To spoof = to imitate something while exaggerating its characteristic features for comic effect. As long as our favourite genres keep pumping out the hits using predictable tropes we know and love there will always be spoof lurking to show twist them and turn it back into comedy gold.
To celebrate the release of hot new horror spoof The Walking Deceased this month we take a look at 5 of the best movie spoofs that you might not yet have seen…
Young Frankenstein (1974, Mel Brooks)
When it comes to choosing incredible, genre-defining Mel Brooks spoofs to talk about you’re somewhat spoiled for choice – Spaceballs, Blazing Saddles, Dracula: Dead and Loving It. Using the same castle location and props as the original 1931 Frankenstein film, the film attains a perfect blend of classic horror aesthetics and Brooks’ trademark brand of goofy visual gags and witty one-liners. Perhaps surprisingly, the film narrowly missed out on two Oscars, being nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Sound. Now made into a musical, much like Brooks’ The Producers, Young Frankenstein remains a gold standard Spoof after all these years.
Top Secret! (1984, David Zucker)
It’s nowhere near as lauded as Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker’s the oft called best-comedy-ever, Airplane! but Top Secret! still has a dedicated cult following. It’s easy to see why. This laugh out loud parody of World War II spy movies and Elvis Presley musicals sees American rocker Nick Rivers (a very funny Val Kilmer) becoming involved in the resistance’s plan to rescue a kidnapped scientist. Insane amounts of japes ensue. It’s inventive, non-stop and so loaded with visual gags that it’s stands up to regular re-watching. Some of the best clips have masses of views on YouTube now for good reason. Well worth a look.
Don’t be a Menace to South Central… (1996, Paris Barclay)
The classic gangsta formula became such a cinematic staple in the ’90s that it was undoubtedly ripe for ridicule. Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood took up the challenge and lovingly parodied titles like Boyz N the Hood, Menace II Society and New Jack City in true Wayans Brothers fashion. Shawn Wayans plays Ashtray, a straight arrow hoping to escape the violent Los Angeles environment that created his wild cousin Loc Dog, played by Marlon Wayans. With broad comedy and countless nods to other iconic films like Dead Presidents, 9 1/2 Weeks and Stand By Me, Don’t be a Menace makes for highly silly, highly entertaining Friday night viewing.
Black Dynamite (2009, Scott Sanders)
Pimps, flares, moustaches and kung-fu – this brilliant recent salute to the blaxploitation films on the 70’s captures all of the shoddy production values and behind-the-beat acting that gives b-movies their magic. Jai White stars as Black Dynamite, the kick-ass Vietnam Vet and ex-CIA operative who declares war on the city’s drug dealers after they begin flooding local orphanages with heroin, but uncovers a greater conspiracy is at play. The film’s attention to detail and knowledge of the genre calls to mind the grind house work of Tarantino and Rodriguez but with a purer form of fun. Fast becoming a cult classic for fans of exploitation movies, Black Dynamite is a must-see brimming with enough razor-sharp pastiche to keep you grinning all week.
Your Highness (2011, David Gordon)
Danny McBride (Foot Fist Way, East Bound and Down) leads the cast in this off-kilter blend of stoner movie silliness and dedicated fantasy based comedy. Imagine Pineapple Express shenanigans with bro-talk spoken in terrible pseudo-British accents and you’re halfway there. McBride plays Prince Thadeous, a juvenile, misfit minor royal living in the shadow of his more eligible elder brother Prince Fabeous (James Franco). Thadeous The two must quest with sexy warrior queen Isabel (Natalie Portman) to rescue Fabeous’ bride, Belladonna from the malevolent wizard Leezar (a hilarious Justin Theroux). A typical scene involves a visit to a sexually deviant, bong-hitting wizard, who offers them to breath deeply on his special herbs. When the straight laced Fabeous starts having dark visions, Thadeous urges him to “Handle thy shit!” This is a very quotable movie and Highly underrated.
The Walking Deceased is available on Digital VOD 6th July and on DVD on 13th July, 2015