WIRTB: The Wayans Bros. Filmography

By @TrueGodImmortal and @SpeedOnTheBeat 

For many, the Wayans Family brand of humor is not necessarily respected in the same vein as the most respected legends in comedy. While they are the biggest and most famous family in comedy, they have been known for low humor and going a bit too far in their jokes. Today, myself and Speed tasked ourselves with the challenge to go back and look at all the films from the Wayans that they starred in, directed, or helped create and push. Those films aren't too extensive, but it's enough to get an idea of the Wayans Family filmography and whether or not they have quality films in there. A majority of their films are parodies, but there's a few "original" films in this as well. Let's get into it.

*I'm Gonna Git You Sucka (1988)
By @TrueGodImmortal

-The OG movie from Keenan Ivory. I was never the biggest fan of this movie growing up but I've come to love it even more as the years went by. Essentially a parody of Blaxploitation films, Keenan crafted a classic, and it's flawless in its over the top execution. From the exaggerated results of women going through PMS, the ridiculous notion of being killed by overdosing on gold chains, and the epic bit from Chris Rock on ribs (which is my favorite scene from this movie), Keenan managed to create a parody that permeated an audience that could still appreciate the films from the genre being made fun of, but also laughed at the silly nature of them as this cinematic gem broke the movies down perfectly. When talking parody films, the Wayans excelled at their highest here. This is the best (well, personally it's the 2nd best, but it's the original Wayans parody so....) example of how you deliver on a parody film.

*Blankman (1994)
By @TrueGodImmortal

-I've only watched this film once or twice. While it wasn't a parody film exactly, though it could be seen as the comedic black parody of a Superman and Batman, this film was funny overall, but it doesn't stand out as much as some of the other films from the Family. Essentially witnessing a nerd grow to be a black superhero, this film provided us with a traditional "hero gets the girl story" in the middle of that whole story as well. While it's a decent film, I just don't hold it in high regard and if you've never seen the film, you haven't missed out on anything.

*A Low Down Dirty Shame (1994)
By @TrueGodImmortal 

-Keenan was really going for something with this one, though I don't know what he was going for. As the former LAPD detective Shame, Keenan was honestly laughable in a somewhat serious role and totally unbelievable as a private investigator running his own firm (with Jada Pinkett, who plays the role of Peaches.... yes, Peaches), but this movie had its moments here and there. Salli Richardson is absolutely gorgeous and I literally watched this movie just to look at her in the scenes she was in. Unfortunately, Salli's fineness wasn't enough to save the movie, neither was the odd performance from Roc himself, Charles S. Dutton (whoaaaaaaa, whoaaaaaaa.... if you watched Roc, you caught that reference). The villain of this film, Mendoza, is pretty funny and hardly seems to be a threat, once again making this movie to be one that is simply missing the mark. Some laughs here and there, but a rather disappointing film overall.

*Don't Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood (1996)
By @TrueGodImmortal

-Though many people think I'm Gonna Git You Sucka is the best parody film, I'm forever partial to this one. It's honestly one of my all time favorite comedies and is still hilarious to me after all these years. From the start, we're treated to a film that parodies the growing number of "hood movies", which at first I wasn't a fan of those being parodied. I thought somehow that it was a mockery of the actual struggle, but in reality, it's a true mockery of the over exaggeration that these movies tend to provide us with. Sure, the life in the hood is rough and we've mostly all experienced it, but the pictures painted in some of these films are definitely out of touch with reality somewhat. Thus, this spoof hits so hard and connects with every single joke. From the "sex scene", where they Kool Aid, Government Cheese, and more to be seductive to the hilarious self righteous black power brother Preach falling for a random hillbilly white "milk of magnesia" woman, this movie had everything you could look for in a comedy. Don't Be A Menace, to me, is the greatest moment in the Wayans Family filmography, but out of respect for the original Wayans parody, I'll say it's tied with I'm Gonna Git You Sucka as the best. True classic.

*Scary Movie 1 & 2 (2000/2001)
By @SpeedOnTheBeat 

-Scary Movie One/Two, since they're two in the same in some ways, were, for me, some of the best worst films. However, they knew what they were. It was like someone took Airplane! and mixed it in with I'm Gonna Get You Sucka with a teeny bit of Not Another Teen Movie. So, spoofs on top of spoofs on top of spoofs. But Shorty!

Shorty made the two movies, as Marlon is, to me, the funnier of Shawn and Marlon.

Additionally, the films were well-written for what they were and helped to...you know what? I saw the films when I was a preteen/early teenager. The humor, while dated a bit now, hit for me. It was sophomoric, sexist (like, ya know, many horror movies, if we're going to get "real" with it) and gross-out, but it was funny as hell. I mean, try watching Anna Faris get sprayed to the ceiling with dude's nutshot without cracking even a slightly ironic smile. It's gold in the sense that it knew what it was, went 100 with it, and ran all the way to the bank.

*White Chicks (2003)
By @SpeedOnTheBeat 

-White Chicks, however, it just sucked. That's really all I can say about it. It's not as bad as Little Man (wait for it, as True would say), but it's still pretty bad. It feels like a bad episode of The Wayans Brothers, but no John Witherspoon to pop in to reign the comedy wackiness back in to "normal" levels. It's like Scary Movie 1 with a hard PG rating. The movie was just all over the place and you feel that it should've been another R rated schlockfest of insanity. That probably would've helped to make this film a bit more watchable. But hey. At least it gave me something to talk about with my mom, the insanity of White Chicks.

*Little Man (2006)
By @SpeedOnTheBeat

-Screw this movie. I don't know what's worse. The fact that it's pretty much a Bugs Bunny cartoon ripoff or that we're supposed to believe Marlon Wayans as a CGI'ed little person who, somehow, is only the size of a baby. Or maybe it's Kerry Washington actually giving a damn in this one? I don't know. It's disgustingly bad, as it hits every baby movie/heist comedy trope and does nothing to distinguish itself from the movies it's failing to imitate.

*Dance Flick (2009)
By @TrueGodImmortal

-This movie takes a lot of flack and is said to be a horrible parody. Personally, I think this is the most underrated Wayans movie and I used to watch this in tears often. I remember going to see it in the theaters and hysterically laughing at the absolute idiocy of Affion Crockett and Damon Wayans Jr., but more than anything, David Alan Grier and Shawn Wayans steals the movie. David Alan Grier is hilarious as a spoof as of the character from You Got Served. Just the line about "pumpkin pie.... I ain't gonna sugarcoat this... YEAH I IS..." has me laughing hysterically now as I'm writing this. Even a small line like "where's your other musketeer.... I'm talking about my chocolate bar bitch, don't get cute" makes me laugh pretty hard. The delivery and the way the jokes are presented here are flawless damn near aside from a few moments that drag. Shawn Wayans shows up randomly as he plays the role of the father to Essence Atkins' child, who is playing the role of Kerry Washington from Save the Last Dance, and she does it hilariously as well. Marlon has a small part, and I think he's even funny here too. Another hilarious moment comes from Keenan, as he spoofs Steve Harvey and has a hilarious segment about his loud ass suit colors collection. While this film isn't remembered much, I absolutely love it and think it's the 3rd best Wayans film personally, which isn't saying TOO much, but it's still a great comedy.

*A Haunted House 1 and 2 (2013 and 2014)
By @TrueGodImmortal

-I sat through these films once. I really can't believe that the movie audience legit supported this and though people have said it was a funny film, I found myself watching it with indifference. It's not that the film is necessarily horrible or that it lacks an attempt at off the wall jokes, it's just that those jokes in particular fall very flat. As a spoof and parody of all the demon and supernatural films, it went a bit overboard in some of the references. Cedric the Entertainer was pretty funny in a few scenes, but the overall feel of the movies just fell flat, which seems to be the story of the majority of the films we've covered here.

*Fifty Shades of Black (2016)
By @TrueGodImmortal

-I decided to watch this one day over the summer. I had no interest in seeing it in the theater, but when I saw it on a site that features many new movies, or recently released films. Don't get me wrong: this is a horrible film, but it has moments of comedy that do make me legit laugh, but overall, I'm left wondering why the Wayans even try to make new parody films. My biggest knock on the family has always been their lack of creativity to make REAL ideas of their own and not expand on or spoof popular films all the time. This film falls into that dreaded category and while I like said, there's some funny moments as expected, overall the film itself falls flat.

So, is the Wayans Family filmography really that bad? To be frank, yes it is. The majority of their movies border around the unfunny and horrible territory, with only 2 or 3 bright spots overall. It felt like maybe the Wayans brand of comedy was better suited for sketch comedy shows and sitcoms, as we saw clearly how well In Living Color and The Wayans Bros. worked. Here's to hoping that the Wayans give up the movies and parodies, and perhaps make a return to TV. They work much better on the small screen.



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