Wayans not done making fun of scary movies
The new BET comedy series “Second Generation Wayans” begs the question: Have there really been only two generations of the professionally funny family that gave us “In Living Color,” the “Scary Movie” franchise and “White Chicks”?
“I'm pretty sure there were some really entertaining Wayans before us,” says Marlon Wayans. “You know, some hilarious slave Wayans. They could've been in (Quentin) Tarantino's movie (“Django Unchained”). Pickin' cotton, and tellin' jokes. That's us.”
At 40, Marlon is part of the same generation of Wayans that produced Damon, Keenan Ivory, Kim and Shawn. Marlon has “always been the most-talented” of the clan, says George Thomas, film critic for the Cleveland Examiner — capable of low comedy, but also of stealing film from the likes of Tom Hanks (“The Ladykillers”).
Wayans' latest function in the funny-family enterprise is “A Haunted House,” an attempt to move on from the “Scary Movies” that he helped launch, but which the family is no longer a part of. With the “Scary Movie” installments — begun as a response to the “Scream” and “Nightmare on Elm Street” franchises — growing more watered-down with each year, Wayans saw an opening for another parody.
“There's a fine line between that moment when you're a fan of the movie, the first movie in a series maybe, or you're a fan of a genre — and the first films in it are the good ones — and then the bad ones start coming along and you hate them,” Wayans says. “When I see common denominators, common situations, common characters — a genre of films or a series of films becomes all the same movie — that's when I go ‘That sucks. But it's funny that it sucks.'”
That's where he figures the “found footage” genre of horror is — “Paranormal Activity” and its many imitations.
“By the time the recent ‘Paranormal Activities' and the rip-offs came along, I said, ‘Wow. White people do some dumb stuff in these freaking movies. You know what would be funny? If ‘Paranormal Activity' happened to a black couple. Who would they call? What would go wrong with them?'”
He couldn't do much with the original found-footage horror film — “The Blair Witch Project” — because “Black people don't camp. We came from Africa. We know what's in the woods.”
But what if, say, a black couple had “thug cousins” they could call in a crisis? “That's what I would do. And that's funny, to me. There are things even a thug is afraid of.”
Next up for Wayans is a co-starring role in the comedy “The Heat,” with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. He plays Bullock's character's love interest.
“We don't have any love scenes. Or any chemistry, really. But I'm pretty sure that in my mind, they do the nasty. A man's got to have hope.”
Roger Moore covers movies for McClatchy-Tribune News Service.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- DVD reviews: ‘Shaun the Sheep Movie,’ ‘No Escape’ and ‘American Ultra’
- Holidays offer the gift of plenty of new films
- Review: ‘McQueen’ takes a look under hood of a legend
- Former editor hopes ‘Spotlight’ gives newspapers a boost
- Review: Katniss’ saga comes to a fairly satisfying end
- Review: ‘The Night Before’ is an instant Christmas classic: naughty, but nice
- Review: ‘The Assassin’ is a visual knockout set in ancient China
- Review: ‘Wonders’ more about mood than the plot