Whether a comedy, cop flick, fairytale, or classic horror film, some parody films are as good as the original content because, seriously, who doesn’t like a good old-fashioned spoof?
From Shrek reigning superior over all classic fairytales to The Cabin in the Woods making fun of every stereotypical horror movie trope, these parody films are as good, if not better, than their source material.
The Cabin In The Woods Makes Fun Of Horror Stereotypes
The loner, the nerd, the jock, the popular girl, and the cool kid. To say The Cabin in the Woods plays off of only one horror movie trope would be a lie. This film is brilliant, taking all of the classic concepts of the genre and completely making fun of them in one masterpiece.
From splitting up the beautiful college kids to going down into the creepy basement and touching things, the film did the impossible — making a horror movie scary while maintaining a sense of sarcasm and comedy.
22 Jump Street Does EXACTLY The Same Thing As Sequels
Grown men going undercover in high school? Check. Doing the exact same thing as the first film? Check. Someone actually telling people to “do the exact same thing?” Triple check. It might be obvious at this point, but 22 Jump Street didn’t hold back much when it came to making fun of sequel films.
Literally using the same narrative template as 21 Jump Street, the sequel shows how utterly ridiculous and unnecessary some followups are. They even go as far as having hilarious imagined sequels during the end credits, going all the way to Jump Street 43!
Enchanted, Disney’s Way Of Making Fun Of Itself
Disney was onto something when they released Enchanted, a self-mocking parody of their typical happily ever after films. Known for their animated fairytales, Disney went ahead and dropped an animated princess who “looks straight out of a Hallmark Card” into the wild world of midtown Manhattan.
Cue all of the mocking New Yorkers and Patrick Dempsey’s self-aware character who doesn’t understand how the rest of Central Park knows the song Giselle seemingly made up on the spot, and Disney made one great self-parody that many fans still watch to this day.
Tropic Thunder Is A Satirical Nod To Over-The-Top Action Films
While some actors went off to make war movies such as Apocalypse Now, Born on the Fourth of July, and Platoon, Ben Stiller noticed one common factor; there was no way their “boot camp” was anything like actual war. And thus, the hysterical satirical war comedy Tropic Thunder came to be.
The film follows has-been actors who think they’re in the middle of an epic Vietnam War movie, but soon realize they’ve been dropped into the middle of an actual war zone. All because their crazy boss wants a more “authentic” story. It’s ridiculous, unique, and spoofs everything from action stars to the big-gut bald-head of a Tom Cruise studio boss.
Airplane! Is A Parody Of 1970s Disaster Flicks
A parody of Zero Hour! and disaster films in general, Airplane! is arguably one of the best satire films out there. Pulling out gags, jokes, verbal puns pretty much every minute, many consider the out-of-control airplane spoof to be one of the funniest movies out there.
From a blow-up doll named Otto as the autopilot to more than one action-based pun, Airplane! took all of the tropes that marked big-budget disaster movies of the 1970s and gave them a much-needed comedic reality check.
James Bond Has Nothing On Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
Even people as cool and suave as James Bond need to be taken down a notch or two! That’s where Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery comes into play. Making fun of everything from the infamous Bond girls to the wacky gadgets and insane villainous plots.
Not to mention the over-the-top villain with accompanying henchmen and the outrageous opening scene that makes fun of ’60s musicals. The film works since it’s taking a very serious and popular character and flipping him 180 degrees into an international superspy who, although still popular, is the opposite of serious and enjoys velvet suits.
Deadpool, AKA The Most Self-Aware Superhero
One of the most self-aware films in modern cinema is Deadpool. Making fun of pretty much every superhero trope possible, the character breaks the fourth wall on more than one occasion, openly makes fun of other superheroes, specifically X-Men, and even makes fun of his character, Wade Wilson, from X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
For many, the comedic approach to the anti-hero is exactly what’s missing from other hero films, especially in the MCU. Ironically, it’s safe to say that Deadpool wouldn’t have a film about him go any other way than ridiculously and unnecessarily gory, sarcastic, and 100% self-aware.
Mockumentaries Have Nothing On The Parody This Is Spinal Tap
The mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap is hysterical, making fun of rock stars who don’t know when it’s time to hang up the leather pants, long hair, and guitar picks. With an all-star cast of comedians, the film parodies the classic documentary genre and the culture behind rock and roll legends, bringing new and better elements into the mix.
The best part? The absolute comedic genius comes from the parody songs sung by the actors. It’s so well done, in fact, that people who don’t know what they’re getting themselves into might believe the “legends” are real rockers!
Galaxy Quest Makes Fun Of Star Trek And Has-Beens
The space parody film Galaxy Quest takes everything space movie fans know and love and completely rolls with it in the best way possible. From using Buzz Lightyear as a lead actor, to “copying” the Star Trek uniforms, to making fun of 1970s has-been actors who don’t do much but appear at Comic-Con, this film is the pinnacle of top-notch satire.
For many, Galaxy Quest is just as good as Star Trek, with some Trekkies even considering the film canon. Variety writer Joe Leydon said, “[the film] never turns nasty or mean-spirited as it satirizes the cliches and cults of Star Trek.”
Shrek Makes Fun Of All Classic Fairytales
The 2001 comedy Shrek parodies pretty much every fairytale out there, placing the film in an overly self-aware world full of classic fantasy creatures. Of course, Shrek is no knight in shining armor, but that doesn’t stop him from going on the typical hero’s journey to find a princess in a castle.
Insert princess who is actually an ogre at night and a prince who isn’t exactly charming, and the film is just about as funny as the best comedy on the market. Ironically, by parodying the concept of “happily ever after,” the movie actually has a moral — marry for love and not money or looks.
Monty Python And The Holy Grail, Enough Said
Parodying King Arthur and his knights of the round table’s quest to find the Holy Grail is the film Monty Python And The Holy Grail. Bringing in concepts of medieval England and going the complete opposite direction, the film is wildly considered one of the best historical representations of satire.
From the knights running away from fights instead of toward them and having little to no humility to catapulting animals into enemy territory, the film plays off of what historians believe to be the quintessential image of a knight as well as their way of waging war.
Hot Fuzz Is A Parody With 91% On Rotten Tomatoes
The 2007 action comedy Hot Fuzz parodies buddy cop movies by doing one specific thing — switching the setting. By taking two London officers and plopping them down in the sleepy town of West County Village, everything from the plot to the cops’ experience is shrunken down to a smaller scale.
Then again, most fans of the film didn’t expect anything less from the brilliant minds that brought the world Shaun of the Dead. With a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, one critic praised the film, saying, “The result [of Hot Fuzz] is a bitingly satiric and hugely entertaining parody.”
Clue Plays To Murder Mystery Stereotypes
From the genius mind of Jonathan Lynn and John Landis comes the parody murder mystery film Clue. Based on the classic board game of the same name, Clue plays on all of the tropes of a typical murder mystery movie, but with a twist.
Thriving off of cartoonish, one-dimensional character stereotypes, the movie possibly has every “murder party” type character imaginable, right down to the butler holding a silver platter to fast-talking executives and a huge mansion that is a character in its own right.
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story Is The Biopic We Deserve
Making fun of the music biopic genre, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story is a magnificent display of how self-aggrandizing, ego-boosting, and oddly dramatic the genre is. Fictionalizing and yet spoofing some well-known artists such as Elvis Presley, the Beatles, and Buddy Holly, the movie is very self-aware when it comes to the “gods among men” aspect of rock stars.
Coming out in the early 2000s, The Dewey Cox Story takes films like Ray and Walk the Line who make their subject look like masters of the universe, and knocks them down a few pegs in what is considered a marvelous parody of how musicians view themselves.
Scream, A Slasher Parody People Don’t Realize Is A Parody
The satirical film Scream arose from the success of slasher films such as Friday the 13th. Making fun of classic horror film clichés, the film was considered unique at the time, especially considering a lot of people didn’t and still don’t realize it’s a parody.
We mean, come on, Matthew Lillard, aka Shaggy, plays Ghostface. If that doesn’t scream “this movie is a parody,” we’re not sure what does. Even so, many people enjoy Scream over the typical slasher flicks, such as Nightmare on Elm Street.
Warm Bodies Gives Zombies Hearts And Feelings
Zombie movies. They typically have blood, gore, and a noticeable lack of romance between the living and the dead. That is until Warm Bodies was released in 2013, taking the concept of a zombie flick and pretty much throwing it out the window.
The thing is, the parody is considered to be a great motion picture, taking an entirely new approach to the genre by throwing in a strange, yet cute, love story in the mix. There is a reason why critics believe the film is going to turn into a cult classic.
Spaceballs Is A Parody Believed To Be Nearly Perfect
Taking the classic character from the Star Wars trilogy and throwing them into a film parodying not only space films but also the fantastical concepts of movies such as Wizard of Oz and Planet of the Apes comes one of the biggest cult classics, Spaceballs.
From the opening storybook credits to Rick Moranis playing someone called Dark Helmet and Dot Matrix, aka C3-PO, finally realizing they’re walking through a desert and has the brains to use an umbrella, many Star Wars fans recognize the parody as canon.
Young Frankenstein Makes Fun Of, Well, Frankenstein
A parody of the classic horror film genre, most notably all the film adaptations of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the 1974 movie Young Frankenstein is arguably one of the most beloved “monster movies” of all time. Interestingly, director Mel Brooks wasn’t on board with the film at first.
It was Gene Wilder who came to him and explained the amazing story of a Frankenstein that wants nothing to do with the family. Of course, he eventually hopped on the project, and it swiftly became a cult classic.
Hot Shots! Makes Fun Of Top Gun
Charlie Sheen stars in Hot Shots!, an amazingly wonderful parody action films, most notably the classic film Top Gun. Considering the movie was directed by Jim Abrahams, the same man who brought us Airplane!, it’s no wonder the film perfectly spoofs the seriousness of Tom Cruise’s Maverick character.
With deadpan deliveries mixed with slapstick comedy and gags, Hot Shots! is widely considered to be one of the last great parody films. One critic wrote, “Hot Shots! hits most of its parodic targets with aplomb, excelling as a daffy good time thanks to inspired gags and Charlie Sheen’s crack comedic timing.”
Shaun Of The Dead Is A Hysterical Parody On Zombie Flicks
While Shaun of the Dead most definitely has zombies, it’s no Night of the Living Dead in terms of horror. But the fact of the matter is some argue the satirical comedy about a guy who doesn’t realize he’s in the middle of a zombie apocalypse is better than the films it makes fun of. The ridiculously outlandish weaponry most likely also has something to do with the fanbase.
With a score of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, one critic said, “Shaun of the Dead cleverly balances scares and witty satire, making for a bloody good zombie movie with loads of wit.”