In a World Where Crap is King

This is why we can't have nice things, and by nice things I mean good moviesThe weekend box-office is in, and Sylvester Stallone’s ’80s shoot-em-up “The Expendables” remains in the number-one spot with a second-week gross of $16.5 million. And if you think the title of this blog post refers to that, well, you’re only half right.

See, the weekend’s number two movie — with $12.2 million in ticket sales — is “Vampires Suck”, the latest from hack parodists Josh Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, who’ve foisted “Date Movie”, “Epic Movie”, “Disaster Movie” and “Meet the Spartans” upon our screens over the past few years. Now, in fairness, I haven’t seen the new one, but I know the template, and I know Friedberg and Seltzer’s sense of pop-culture humour, which is roughly adjacent to Jay Leno’s.

It’s lowest-common-denominator stuff — bringing out a Britney Spears impersonator and smacking her with a mallet, because everyone wants to see Britney Spears get smacked in the face with a mallet. It’s the same impulse that led Jay Roach to throw Jeff Dunham into “Dinner for Schmucks” — a sop to the Middle Americans who might not recognize Jemaine Clement, Lucy Punch, Kristen Schaal or Chris O’Dowd but sure do love that ventriloquist guy. (And here I must pause and point out that for all his failings, Roach is a more astute director of comedians than Friedberg and Seltzer, who just hire lookalike actors and make them repeat the dialogue from whatever they’re mocking with one eyebrow raised.)

So, yeah. “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” barely stays in the game, holding tenth place with a $5 million take, but “Vampires Suck” just made half its budget back, guaranteeing it’ll be profitable by the time it hits DVD (which should be presently). And Friedberg and Seltzer will have another insta-parody in theatres by Christmas — probably going after the “Harry Potter” series. That’s on you, moviegoers. Damn you all to hell.