CineMarter
Fifty Shades of Black - 50 Shades of Awful

Matthew Parkinson | 31 Jan 2016 16:00
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Directed by Michael Tiddes. Produced and written by Rick Alvarez, Marlon Wayans. Release date: January 29, 2016.

With the likes of Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer, and Marlon Wayans running around, it probably isn't a surprise that the spoof genre of filmmaking has become more of a joke than any of the content contained within the films themselves. This is a genre on which the likes of Mel Brooks and David Zucker made their names, but now it's one that we see coming and wish to run in the direct opposite direction. What was the last genuinely good spoof movie? Scary Movie all the way back in 2000?

Marlon Wayans doesn't direct any of these things, but he produces them and has co-written - with Rick Alvarez - three of the most recent ones. Both A Haunted House films were some of the worst movies to reach cinemas in their respective years, and now we have Fifty Shades of Black, a film likely to do the same. Is there any fruit that's lower hanging than Fifty Shades of Grey? Anyone with access to the internet has no doubt already seen countless jokes made at the expense of the book and/or movie. Do we really need a whole film dedicated this?

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Actually, Fifty Shades of Grey might be one of the worst things to try to spoof since it's largely devoid of characters, plot, and overall content. You can tell the entire story in a paragraph of text, there's almost nothing to the individuals participating in it, and it primarily features repetitious scenes of "eroticism" - if you can even call it that.

As it turns out, it gets spoofed by adding in lots of pop culture references, profanity, racial observations, and extremely graphic sexual terms. It misses out on the "joke" aspect of creating a spoof movie, in large part because Wayans and Alvarez, re-teaming with director Michael Tiddes, don't seem to know how to actually create them. "Here is a thing you might recognize" is not a joke. The only way to save this sort of project is to add a laugh track and turn it into a sitcom, but then you'd have to take out all of the "edgy" boundary-pushing content that the filmmakers think they're so clever for including.

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