#Movies & TV
17 Spoof Movies that Were Absolutely Freakin’ Hilarious
by Jennifer Lafferty
When movie spoofs are done well, sometimes they’re more popular than the film that’s being spoofed, even developing into franchises of their own like Austin Powers or Scary Movie. The best parodies usually reflect the humor that lurks just beneath the surface of intense dramas or horror films. Check out our compilation of the greatest big-screen spoofs.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
One of the most enduringly popular spoofs, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, isn’t based on one specific project but a genre of film. This 1975 romp starring John Cleese poked fun at classic King Arthur adventure epics.
Fifty Shades of Black
The edgy adaptation of E.L. James’ bestselling erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey seemed to call out for a spoof, and Marlon Wayans answered the call by co-writing and starring in the 2016 comedy Fifty Shades of Black.
Comic genius Mel Brooks based this 1974 spoof on the early Frankenstein movies from his childhood. Gene Wilder stars as Dr. Frankenstein, grandson of the famous scientist, who takes his turn at reanimating the dead, with hilarious results.
Soap operas typically seem like spoofs already, so when filmmakers satirized this genre with the 1991 ensemble comedy Soapdish, starring Robert Downey Jr., Sally Field and Whoopi Goldberg, they had to do something way over the top.
The Brady Bunch Movie
TV show spoofs are now commonplace but one of the first movies to poke fun at a classic sitcom was The Brady Bunch Movie, which transported the square 1970s clan to the 1990s, where they were true misfits.
The Pink Panther
It may not be obvious to everyone that The Pink Panther is a spoof, but Agatha Christie fans are sure to notice that the oddball Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Steve Martin) has a lot in common with Hercule Poirot.
Scary Movie (franchise)
Inspired by the horror film I Know What You Did Last Summer, Marlon Wayans’ first Scary Movie (2000) launched a popular and long-running franchise. The fifth installment, featuring Ashley Tisdale and Snoop Dogg, debuted in 2013.
Murder by Death
This 1976 spoof of classic whodunits centers on a group of iconic literary sleuths who gather to solve a bizarre mystery, and features an amazing, eclectic cast that includes Peter Sellers, Truman Capote and David Niven.
A take-off on Charles Dickens’ beloved Victorian tale, A Christmas Carol, this irreverent 1988 comedy stars Bill Murray as a heartless TV executive who is haunted by three ghosts, sent to teach him lessons on Christmas Eve.
There are many great romantic comedies, but the genre itself is easily spoofed, most notably in the formulaic 2006 film Date Movie starring Alyson Hannigan, about a couple whose family members put a strain on their relationship.
Love at First Bite
Never one to take himself too seriously, George Hamilton has always excelled at spoofs, and the best example is probably this memorable Dracula parody, which has the medieval vampire looking for love in the hip 1970s.
Leslie Nielsen, who would become best known for satires like the Naked Gun franchise, previously showed off his comedic chops in 1980’s Airplane and the sequel, which were spoofs of the 1970s Airport action thrillers.
Shaun of the Dead
There’s humor to be found in just about any zombie movie, no matter how dramatic it’s meant to be. So, it made sense when the popular British horror comedy Shaun of the Dead came along in 2004.
The James Bond franchise has inspired numerous spoofs but the best loved are Mike Myers’ Austin Powers films about a swinging 1960s secret agent, revived in the 1990s, who is far from the cool spy he imagines himself to be.
The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother
As popular as the Sherlock Holmes franchise has remained through the years, its campiness cries out for parody. The answer? This 1975 musical comedy about Holmes’ younger brother (Gene Wilder) trying to compete with the famous detective.
The Three Amigos
This 1986 spoof of early westerns stars Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short as flamboyant silent film actors who unwittingly take on the roles of their fictional bandit fighter characters, in real life.
Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson take comedic aim at an easy target, spoofing male models, in this 2001 hit centering on an aging model who gets involved with international intrigue. Zoolander 2 premiered earlier this year.