Ring Recycle: A Horror Parody Franchise Gets Its Third Wind

Once again setting the mass culture Cuisinart on pulverize, this hugely profitable spoof franchise rebounds nicely from its sophomore misfire, giddily inbreeding the plots of a half-dozen box office overachievers—from The Ring to 8 Mile—until the result assumes a comically unstoppable life of its own. Taking over from the Wayans brothers, director David Zucker tones down the raunch and ups the PG-13 slapstick (no semen showers, but plenty of Jackass-style ultraviolence). After discovering a tape that kills you seven days after watching it, TV reporter Cindy Sherman (Anna Faris) seeks the help of an ex-minister (Charlie Sheen), whose cornfield is under attack by UFOs and whose wigger brother (Simon Rex) dreams of becoming a rapper. Together, they set off to consult the local Oracle (Queen Latifah), a chain-smoking hoyden with bad gas. The intersecting parodies are as deliriously convoluted as the obligatory D-list celebrity cameos—including Pam Anderson, Jenny McCarthy, and the Coors twins—are boobalicious. Vigorously date- and time-stamped, Scary Movie 3 boasts a cultural half-life of about five seconds, but for those seeking a return on their weekly multiplex pilgrimages, this movie is The One.

 
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