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Parody specialists Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer have found their formula and are sticking with it despite what any of the rest of us might think.
The duo, responsible for such stinkers as “Date Movie,” “Epic Movie” and “Disaster Movie,” now have turned their puny sights on the rabid pop culture phenomenon of sexy vampires. Or rather, just the “Twilight” series, as this effort would be more accurately titled “Twilight Sucks.”
Ignoring such contemporary bloodsucker-themed hits as HBO’s “True Blood” and the CW’s “The Vampire Diaries,” not to mention stalwarts like Dracula or the works of Anne Rice, this witless spoof instead merely provides an unfunny scene-by-scene retread of the first two movies in the hugely successful franchise.
Thus, it dutifully trots out slightly renamed versions of the iconic “Twilight” characters, including the romantically torn Becca (Jenn Proske) and her dueling suitors: the taciturn vampire Edward Sullen (Matt Lanter) and hunky werewolf Jacob White (Chris Riggi).
If you think Jacob peeing on a tree or Becca farting in Edward’s face when he attempts to climb into bed with her are the height of comic wit, then you’re clearly of the adolescent mind-set to which these films cater. The director-screenwriters, clearly aware of their target audiences’ lack of sophistication, are not even ashamed to trot out such hoary gags as when a horde of vampires hungrily devour Chinese food and Edward observes that they’ll be hungry again in a half-hour.
As they’ve done with all their efforts, they also inject an endless amount of current pop-culture references as possible, in this case with gags devoted to “Jersey Shore,” the Kardashians, Lindsay Lohan, Tiger Woods, Chris Brown and Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland.” (To their credit, they also bite the hand that feeds them, in the form of a dig directed at Fox News).
There’s a joke or broad sight gag every 15 seconds or so, but the ratio of hits to misses is nearly nonexistent. The sole truly funny bit, riffing on the homoerotic subtext of the werewolves’ penchant for constantly exposing their chiseled torsos, features Jacob and his fellow lycanthropes bursting into an exuberant dance routine to the song “It’s Raining Men.”
The main performers do a reasonably good job of parodying the “Twilight” leads, with Proske particularly effective in subtly lampooning Kristen Stewart’s moody mannerisms.
Opened: Wednesday, Aug. 18 (Fox)
Production: Regency Enterprises, Road Rebel
Cast: Jenn Proske, Matt Lanter, Chris Riggi, Ken Jeong, Diedrich Bader
Directors-screenwriters: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer
Producers: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer, Peter Safran
Executive producer: Arnon Milchan
Director of photography: Shawn Maurer
Production designer: William Elliott
Editor: Peck Prior
Costume designer: Alix Hester
Music: Christopher Lennertz
Rated PG-13, 77 minutes
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