SCARY MOVIE 4 (David Zucker). 81 minutes. Opens Friday (April 14). For venues and times, see Movie Listings. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Scary Movie 4 hits some gloriously tasteless peaks of inspired lunacy with the same mix of broad parody and low humour as its predecessors. It's a toss-up whether the blind girl shitting in church or the naked U.S. president at the UN is funnier.
But invention sags after about an hour, and the film can't muster much more than whacking small children with heavy objects. Strange, because Zucker (Airplane!) and his writers are highly talented veterans, and they've chosen targets ripe for satire: War Of The Worlds, The Grudge, Saw, The Village and Brokeback Mountain.
While the jokes sag, the cast soars. Series star Anna Faris glows with a transcendent benign stupidity. She's perfectly matched by Craig Bierko as the Martian-battling romantic lead. Anthony Anderson and Kevin Hart reprise their babbling rapper cross-talk routine from instalment 3. Regina Hall and Leslie Nielsen , doing his own nude scene, are also back and both very funny.
The short running time and the big improvement of Scary Movie 3.5, the DVD, over Scary Movie 3, the theatrical release, strongly suggest that Zucker may have again lost a lot of his best jokes to a PG-13 rating. Which suggests that you should wait for the unrated DVD.