Since “Scary Movie” is airing tonight on IFC at 8 and 10 p.m. ET, we thought we’d take a minute to talk about our deep and abiding love for the film’s director, Keenan Ivory Wayans. To do that, we’re going to take a quick look at a few of his many many many film and television projects.
“I’m Gonna Git You Sucka”
Wayans wrote, directed and starred in the 1998 film, “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka.” The movie offers a hysterically satiric spin on the blaxploitation films of the 60s and 70s and features several actors who were part of the blaxploitation phenomenon; including Jim Brown, Bernie Casey, and Isaac Hayes. Wayans stars as Jack Spade, a recently-returned Army vet seeking revenge for the death of his brother who died from “over-golding,” i.e. wearing too many gold chains. Wayans sets out to rid the streets of gold chains and seek his revenge on the crime lord responsible for flooding the streets with his dangerous product. The film is truly LOL-worthy, while also offering up a not-so-subtle commentary on the portrayal of black characters on film.
“In Living Color”
This groundbreaking sketch comedy show helmed by Wayans and his brother Damon, featured a predominately African-American cast and focus on modern black subject matter, including skewering white pop culture. Airing on Fox from 1990-1994, the show had an eye for talent and introduced the world to four little known up-and-comers: Jim Carrey, David Alan Grier, Jamie Foxx, and Jennifer Lopez. Music was a huge part of the show and the Wayans brought bands including Heavy D, Public Enemy, Mary J. Blige, and Tupac Shakur to a national television audience. Every show also featured a performance by the in-house dance troupe known as the Fly Girls whose routines were choreographed by Rosie Perez. The troupe featured J.Lo as well as future “Dancing with the Stars” judge Carrie Ann Inaba. “In Living Color” is scheduled to return to network television in 2012, airing two half-hour specials hosted and executive produced by co-creator Keenan Ivory Wayans, with the option of picking the series up for the following season.
“Scary Movie” was the movie that was begging to be made. How could the teen slasher genre not be mercilessly mocked on the same silver screen it dared to fill with ridiculous stereotypes, gaping plot holes, and glaring stupidity? Coming off the successful skewering of blaxploitation films, Wayans was the man to do it. The raunchy satire, now known as “Scary Movie,” was produced under the clumsy yet appropriate title “Scream If You Know What I Did Last Halloween.” Incidentally, the title “Scary Movie” is something of an inside joke: it was the working title for “Scream,” the movie that kick-started the mid-’90s slasher film revival. In the film, as you might expect, a group of teenagers — not-terribly-bright Buffy (Shannon Elizabeth), her best friend Brenda (Regina Hall), stoner Shorty (Marlon Wayans), fey football player Ray (Shawn Wayans), loudmouthed Greg (Lochlyn Munro), sexually overexcited Bobby (Jon Abrahams), and his prim girlfriend Cindy (Anna Faris) — are on the run from a maniacal killer who is looking for revenge after the kids accidentally kill a man following an auto accident. The film was a smash hit spawning endless sequels and becoming the highest grossing movie ever directed by an African-American.
“Scary Movie” airs on IFC at 8 PM ET and at 10:00 PM ET; Sunday, Jan. 8 at 8:30 PM ET; and Monday, Jan. 9 at 2:30 AM ET