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At the Movies: "Scary Movie 4" (sarah michelle gellar mention)

Christy Lemire

Friday 14 April 2006, by Webmaster

The makers of "Airplane!" have reconnected for "Scary Movie 4," but they‘ve created a sequel that never truly takes flight.

Then again, director David Zucker and writer Jim Abrahams didn‘t really have anywhere to go.

Finally, sprinkle liberally with gross bodily noises and fluids, mix it up, throw it at the wall in one steaming, gloppy wad and see what sticks.

Along with co-writer Craig Mazin, who also collaborated with Zucker on "Scary Movie 3," they‘ve come up with a film that shows sporadic flashes of comic greatness, separated by draggy repetitive stretches that make "Scary Movie 4" feel longer than its 83-minute running time. That number includes the closing credits, by the way, and we‘re talking about a cast of thousands - everyone from Dr. Phil to Shaquille O‘Neal.

From there, it‘s a cross between a parody of the Japanese horror remake "The Grudge," featuring longtime "Scary Movie" star Anna Faris in the Sarah Michelle Gellar role, and "War of the Worlds," with Craig Bierko filling in for Tom Cruise . Faris‘ Cindy Campbell sees visions of a spooky dead child while housesitting for a catatonic elderly woman ( Cloris Leachman , who gets the pleasure of a sponge bath with a liquid that‘s not water); meanwhile, Bierko‘s Tom Ryan tries desperately to bond with the kids who hate him while aliens tromp across New York.

A "Brokeback Mountain" spoof involving a couple of cowboys who are black and gay is delightfully twisted at first - it features petroleum jelly, rubber gloves and a disco ball while they serenade each other in a tent with Lionel Richie ‘s "Hello" - but it doesn‘t know when to end. Same with a sight gag involving a suicidal Charlie Sheen , whose character accidentally overdoses on Viagra.

And while the idea of Carmen Electra playing the blind young woman in "The Village" is funny, the sight of her stripping down to a corset, stockings and heels and very loudly relieving herself in front of the townsfolk isn‘t.

They closest they come is a scene in which Cindy and the creepy kid are speaking to each other in subtitled Japanese, but all they‘re saying is words like Mitsubishi, Sony and sushi.

"Scary Movie 4," a Weinstein Co. release, is rated PG-13 for crude and sexual humor throughout, some comic violence and language. Running time: 83 minutes. One and a half stars out of four.

Motion Picture Association of America rating definitions:

PG - Parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

PG-13 - Special parental guidance strongly suggested for children under 13. Some material may be inappropriate for young children.

R - Restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

NC-17 - No one under 17 admitted.