Your Top Three: Best Spoof Movies

Your Top Three: Best Spoof Movies

Nov 13, 2013

Your Top Three is a series here at where we choose a topic and you give us your top three picks.

Apparently The Starving Games opened last Friday, but this latest spoof movie from Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer (Epic Movie; Vampires Suck) was released in such a limited amount of theaters that the distributor doesn't even seem interested in reporting box office figures. Reviews of the movie, all of them negative, also didn't start showing up until days later. But it's also available from iTunes and On Demand if you're into those guys' humor. I'm not judging. I haven't seen any of their work, except for Scary Movie, which they cowrote. 

Their brand of parody isn't everyone's cup of tea, of course. So what is? The difficulty in discussing these kinds of movies is determining what really qualifies as a spoof or parody movie. Is Shaun of the Dead a spoof of zombie movies or just a romantic comedy with zombies? I believe filmmaker Edgar Wright claims the latter. Is Blazing Saddles a spoof of Westerns or just a comedic Western? Given the career of Mel Brooks, which also includes certain spoofs like Spaceballs, High Anxiety, Robin Hood: Men in Tights and Young Frankenstein, we can accept it as the former. 

Other filmmakers who are easily bracketed into this category include the Monty Python crew (Monty Python and the Holy Grail), the Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker trio (Airplane!; Top Secret!; The Naked Gun; Hot Shots!), the Wayans family (I'm Gonna Git You Sucka; Scary Movie; Dance Flick) and Christopher Guest, whose mockumentaries are by a rule spoofs of documentaries. Does early Woody Allen count? Perhaps. He appears in at least one definite inclusion: Casino Royale. Speaking of Bond parodies, there are probably more of those than any other kind, especially if you look around the world. 

Some others that are arguable/questionable include the following: Shrek; Galaxy Quest; The Princess Bride; Enchanted; Mars Attacks!, Help! and the Abbott and Costello Meet... movies. Also, I guess we should count any and all XXX Parody pornos?

Here are my top three spoof movies:

1. Life of Brian - Monty Python's controversial spoof of Bible epics, specifically the story of Jesus, is also one of the great religious satires in general. The fact that sometimes it almost seems to be played seriously rather than comedically -- thank goodness for the UFO bit to inject it with supreme silliness -- makes it all the more effective.

2. This Is Spinal Tap - The gold standard of mockumentaries is this spoof of concert films and other music docs. It's so perfect that now it's hard for people to make actual rock docs that aren't compared to it, which is sort of weird.

3. Wet Hot American Summer - I probably should go with Airplane! and its joke-a-minute anarchy, technically the standard for these sorts of films, but the ZAZ movies kinda cancel themselves out right now for me as far as ranking them. And there's never enough recognition bestowed upon this spoof of '70s/'80s coming-of-age movies, specifically of the summer-camp variety. Every time I watch it, I have a different favorite character. Last time it was Gene. 

Your Picks (the top three being Airplane!Blazing Saddles and The Naked Gun):



























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