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Superhero Movie in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Superhero Movie

Drake Bell • Sara Paxton • Leslie Nielsen • Marion Ross • Christopher McDonald
DIRECTOR: Craig Mazin

Drake Bell and Sara Paxton THE CONCEPT:
The creators of The Naked Gun and Scary Movie spoof the superhero franchise.
Rick Riker (Bell), a high school student, is bitten by a dragonfly on a school outing which gives him super powers. His now has to save the world from Lou Landers/The Hourglass (McDonald), while trying to figure out how to win the affections of Jill Johnson (Paxton), the girl he secretly desires.

U.S. RELEASE: March 28 2008, Nationwide
• Rated: PG-13


“I think studios feel that what makes spoof movies good is the amount of movies you can make fun of within 70 minutes, or in the case of Meet the Spartans, about 40 minutes! Not that our movie is an epic. I think that something’s gone weird. I don’t think Meet the Spartans is really a spoof movie; it’s more of a pop culture reference movie. The genre is more driven by a younger audience and I think part of the fun for them is seeing familiarity. I may be quickly growing out of date with spoof.”

Drake Bell“I’m pretty much ‘Peter Parker’: the nerdy kid at school. He’s a photographer who can’t get the girl and is very insecure until he is bitten by a dragonfly. I try to save people, but I’m a bumbling idiot. Once I heard who was making this movie, I was immediately interested in joining up.”

Drake Bell and Christopher McDonald“I’ve never done a spoof movie before, but everybody who does a straight movie always spoofs it on the side. It’s funny how my character says some of the stupidest lines in the world, and you’re given carte blanche to be as big and chew as much scenery as you can. The superhero needs a super villain, unless you’re making a movie called Mystery Men! Plus I was given a kick-ass, sexy, hot and uncomfortable costume. I loved it, it took forever to put it on, but once I was in it I felt tougher, bigger and meaner than everyone around. It was an absolute riot.”

MARION ROSS (Aunt Lucille) on whether she based her role on Aunt May:
“I never saw Spider-Man. I thought the least I knew of it the best it would be. I did see Scary Movie, and I thought, ‘I don’t know what kind of movie this one’s going to be!’ But this is much better than Scary Movie; it has more of a plot and more structure.”

“We do look at the movies [like Spider-Man and X-Men] to extract out the moments that we think would be very parody-able and spoofable, but before we put a movie in we kind of know whether it’s going to work or not. The basic criteria is, if it’s a good, earnest movie that people liked, parody it, spoof it, because that’s what they want. They like seeing the movies they loved being made fun of. We did it with great success with Signs and with The Ring, which were both very good, popular, pompous sort of movies, in a good way. Spider-Man was a really good movie, and they had a romance which always plays great in [our films]. We have always tried to sell a romance, even though the characters are moronic, they actually do love each other, which makes you fear for their children.”

“I didn’t get a chance to work with Leslie Nielsen, but I came down on the set and watched him work. He has the presence, the charisma and that unique Leslie Nielsen delivery. You can give this man anything to say, and he can make it work. I basically lifted his delivery from him when I had to say, ‘Lance is the only friend that I have,’ and someone offers me food, and says, ‘Fruitcake?’ And I say, ‘No, I just haven’t met the right woman.’”

ROSS on the scene where she stuffs a turkey:
“I don’t remember putting that cat in the turkey, is it possible that they could have computerized putting the cat in? I remember everything else. Look who can sue us; the cat people can sue us, the Dalai Lama can sue, Bishop Tutu and Stephen Hawking – there’s an endless list of people made sport of in this movie.”

“When [Craig] gets into an editing room he knows what he’s doing, God knows [the films are] very successful, it’s cut, cut, cut, gag, gag, gag … air, no, cut the air out, gag, gag, gag. I think that’s why people that see it will want to see it again, because they missed a lot of it. When they laugh they miss the next two jokes.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Film Review, #695, May 2008 cover

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