Parody films used to be so popular—where did they go?
One of my best movie-watching experiences came in seventh grade when someone's mom mistakenly rented us Scary Movie while I was at a sleepover. From the moment Carmen Electra's silicon implant gets stabbed out, I was hooked.
I love a good parody or spoof movie. The best ones deliver a ton of laughs, biting social commentary, and have enough plot to keep you interested. They were an important part of the comedy genre.
But at some point recently, Hollywood stopped making these films. Now they are relegated to small companies, tiny budgets, and never seem to get a mass release or even critical traction. To make matters worse, these movies have less and less to say.
What happened to these movies? Check out this video from Eddache, and let's talk after.
What Happened to Spoof and Parody Films?
When I was a kid, renting a parody or spoof movie was always such a reliable choice. If you grabbed Airplane, Kentucky Fried Movie, or even the wonderful Dr. Strangelove, you were in for not only laughs but something smart.
These movies took on our society. Monty Python movies like Life of Brian challenged religion. Blazing Saddles took on race in America. Even Caddyshack had something to say about new and old money (and gophers).
These comedies were stalwarts at the box office, but it all changed sometime in the 1990s. As you saw in the video above, there's no simple answer. I think a lot of it goes back to the lack of box office for these movies. The Austin Powers trilogy made so much money for Hollywood that it seemed like we were going to get a wave of spoofs. But while those movies had a lot to say about the spy genre, the movies that followed didn't seem to have a point of view.
Even the movies based on social constructs like Hunger Games had parodies that never addressed what was at the center of these stories. And sure, we don't need these always to be biting. Look at the Naked Gun movies. It's not as if they take on policing. but they actually tell us a story filled with some of the funniest jokes, and the movies we get now in this genre don't come close.
Miramax and then the Weinstein Company were the main financiers of the Scary Movie franchise and then other spoof films like Superhero Movie, but when Weinstein was punished for his crimes, these places went under, and no one took the mantle of spoof and parodies.
Part of the reason they didn't was that these types of films went from being esoteric and having our greatest comedy minds working on them and became the dregs of jobs where cheap jokes and gross-out humor reigned supreme.
Even when good versions of these movies came out, likeThey Came Together, they were ignored by critics and audiences.
I, for one, miss these movies. But I really only miss the good ones. I know why the genre fell out with audiences, but it sucks to think we may never get it back. There are so many things in culture that we can talk a lot about, and ways to subvert ideas and tropes to make them funny. While we see a lot of this in pastiche films, they don't really stand up to parody because they have to take themselves seriously eventually.
Do you miss the spoof and parody genre?
Let us know in the comments.
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Two names destroyed the movie parody: Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer
July 12, 2021 at 12:12PM, Edited July 12, 12:12PM
People find funny new things, the days of parodies have passed long ago.
July 13, 2021 at 5:05AM
Woke culture killed comedy.
July 13, 2021 at 5:38PM
This one is real easy. We now have a hyper-sensitive snow flake culture that gets offended by everything therefore we can no longer laugh at ourselves or poke fun at each other.
July 15, 2021 at 7:53AM