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14 Underrated Parody Movies That Rip A Whole Genre To Shreds

May 3, 2021 475 votes 92 voters 2k views14 items

List RulesVote up the parody movies that thoroughly unravel a whole genre.

Some of the most underrated spoof movies are still more fun to watch than the genres they parodied. Comedy doesn't always get the credit it deserves, so spoofs that should be all-time classics are occasionally discarded or even lost to time.

Parody is inherently an artistic format that exists to critique. Parodies poke fun at a subject as a means to promote deeper thinking and analysis. Like all comedy and critique, the parody film's very nature lends itself to be viewed as a temporary, or of the moment, creation. That's too bad, though, because there have been great spoofs over the years that deserve to be remembered and rewatched with the same fervor as any other film - especially within the genres they so successfully skewer.

Vote up your favorite movies that made an entire genre their object of (affectionate) scorn.

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  • What Genre Is It Spoofing? Musical biopics.

    How Does It Do It? The musical biopic is a genre built on well-worn tropes. Walk Hard has a bit of fun with every single one of those conventions, casting the hilarious John C. Reilly as a stand-in Johnny Cash (just two years after the Cash biopic Walk the Line hit theaters) who rockets to superstardom. Walk Hard is a straight down-the-middle satire. It follows the beats of the traditional musical biopic, but the whole time Reilly and Co. hilariously heighten and exaggerate each tired cliche of the genre.

    Most On-The-Nose Spoof: By nature of condensing a musician's life into a two-hour film, musical biopics move pretty fast. To poke fun at this trope, Dewey Cox records his first hit, the titular song "Walk Hard," and it becomes popular literally 35 minutes after it's recorded.

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  • Photo: MGM

    What Genre Is It Spoofing? Star Wars and the copycats that followed. 

    How Does It Do It? Star Wars was a cultural phenomenon of a magnitude that had never been seen before. Luke Skywalker and co.'s adventures were so popular, they inspired a legion of copycat films. Thus, by parodying Star Wars, Spaceballs, in fact, parodied an entire subgenre of films, rather than just a single franchise. The film follows a plot reminiscent of Star Wars, with characters like Jabba turned into Pizza the Hut, and Chewbacca turned into Barf, all in Mel Brooks's typical absurdist fashion. 

    Most On-The-Nose Spoof: Spoofing Star Wars means spoofing Star Wars culture. Spaceballs hilariously parodies the real magic behind Star Wars, and, no, it's not the Force. In the world of Spaceballs, their version of the Force is known as Schwartz. Of equal importance to their Yoda stand-in is the other most important part about Star Wars: merchandising.

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  • What Genre Is It Spoofing? Slasher movies. 

    How Does It Do It? Tucker and Dale vs. Evil features two very different social circles colliding in the most hilarious of ways. The film begins with a group of teenagers looking to escape into the woods for a vacation. While there, those teenagers meet up with Tucker and Dale, two older hillbillies who accidentally terrify the kids. Through a series of accidents, the teenagers are led to believe that Tucker and Dale are killing off their friends, when in reality, they're nothing but well-meaning backwoods residents.

    Most On-The-Nose Spoof: The whole film revolves around Tucker and Dale trying to help the kids and unintentionally scaring them. In one scene, Tucker and Dale try to leave a note for the kids to tell them they are taking care of their injured friend. To do so, they use an ax to mark into a tree, "We have your friend." Obviously, this ominous message comes across as a threatening horror staple to the teens who find it.

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  • What Genre Is It Spoofing? Superhero films (with an obvious emphasis on Batman movies, which at this point are practically their own genre). 

    How Does It Do It? The LEGO Batman movie is a spin-off (typically a bad idea) of a movie about LEGOS (obviously a bad idea) that somehow worked incredibly well. The film is an over-the-top depiction of a superhero that showcased the ridiculousness of most heroes' macho attitudes and unwillingness to work with others. The film also tackles the romance-like relationship between Joker and Batman, among various other aspects of the Batman mythos.

    Most On-The-Nose Spoof: Batman is famously a hero known for brooding. One of the funniest sequences of LEGO Batman tackles Batman's isolation through a hilarious showcase of how the caped crusader spends his nights off.

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