Meteors. Tornados. Rabid singing chipmunk puppets.
These are just a few of the many dangers faced by the characters in Disaster Movie—a tellingly named spoof that gives the Hollywood equivalent of gym-class wedgies to everyone from Amy Winehouse to Prince Caspian. But whatever parodic peril these characters find themselves in, they are in no greater danger than moviegoing ticket buyers, whose brain cells may try to escape this movie by dislodging and oozing out onto the floor.
The film’s hero (and I use the term loosely) is named Will, a seemingly nice, amiable fellow who is visited by a saber-toothed Winehouse in a dream and told that the end of the world will begin on Aug. 29, 2008. This dream disturbs poor Will, and not just because Winehouse shotguns a pint of tequila and lets loose a three-minute burp. No, he’s concerned that Winehouse’s prophecy may indeed come true. So he refuses to tell his girlfriend, Amy (an employee at the local history museum), that he loves her.
Yep, that’s it. That’s the entire story. Pac-Man has better plot development.
But no matter. Will’s dream was apparently prophetic, and soon the world is being pelted with all manner of terrors. Eerie cold fronts sweep through the city. Cows fly through the air. Meteors and the film’s jokes slam into the ground with fiery, leaden thuds. Now, at the end of all things, Will realizes he must say those magic words to Amy and, if it’s not too late, try to save the world using mysterious crystal skulls one night at the museum.
Disaster Movie is just 90 minutes long. That’s 89:30 too long. But, still, at least it’s not a three-hour tour.
During a High School Musical-esque number, one character warbles to the Juno-inspired Juney that, because she isn’t exactly a member of the “Christian Coalition,” she should go ahead and get an abortion. He adds that if he had a wire hangar he’d help her out. A Zac Efron type belts out a line about the Catholic priest who molested him as a child, just as said priest shows up and grabs the fellow’s rear. “Jessica Simpson” sings about how her “boobs are for Jesus.”
The first time we meet Will and Amy they’re in bed together—along with a naked Flavor Flav look-alike (a gigantic watch obscures his privates) and a naughtily dressed little person. Will and Amy are dressed modestly by comparison, though Amy’s wearing just bikini-like underwear.
We see a girl lift up her shirt, revealing a hairy stomach and, presumably, her breasts (which are mostly obscured by “Girls Gone Wild” signage). “Dr. Phil” tries to seduce a bevy of women, calling them “lesbians” and “whores” when they walk away from him. Two women wrestle and play twister in skimpy outfits and fishnet stockings. Someone sings about a homosexual relationship he had in college. Someone else showcases his “abnormally high plumber’s crack,” which goes to the middle of his back. A supposed Calvin Klein underwear model parades in—well, his Calvin Kleins. Characters smooch and dance seductively.
And all that takes place in just one scene.
Elsewhere, we see a handful of bikini-clad women running slowly down the street. A Miley Cyrus facsimile, as she’s dying underneath an asteroid, talks about her name-branded underwear and shills for her new album, Underage. A character designed to mimic the princess from Enchanted talks about her pimp, apparently was paid to have sexual relations with Kung Fu Panda‘s Po, squeezes another characters’ breasts and, we’re told, is willing to do “anything.” We later discover she’s actually a transvestite—and she’s not the only one. “Michael Jackson” pops out of a car trunk, accompanied by a boy and a monkey. “Justin Timberlake” harms his own privates in order to sing higher. A Hulkish fellow has his pants ripped off.
One character talks about sleeping with the Jonas Brothers. Amy removes a crystal skull from between her legs. That guy from Beowulf fights Will naked. (We generally see him from the side, and when he faces the camera, his most critical bits are obscured.)
I’m stopping now. There are far too many sexual asides and references to note here—and frankly, if I get any more specific, you won’t want to read my reviews anymore. I will write this, though: I’m not going to give a film any points just because its creators decided to let the word “dating” stand in for the f-word.
The Joker would be proud: Disaster Movie revels in its body count. The most graphic death involves a very pregnant Juney being devoured alive by evil, rabid parodies of Alvin and the Chipmunks‘ rodents. She offers lame witticisms as the critters nibble on her exposed vertebrate.
Several characters are shot (one in slow motion, through the forehead), and an extra is offed—à la No Country for Old Men—via air compressor. At least two souls are squished by streaking meteors, another falls on a sword and still another is smacked in the back with an ax. The chipmunks are killed twice—once by slow asphyxiation in a trash can, and then by a flying cow. Indeed, cows hit several characters. And one scene features scads of severed limbs on the ground and falling from the sky.
No one gets more gravely abused than the Enchanted princess. The minute she climbs out of the sewers, a taxi hits her. She eats a glass bottle and blood burbles out of her mouth—a distinctly disturbing scene for a throw-away comedy. And she hobbles about on bloody, glass-covered feet. (We’re told her glass slippers aren’t all that comfortable.)
Groins are favorite targets for speeding objects. Juney has a throwdown with a Sex and the City female (who turns out to be a male), in which Juney’s unborn baby sticks its foot into the attacker’s mouth. Amy endures several blows to the head (including a couple from a frying pan) and a mousetrap snapping on her nose. “Batman” is dragged through the streets by a car. Somebody gets whupped by a ceiling fan and chucked out a window.
And, again, I must stop.
The f-word is twice bleeped. It is also partially censored in written form. Disaster Movie is not so “careful” with the s-word, which gets lobbed nearly 40 times. Most of the naughty words you’re likely to find scribbled on bowling alley bathroom stalls are spoken here, including “b–ch,” “a–,” “d–n” and “h—.” Both God’s and Jesus’ names are misused repeatedly.
I mentioned Winehouse guzzling a pint of tequila, right? She also says she loves drinking gasoline and that she could sure use some crack. The pregnant Juney also drinks heavily, mixing what looks like vodka with a gallon of orange juice before guzzling down the whole mess. Others are shown with drinks in their hands, and some dweeby high schoolers (in a riff on Superbad) crash a party to abscond bottles of liquor.
We’re told the princess isn’t really a princess at all, but a homeless person who’s used far too many mind-altering drugs. She refers to the crystal skull as a “magic bong” and offers to perform a sexual favor for “five bucks or some meth.” Will references the sleep aid Ambien.
Defecation and urination jokes are part and parcel here. One character gets smashed in a huge pile of woolly mammoth excrement. Another gets fecal matter on his cheek, then spends the next several moments smearing it over the rest of his face. Juney combats an opponent by squirting breast milk on him/her. Juney’s water breaks (more like explodes) messily.
It is said that an infinite number of monkeys could write the complete works of Shakespeare if given an infinite amount of time and an infinite number of typewriters.
I have my doubts about that. But I do believe the average teenage monkey might be able to whip up the script for Disaster Movie in an afternoon.
Disaster Movie isn’t just a bad late-summer flick, it’s a crime against creativity. This film has the moral fiber of a whoopee cushion and the artistic merit of a W-2 form. Oh, and it’s about as funny as a Jackson Pollock painting. Get it? No, I didn’t think so.
I started with the title. I’ll end with it. This movie really is a disaster.
Paul Asay has been part of the Plugged In staff since 2007, watching and reviewing roughly 15 quintillion movies and television shows. He’s written for a number of other publications, too, including Time, The Washington Post and Christianity Today. The author of several books, Paul loves to find spirituality in unexpected places, including popular entertainment, and he loves all things superhero. His vices include James Bond films, Mountain Dew and terrible B-grade movies. He’s married, has two children and a neurotic dog, runs marathons on occasion and hopes to someday own his own tuxedo. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.