tek's rating: meh and three quarters

Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th (R)
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This direct-to-video movie came out in 2000, but I didn't see it until 2016. It actually was released a few months after the theatrical movie Scary Movie, which I didn't see until a few years after this. (And I guess the reason this movie wasn't released theatrically itself was because of some legal dispute involving "Scary Movie.") Anyway, both this movie and that one were parodies of, as you might have guessed, scary movies. "Shriek..." is primarily a parody of Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer. But there are also parodies of countless other things mixed in, many of which have nothing to do with horror at all. And there are even countlesser background gags, both sight and sound. And almost every parody, joke, or gag of any kind in the movie is dumb, but I'd say there's a sliding scale. Some of the humor in the movie is too dumb to even qualify as groaners, and some of it is actually mildly amusing (almost clever, even). And of course, some of it is offensive, but for the most part I tend to let that slide, because I just find it hard to take such things seriously when the whole movie is so dumb that no one could possibly take anything that any characters say or do as, you know, something to be emulated. (Though there is one thing I won't let slide; but I'll get to that later.)

The movie begins with a girl named Screw being called by a killer (a la the opening scene of "Scream"). But when he chases her, she ends up dying in a ridiculous way before he can even catch her. (This becomes a running gag throughout the film: the killer doesn't actually manage to kill anyone, or at least not anyone important. His intended victims just keep dying in their own uniquely ridiculous ways.) I want to say that right after Screw dies, there's a visual gag involving the killer's mask that I actually laughed at. It was one of the few things I found genuinely amusing in the movie.

Anyway, the next day, a transfer student named Dawson Deery (a parody of Dawson Leery) shows up at Bulimia Falls High School. He soon falls in with the popular kids, including Slab (Simon Rex, who was probably vaguely known to me when the movie came out for being a VJ on MTV; I also know him from the first season of What I Like About You, which started a couple years after this movie was released), Barbara (Julie Benz), Martina (Majandra Delfino, whom I know from Roswell), and Boner (Danny Strong). (Boner says his name is supposed to be pronounced "Bonner," but everyone else pronounces it exactly as you'd expect them to.) Anyway, they're all concerned that any one of them could be the next victim, after Screw's death. (One of the running gags is that the Killer is constantly running around in plain sight killing people, but no one seems to notice or care, because the people he kills aren't popular. The only deaths that matter would be the main characters.) And it's not long before the five popular kids each receive a note saying "I know what you did last..." (each note ends differently, but each one is accompanied by a flashback from the recipient's perspective, all of which happened on the same night, despite the very different times indicated by the notes). Meanwhile, there's a reporter from EmpTV News named Hagitha Utslay (Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, best known to me from Saved by the Bell), who's covering the serial killings. There's also a mall cop named Doughy (Tom Arnold), who is investigating the killings basically because the Killer had stolen his costume from a Spencer Gifts at the mall where Doughy works. Doughy and Hagitha flirt rather awkwardly with each other throughout the film. (Oh, and Doughy is Barbara's brother, but that fact is of no real importance.)

Eventually, after a ton of stuff happens around school or whatever, there's a party at Slab's house. (In keeping with the movie's complete lack of continuity, the party is said to take place during both Spring Break and Halloween.) Of course the Killer will use this opportunity to continue trying to kill all the main characters (each of whom he had previously tried and failed to kill). Meanwhile, the kids have their own things going on. Like, ever since Dawson and Martina met, it was clear they were into each other, but Dawson assumed she couldn't be into him, for a reason that's one of the offensive things about the movie, which I won't reveal. But that gets cleared up toward the end of the party. Meanwhile, Boner (who throughout the film is constantly complaining that he'll never get laid) continues trying to get laid. (Honestly, I'm not sure why he's even one of the popular kids, since no one in the school or in his clique seem to like him.) Finally, he's going to rape an unconscious woman (I mean, I assume the character is a high school student, but somehow, despite the entire main cast being too old to be in high school, I was able to suspend disbelief and accept them as high school students, but whoever was playing this one girl- who didn't even have any lines before she passed out in a bedroom- I couldn't accept that she was in high school, but whatever). Anyway, Boner doesn't actually get a chance to rape her before the Killer shows up, but the important thing is... this is the one thing I mentioned earlier that I can't let slide. Attempted rape isn't funny, not at any point on the "sliding scale of dumb humor." And even though he never even really got started, I considered stopping the movie at that point.

But... I didn't. And I'm not sure what else to say about the plot. Of course none of it really makes sense, because the whole movie is specifically trying as hard as it can to not make sense. For the lulz. Eventually the Killer is caught, and stopped (or is he?) And... I dunno. It's all just redonkulous, but as I said earlier, I did actually find a bit of the movie funny. I did enjoy how self-aware and even self-deprecating the movie could be (particularly with the names of the three cats). And Martina's attempt to impart a modicum of genre savvy on her friends, at one point. And... there was a fun cast. Aside from the actors I've already named, some other familiar people included Coolio as the School Administrator Formerly Known as Principal, and Shirley Jones as Nurse Kevorkian, and a brief appearance at the end by Khrystyne Haje (in a capacity I don't want to spoil). And I'm sure there were plenty of other cameos of less importance to me that would have been of more importance to some viewers. Anyway... I enjoyed the movie more than I expected to, but not much more. Yes, some bits were funny, and some of the dumb bits were saved by self-awareness, but... most of it was just dumb.

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