What happens when you create a parody of something that was almost a parody itself? You get one of the most successful comedy franchises of the 21st century. In 2000 Dimension Films released Scary Movie, a parody of the 1996 slasher film Scream. The film was a hit with audiences, setting the stage for four sequels. It also inspired other film parodies, such as Epic Movie, Disaster Movie, and Date Movie. It began as a parody of Scream, but Scary Movie’s legacy has grown into so much more.
But what does this all mean for the franchise that started it all? During a Scream reunion panel at Emerald City Comic Con 2023, the cast was asked about the 2000 comedy and how it affected the direction of their franchise.
“I’m going to start since I know the rules of scary movies. Actually, do you know what Scream’s first title was,” Jaime Kennedy asked. The audience (sharp as always) shout ‘Scary Movie.’ Kennedy then reminded everyone that Scream itself was a parody of slasher films. “Scream was meta and self-reflective. And then Scary Movie was a parody of something so meta, so it was wild. Scary Movie is hilarious, and I loved it. I don’t think it affected us at all. I think it made the movie bigger,” Kennedy continued.
“I thought all of the performances were really over the top,” Skeet Ulrich said. If you’ve seen Scary Movie, then you know exactly what he’s talking about.
Neve Campbell sees Scary Movie as the ultimate tribute to their work. “It’s a comedy, right? And what is it that they say about impersonation? It’s flattery. They did a great job, and I don’t think it had an effect on our films, it just brought attention to ours.”
I think Neve hit the nail on the head. Scary Movie is the ultimate love letter to Scream. Think about it, how many film franchises inspire parodies that become franchises in their own right?