63 – Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th

Go ahead, laugh at the title. Sure, it appears to be a lame knockoff/parody of such allegedly hip slasher movies as Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer. Oh, and sure, we just had one of those parody films (Scary Movie). Are you sick of this genre yet? Well get unsick. This one’s a keeper.

With a virtually unknown cast and with the whole self-referential, self-absorbed, self-aggrandizing horror movie genre being so far overdone as to render satire ineffective, this movie had very little going for it from the outset. Its title seems more of a ripoff than a well-considered parody. But the title belies a wonderful product.

I really didn’t expect much here, maybe a few laughs to help me scrape through the day. I expected a real dumb comedy, one with jokes about as subtle as a sledgehammer. But this one is more in the vein of the early Airplane! movies – it is rife with both verbal and sight gags, some of which are throwaways. The movie seems to relish its stereotypes, but mockingly.

One of the great things about the original Airplane! is that there were so many gags going on in the background that you sometimes found yourself paying attention to the peripheral stuff and ignoring some of the actual plot. The writers of that movie knew you’d do that, and they made the central plot rather dull – airplane in danger, must be landed – and allowed the characters to play off their lines as complete straight men. This movie
does the same kind of thing, and there are tons and tons of inside and subtle jokes that you might not see right off the bat – and when you do, you’ll laugh your ass off.

The basic story is that there are murders going on in a high school (“The Spring Break Massacre,” the papers call it), five friends are united both by these murders and something they did the previous year (which they all remember differently), and an intrepid reporter who tries everything to get the scoop on the whole thing.

This is real parody. It’s a great escapist movie, a lot of fun if you sat through any of the self-indulgent crap that was the Scream trilogy. This one never lets you take it seriously. It’s a fun ride all the way.

Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th: 7

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