On the /FilmCast tonight a discussion about the new Disaster Movie trailer turned into an examination of the spoof film. Neil from FilmSchoolRejects had to remind me that spoof movies were not always the bottom of the comedy genre. Mel Brooks and Monty Python created highbrow (or at least highbrow in comparison to contemporary spoof films) films which were not only praised during their time, but have gone on to become classics.
What is the difference? What has become of this genre. Watching the Disaster Movie trailer you will quickly realize that the film doesn’t even stick to the core concept presented in the title. What does Iron Man, Juno, Enchanted or Hancock have to do with disaster movies? Modern spoof films rely too much on recent pop culture references, likely because the audience for these films have such small attention spans. Any core story elements are lost, and the pop culture overload results in the loss of timelessness. The movie is only funny (if funny at all) at this moment in time.
A film like Spaceballs will always be funny because it works on its own. Sure, it helps that the subject of the spoof – Star Wars, is timeless, but even if you lived in a vacuum where Star Wars was never made available, Spaceballs would still be funny. You invest yourself in the characters and story, and in effect the comedy is elevated. I seriously doubt much time was spent on the story or characters in any one of the spoof comedies that have plagued our cinemas for the last decade. They are shot and dumped into theaters in a fraction of the time that it takes a real screenwriter to produce a first draft. That said, enjoy the Disaster Movie trailer below. Tell me your thoughts in the comments.
[flv:http://bitcast-a.bitgravity.com/slashfilm/trailers/disastermovie.flv 470 264]
You can watch the trailer in High Definition on MySpace. Disaster Movie his theaters on August 29th 2008.