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All In Good Fun: The Best (And Worst) Spoof Movies




Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tim Allen and Tony Shalhoub star in 1999's Galaxy Quest
Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tim Allen and Tony Shalhoub star in 1999's Galaxy Quest

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While we typically measure a film’s cultural relevance by its accolades and box office numbers, there is another, more informal consideration: the quality of its spoofs. 

The best spoofs tend to key into a beloved film’s charm and mock it from the inside out, without resorting to bad-faith humor. Movies that have done so successfully have gone on to become well-known franchises in their own right. James Bond has been satirized in countless parodies, from “Austin Powers” to “Johnny English.” “Scary Movie” took classic horror films like “The Grudge” and “The Shining” and made their most terrifying moments disarmingly humorous, a strategy that was so successful it spawned four follow-up movies.

Occasionally a spoof becomes its own punchline, as was the case when Dean Parisot’s Star Trek parody “Galaxy Quest” flopped upon release in 1999. But in the years since, the film has gone on to draw a cult-like following among fans. Its influence is now the subject of the new documentary, “Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary.” 

For a list of theaters where "Never Surrender" is playing, click here.

This week on FilmWeek, we discuss the makings of a great spoof. What makes a successful parody? What are some of your favorites? Let us know in the comments or call us at 866-893-5722.

Guests:

Lael Loewenstein, KPCC film critic; she tweets @LAELLO

Wade Major, film critic for KPCC and CineGods.com

Charles Solomon, film critic for KPCC, Animation Scoop and Animation Magazine