“Taking the piss out” of someone in British slang means draining them of what we might call their “all that”-ness, their self-importance. Shawn and Marlon Wayans took the piss out of African-American urban melodramas (such as Menace II Society, South Central, Juice and the daddy of ’em all, Boyz N the Hood) in Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood (1996). Likewise, with big brother Keenan instigating and directing their attacks, they drained the main vein of ’90s slasher films (such as the Scream trilogy and the two I Know What You Did Last Summer movies) in last summer’s Scary Movie. Scary Movie 2 doesn’t so much take the piss out of a random sample of Hollywood ghost flicks (Poltergeist, The Haunting and What Lies Beneath). It pisses on them while randomly aiming not only streams of urine, but geysers of vomit and semen, mostly at America’s commercial pop culture.
The plot? A parody first of The Exorcist (1973), then The Haunting (1999) muddled with recycled characters from Scary Movie, this schizophrenic flick — pasted together from a grab bag of mostly toilet-humor visual gags — looks like a brain-dead student with lapsed potty training of the Abrams and Zucker (Airplane! and the Naked Gun trilogy) school of satire. But its humor isn’t only at the cheap expense of the ghost movies. Scary Movie 2 also lampoons a recent Nike ad, Hannibal (2001) and Charlie’s Angels (2000).
Greenish urine spills from beneath a demonically possessed girl’s nightgown as she stands in front of her mother’s guests at a cocktail party taking the piss (literally, like a race horse) out of a scene from The Exorcist. Most of the audience laughs hard enough to wet themselves. But if the distasteful and disgusting gags of Scary Movie 2 don’t jerk off your funny bone, you might just leave the multiplex pissed off.
Read "Scary interview" (Metro Times 7/3/01), where Marlon and Shawn Wayans give up the word on geysers, extreme comedy and the rest of their funny family.
E-mail James Keith La Croix at firstname.lastname@example.org.