The greatest spoof movies

Yahoo UK Movies Features
28 September 2011

Thanks to films like 'Meet the Spartans' and 'Date Movie', spoofs have got a bad reputation of late.
But with the forthcoming release of the 'MacGyver' parody, the brilliantly bonkers 'MacGruber', we decided to take a look at what we think are the greatest spoof movies ever.
Prepare to have your funny bone tickled:
 
'This Is Spinal Tap'

Mercilessly sending up pompous musicians and rock concert films, there are so many reasons why it's a classic — Tiny Stonehenge, 'Turn it up to 11' - but its true greatness lies in the fact that while film fans are in stitches watching it, rock stars from that era squirm through it with knowing embarrassment.
Brilliantly pitched, it even coined a new film term - the 'Mockumentary'.
 
'Airplane!'
"'Airplane!' not number one, surely you can't be serious?"
"I am serious, and don't call me Shirley."
Jim Abrahams and David and Jerry Zucker changed the face of comedies with a simple but effective idea — having straight men rather then comedians (as Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves and Leslie Nielsen were back then) deliver the lines. 
Throwing so many jokes at the screen in the hope that some stick, only to find that most of them do, this affectionate spoof of the enduring but naff '70s disaster film series 'Airport' (it even includes actual lines from the movies that it mimics) is pure genius from start to finish.
 
'Young Frankenstein'
Like 'Airplane!', 'Young Frankenstein' is made with huge affection for the films that it spoofs — this time the classic Universal monster movies. Beautifully shot in black and white, Gene Wilder has the time of his life, as does the late, great Peter Boyle.
The scene involving a blind man and Frankenstein is still pure brilliance.
 
'Top Secret'
While filming 'MacGruber', the usually very serious Val Kilmer insisted to the movie's director that he didn't need any tips on how to be funny, as he had comedic pedigree.
And no, he wasn't talking about 'Top Gun', but rather this hugely underrated spoof by the same team behind 'Airplane!'.
Lampooning films like 'The Great Escape' and Elvis Presley movies, 'Top Secret' has some tremendous visual gags. Case in point, Kilmer's Nick Rivers gets on the train and looks out of the window, only to see the station pull away, complete with a commuter chasing after it. Classic.
 
'The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad'
Showcasing Nielsen's tremendous comic timing (he can raise more laughs with one eyebrow than a minute of Jim Carrey's face gurning), 'The Naked Gun' can stand up to endless viewings.
So many great gags, but the one that has us every time is Nielsen's Frank Drebin notifying his giant police colleague Al (his head is always out of frame due to his size) that he has something on the side of his mouth. "No, the other side," Drebin helpfully advises, only to see a chunk of banana fall down.
Subtle, no. Clever, probably not. But funny all the same.

'Blazing Saddles'
Another Mel Brooks film on this list, following on from 'Young Frankenstein'. And while we thought long and hard about 'Spaceballs', 'Blazing Saddles' edges it, and not just because of the infamous campfire scene.
The Western was ripe for spoofing in the seventies, but Brooks refuses to rely on easy jokes, making sly asides about racism amidst some of the best comedic set-pieces ever seen on film.
And yes, there is also that campfire scene.
 
'Scream'
Before people start screaming at us, yes there was the 'Scary Movie' franchise, and yes the first one had its moments, but what really is the point of spoofing a spoof — which is essentially what 'Scream' was, albeit a very clever one.
Throwing in as many scares as knowing nods and little winks to horror fans, 'Scream' is still an absolute delight. It shouldn't work, but it came at a time when everyone had had enough of those old slasher clichés. Let's put it this way, it made directors think for a moment before having one of their teen cast investigate a strange noise outside by themselves, or flee up the stairs from a masked murderer when the front door would seem a better exit.
 
'Team America'
Like 'MacGruber', 'Team America' sends up the Jerry Bruckheimer-style action films with laser-type precision.
In fact, leave aside the fact that it's done with puppets, the first five minutes could very well have been an actual scene from an '80s action film.
From then on the film just gets better and better — with 'South Park's' Trey Parker and Matt Stone making sure that both right- and left-wing viewpoints get slated in equal measure.
 
'I'm Gonna Git You Sucka'
Long before the 'Scary Movie' franchise, Keenen Ivory Wayans made this hilarious spoof of Blaxploitation films. A plot involving a group of vigilantes taking down a local crime lord is merely something to hang incredibly funny sketches on - like a pimp wearing goldfish bowl shoes and the 'Shaft'-esque character having his backing band following him.
 
'Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid'
Steve Martin plays private investigator Rigby Reardon in this spoof of '30s and '40s film noir. Not only is it filmed in black and white, but it also incorporated scenes from those classic films — allowing Martin to interact with characters from 'The Big Sleep' and 'Double Indemnity'.
But it doesn't just rely on that gimmick, with the film's plot in actual fact a very decent noir entry in its own right. Luckily, it's also very funny too.

Agree with these choices? What would you have picked?

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