Scary Movie 3

Anna Faris, Charlie Sheen and Pamela Anderson. Directed by David Zucker.
Running Time: 90 mins
Rated: PG

Having graduated from College, the hapless Cindy Campbell (Faris) has become a television news anchorwoman. She is directed to investigate the mysterious crop circles on Tom Logan's (Charlie Sheen) farm, and discovers the eerie secret behind the death of a close friend. Along her journey Cindy pays a visit to Orpheus, who explains to her that she is The One, and prophesises that she must help the US President (Nielsen) to prevent a full-scale alien invasion of the country.

The Scary Movie series has been good fun, satirising the horror genre and just about every other big Hollywood film and major television show that it can fit into its set-ups.

In this third instalment most regular film attendees will see that the film revolves "Signs", "The Ring", "The Matrix" and "Independence Day." The eagle-eyed film and television buff will also enjoy noticing the quotations from "The Others", "The Sixth Sense", "Malibu's Most Wanted", "Six Feet Under", "American Pie", "Bruce Almighty", "American Idol" and "The Truman Show".

This series has such a good following at the box office that major stars are keen to be in it. This time around Pamela Anderson, Charlie Sheen, Queen Latifah, Carolyn Manheim and Leslie Nielsen are but a few of them. Michael Jackson also makes a guest appearance that the producers might now regret.

As a slight comedy, when Scary Movie 3 is at its best, it's hilarious and clever. Unfortunately at its worst, it's very crude and deeply offensive to the Catholic Community. It's not just that the whole film trades on being "non-PC". It's that a few skits are gratuitous about the most serious of issues or people.

There is an appalling scene where a Catholic Priest arrives as a babysitter for one of his altar boys. His criminal intentions are made explicitly clear. Later the US President hands out humanitarian awards which are dolls of the Blessed Teresa of Calcutta with her head wobbling from side to side. I was pleased to note the audience with whom I saw this film did not find either of these scenes particularly funny.

So be warned that Scary Movie 3 is a mixed bag.

Fr Richard Leonard SJ is the Director of the Australian Catholic Film Office.

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