Shriek if You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th
directed by John Blanchard
(Lions Gate, 2001)

Shriek if You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th has its moments, but by and large this spoofalicious film is exceedingly average in terms of the laughs it manages to induce. Still, you have to appreciate the effort that went into it, as SIYKWIDLFT sinks its parody hooks into a vast number of genres: teen slashers, teen comedies, teen TV dramas, Baywatch, TV commercials and more.

If you go to IMDB, you'll find a listing of movies referenced here -- although even this long list cannot possibly be complete. Even the likes of Lassie, Grease and Chariots of Fire aren't safe from the satirical hands of the film's writers, and you can't tell me you ever expected to see Chariots of Fire satirized in a dumb horror comedy. That's the highlight of the whole film for me.

Shriek and Scary Movie were made at basically the same time, so don't go thinking Shriek is a tired rip-off of the tired rip-off that is Scary Movie. Scary Movie just happened to be released first, relegating this film to direct-to-video limbo. These are very different films, though -- even though they were both constructed around the Scream concept. Shriek isn't as raunchy, and I think it's probably also the funnier movie of the two.

Here, following a parody of the famous Scream opening scene, the story settles on the shoulders of four teenage friends who all get notes from the killer in the same vein as the teens in I Know What You Did Last Summer -- even the new kid at school, Dawson Deery. Bulimia Falls High School is quite a place, a school where Chucky roams the hallways, Rose Marie (as Mrs. Tingle) and Partridge Family matriarch Shirley Jones (as Nurse Kevorkian) mold the minds of the young, and Coolio heads the administration (as the pimped-out Administrator Formerly Known as Principal Interest). Tom Arnold shows up as Deputy Doughy Primesuspect, while Tiffani-Amber Thiessen is the empTV reporter trying to exploit the murders for her own professional gain.

If you're really into parodies like this, you'll not want to let your attention drop for more than a few seconds, as there is always something going on in the background -- the killer running around unnoticed by all, the principal making all kinds of crazy announcements (including this classic description of the upcoming band fundraiser: "liquor in the front, poker in the rear") and various references to other films and TV shows. Still, despite all this effort and several genuinely funny moments, Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th has a lot more hits than misses. It all balances out to a pretty average comedy.

review by
Daniel Jolley

1 December 2007

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