets out to apply his style of humor that made huge hits out of the “Airplane” and “Naked Gun” films. Working from a script by Pat Proft, Kevin Smith, Craig Mazin, Brian Lynch and David Zucker, the film u=opens with a fantastic send up of “The Ring” where Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy play a pair of dimwits who are blissfully unaware of what is to come even though it is very obvious to the viewers.

Charlie Sheen plays Tom, a former priest who is perplexed by the “attack here” message that appears in his cornfield and why reporter Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris), sees the message of a sign of pending danger. Before long, Tom, Cindy, and the cast are involved in some great parodies of “8 Mile” “Signs” and “The Ring” “The Others” and “The Sixth Sense” to name but a few.

The jokes come at a rapid pace and while some fizzle, most of the early jokes find their targets early and often. The biggest difference with “Scary Movie 3” from the previous films in the series is the general lack of a plot, not that the first films will be mistaken for Fellini by any stretch of the imagination.

“Scary Movie 3” is more of a collection of sketches bound by a very thin thread, as there is little continuity between the scenes. Simon Rex has some funny moments as an aspiring rapper, but his scenes with his posse seem to exist to appeal to the urban audience that Wayans so brilliantly included in as part of his previous films in the series. In part 3, the characters seem more on the outside looking in and are missing from to many of the horror spoof segments of the film.

Another issue with the film is that it is only 85 minutes and that many of the best jokes have been used up by the first 45 minutes of the film as it coasts to an under whelming conclusion. A prime example is the talented Leslie Nielson is wasted in a small role as the bumbling President and is not given enough material to take advantage of his presence in the film, as is also the case with Regina Hall who is back again as Cindy’s friend Brenda.

Zucker has some good stuff but the film just does not have enough funny material to sustain the momentum as some jokes soars while others crash and burn causing the film to run out of gas far to early.

My advice, wait for the DVD and enjoy the film with the deleted scenes included.

2.5 stars out of 5