Scary Movie 3

Scary Movie and Scary Movie 2 weren’t great films of the cinema, but who are we kidding? These are dumb, vulgar, lowbrow spoofs meant to entertain mass audiences for 90 minutes and that’s that. Chances are they won’t even achieve that ten years down the line, when all the pop culture references are outdated, but right now these flicks are good for a few laughs.

You probably noticed that the Wayans brothers are missing from this third outing, both behind and in front of the camera, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially with David Zucker taking over. He’s a much better director than Keenen Ivory Wayans and in any case, the ever delicious Anna Faris was always the best thing about the franchise. She’s back as Cindy Campbell, who’s now a TV reporter with Naomi Watts-blonde hair who investigates mysterious crop circles behind the farm of an ex-minister (Charlie Sheen in “Hot Shots!” mode) while trying to lift the curse she received after watching a bizarre video. “Seven days…”

What we have here is a cross between The Ring and Signs, with some more potshots at The Matrix Reloaded (with George Carlin as the Architect!), “The Others” and 8 Mile and cameos by everyone from Denise Richards to Eddie Griffin, Queen Latifah, American Idol’s Simon Cowell, spoof-king Leslie Nielsen to just about every current rap star.

There isn’t much to review here. “Scary Movie 3” is idiotic, juvenile and often in spectacular bad taste, but it made me laugh hard and often. Your mileage may vary, of course, depending on how funny you find people being kicked in the crotch, dogs having sex and dudes in ridiculously phony alien suits. But for my money, any movie that features a catfight between February 1990 Playmate Pamela Anderson and October 1993 Playmate Jenny McCarthy, in schoolgirl uniforms no less, is a must-see!