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  Directed by
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL )
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • German: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
    English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, English - Hearing Impaired
  • 9 Deleted scenes
  • Audio commentary - with director David Zucker, producer Robert K. Weiss and writers Craig Mazin and Pat Proft
  • 3 Featurette
  • Animated menus
  • Outtakes
  • Alternate ending

Scary Movie 3 (Rental)

Buena Vista/Buena Vista . R4 . COLOR . 81 mins . M15+ . PAL


Last year gave us the concluding chapters of a few trilogies. The Matrix Revolutions showed us how not to do it, and The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King showed us that good things do come to those who wait. Scary Movie 3, also from last year, was approached with mixed scepticism from both the trilogy side as well as the new film in the Scary Movie franchise following the at-times clever yet ultimately painful Scary Movie 2.

So first, a word of warning – you may like to cover the floor with newspaper before watching this one. If you’re open to it you’re gonna laugh so hard it will make you want to pee your pants. OK, well maybe not that hard, but this is definitely one kooky, up-to-date and funny film, relying on witty slapstick humour rather than on the toilet humour that the Wayan brothers brought to the first two films. The original Scary Movie cleverly stuck to a hybrid of Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, with Scary Movie 2 taking the piss out of The Haunting and The House on Haunted Hill. Within these two films, nothing is sacred. What Lies Beneath, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Exorcist and The Blair Witch Project all get poked at, at times ever so subtly, showing that thought has (actually) gone into the script. Scary Movie 3, whilst not quite as subtle, still takes the piss mighty well following the plot of The Ring and Signs, with elements from American Idol, The Others and The Matrix to name a few, directly targeting on key parodies from these films. Pushing the take-the-piss genre as far as it can possibly go, these films are definitely not on the deep and meaningful list and won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, however if you love the basis films and know how to laugh at yourself, then Scary Movie 3 is for you.

"Cindy... the TV is leaking."

This reviewer is a fan of the original films - Scream, The Ring and Signs - which makes the franchise appealing and well-executed. Bar the second instalment that is. This third film features some simply riotous moments and opens promisingly, yet, admittedly, towards the end loses some pacing, unbelievable given the 80 minute duration, and lacks in the laughter material. But still, for that mindless night of entertainment at an above-average Hollywood film, this is a top choice.

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*sob* I haven't learnt how to read yet...

To be totally honest, hands up if you want the plot explained? Thought so. The same thing as the first two – clear similarities between the basis films drive the film along with the same story, bar a few fart jokes, bum gags and gang shootings. As you do, of course. So grab Signs and The Ring, mash 'em up and you have the general story. Anna Faris is back as Cindy who is now a reporter, a.k.a. Naomi Watts from The Ring. The film starts with two big-breasted, scantily-clothed women bitch fighting it out and graphically dying, to all the straight males’ dismay, introducing us to the ‘video tape’ which, predictably, Cindy gets a hold of and, moments later, the phone rings. And, no, not the “what’s your favourite scary movie?” with Drew banter, but the “you’re gonna die in seven days” type thing. Anyway, then we meet Father Tom, played by Charlie Sheen, who lives in a farmhouse with his dud brother and two children, a.k.a. Mel Gibson from Signs. His brother George, an Eminem-style white rapper, is trying to make it big as he has little else going for him and in doing so crosses paths with Cindy. Ooh, it now sounds like he’s Martin Henderson from The Ring... Anyway, yet again, back to the film, the two now must try to uncover the mystery behind the videotape before the seven days is up. Along the way we meet Brenda from the first two films with her best lines yet, a bunch of aliens, Leslie Nielsen as the American President (he can’t be too much stupider than *ahem*), Morpheous, the Oracle and that bloody old Architect dude in the TV screen room that just peeved everyone off in The Matrix Reloaded - and that’s just a few of the other characters! A great cast of cameos keeps the action rolling, while some funny moments make this an enjoyable film to fall back on, even if towards the end the plot wanders aimlessly.


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As Heather Mooney puts it, "Um, OK Toby, f*ck off!"
Like Scary Movie 2, Scary Movie 3 is presented in an anamorphically enhanced widescreen aspect of 1.85:1, quite different from Scary Movie’s 2.35:1 aspect. With artistic framing somewhere down on the priorities list for this film, this difference in production isn’t really anything to complain about, just for procrastinating reviewers to ponder about. As we have come to expect from Buena Vista, this transfer is nothing short of gorgeous, with decently saturated colours, deep blacks and beautiful clarity and definition throughout. At times a smidge of film grain sneaks onto the screen, but this is far from distracting. The only gripe is with some slight occurrences of digital noise reduction, resulting in a slight imperfection in the image. The keyword here, so important it’s said twice, is slight, and this is really only for those who have an anal attention to detail. Other than that, this is what a transfer should be like, and is simply a delight to watch.


Now what better way to accompany a superb video transfer than with an equally impressive Dolby Digital 5.1 English soundtrack? What we’re given is superbly mixed and well presented, and incredibly suitable for the genre. Dialogue is clearly spewed from the centre channel, with perfect synch and a healthy fidelity. Effects are used to great advantage for this film, using the full 5.1 soundstage to extend upon the horror movie parody by creating an equally tense and rich soundtrack. Effectual speakers are used well for a bucket load of discrete effects as well as carrying the rather active score and soundtrack featuring the usual swag of rap tracks.


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Do these make my hair look too small?
The 16:9 enhanced menus are neatly animated yet look a little clumsy, appearing chunky and childish. Up first is a feature-length audio commentary featuring director David Zucker, producer Robert K. Weiss and writers Craig Mazin and Pat Proft. This, like the film itself, knows how to laugh at itself, and these guys are open to criticisms and know where things went wrong. It’s nice to hear the makers commenting on the film’s flaws rather than the usual self-congratulatory babbling. Silly, funny and oddball, just like the film, this commentary track is a comic listen, and worth a watch if you get the time.

Two featurettes, The Making of Scary Movie 3” (23:22) and The Making of Scary Movie 3... for real (4:55) have been thrown in looking at, yep, you guessed it – the making of Scary Movie 3. The first is decent in duration and packed full of the usual interviews and behind the scenes footage, as well as having a brief look at the change of key crew for the third instalment. The second is a bit of a laugh, with a much shorter duration and more interviews and footage taking the piss out of director David Zucker.

Nine deleted scenes and one alternate ending have been included for good measure, and have a few pee-worthy moments, with others feeling rather dry and demonstrating, quite obviously, why they remain on the editing room floor. Anyway, these scenes are Call from Orpheus (0:26), Tractor Fix (0:41), Rap Club Extended (6:12), Weather Forecast (1:05), George Burns Stuff (0:46), George and Cindy Date (0:53), Cindy Gets Fired (0:39), Rappers Arrive (0:52), Alternate Ending (15:30) and MJ Hits Cody (0:11). These are presented in a letterboxed widescreen aspect with a fairly poor video quality and standard 2.0 Dolby audio, and have an optional commentary track. Running at just over 80 minutes for the film itself, it makes you wonder why some of these moments didn’t remain in the film. While we’re looking at the alternate ending, a 4:12 featurette, Hulk vs. Aliens: Behind the Scenes of the Alternate Ending, on the making of the original ending, has been included and offers some pretty interesting insight into creation of the characters and effects for this sequence.

And just for good measure, and a slight laugh, a mildly amusing stream of Outtakes and Bloopers (4:01) has been thrown in, but you can’t seriously expect us to believe that for a film of this nature these were the funniest stuff-ups? *sigh* oh well... Luckily, and this reviewer never says this, the theatrical trailer is no where in sight as this is a huge spoiler to many of the film’s laughs.


If you’re expecting class and depth, look elsewhere. If you’re after fart jokes, sicko gags and some good laughs, you’re in the right place. But what’s more important is that Scary Movie 3 actually intelligently zeroes in on several key laughs, deliberately targeting scenes giving smart credit to the writers. And, as always, when you run out of intelligence, throw in a fart joke to save the day.


Ooh, sorry, I didn’t think you’d still be here...

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      And I quote...
    "A word of warning – cover the floor with newspaper before watching this one..."
    - Martin Friedel
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DVP-NS530
    • TV:
          Sharp SX76NF8 76cm Widescreen
    • Receiver:
          Sony HT-SL5
    • Speakers:
          Sony SS-MSP2
    • Centre Speaker:
          Sony SS-CNP2
    • Surrounds:
          Sony SS-MSP2
    • Subwoofer:
          Sony SA-WMSP3
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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