Parody movies are a dime a dozen and it takes an extremely clever individual to make a parody movie funny. David Zucker & Leslie Nielsen had a knack for it with hits like Airplane! and The Naked Gun films. The Wayans Bros. reinvented the horror movie parody with Scary Movie. You could even argue that Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg & Nick Frost were able to successfully parody the zombie genre with the smash hit Shaun of the Dead.
But then there’s the other 99%. The rest of the filth that gets spewed out of the proverbial shitter that are no more than an opportunity to cash in on what’s hot and what’s not in today’s pop culture scene. Enter Josh Stolberg’s The Hungover Games. You already know that a parody film is doomed to fail when you have three different writers with five different writing credits. You really know that film is doomed to fail when the name Jamie Kennedy is attached.
The Hungover Games is a spoof of The Hangover Trilogy and The Hunger Games with a mix of other pop culture references including “jokes” aimed at Avatar, Carrie, Ted, The Muppets, The Walking Dead and everything in between, including a crass yet amazingly boring dialogue surrounding the creation of a human centipede. Person 1 (tail of the centipede): “I don’t remember eating corn.” Person 2 (head of the centipede): “I do.” Going into this movie you know it’s not going to be good. Maybe I turned it on because I was depressed with how bad The Superbowl was turning out and was hoping for a laugh. Or two. I don’t think I even smiled once.
As plot goes… well there’s the semblance of one. A bachelor party goes wrong. The participants wake up, unsure of where they are or what’s happened. (Sound familiar?) Turns out that during a crazy party they lost the groom-to-be and have volunteered as tribute in The Hungover Games. The Hungover Games is battle two thousand years in the future where Hollywood needs to offer tributes to the citizens of the world to compete in a battle royale to atone for the number of sequels, spin-offs, reboots and parodies that Hollywood would offer as schlock.
The movie attempts to be tongue in cheek in the manner that it is making fun of a lack of originality in Hollywood, by being one of the most unoriginal and boring films to date. I should not have expected anything different.
So what does this movie get wrong? Just about everything. As actors go: Jamie Kennedy, Bruce Jenner, Ben Begley, Herbert Russell, Dat Phan, Ron Butler, Mark Harley (just to name a few) are just all bad actors. Why they continue to make movies surprises me. Bruce Jenner. God. I don’t even know where to start with that performance. It almost looked uncomfortable for him. It was like he was doing the movie as penance for everything else he’s done wrong in his life. The Kardashians amount to a large part of that. Surprisingly Tara Reid’s cameo was about the only bearable acting moment in this entire movie. Who would have ever thought that?
The script was basic and crass with no intelligence. The script includes two porn stars as contestants just to have the gratuitous nudity base covered and treat it as a joke with the line: “guess they love gratuitous violence more than gratuitous nudity.” (spoiler alert – that line comes after they are killed… second spoiler alert – it’s a parody of The Hunger Games, so almost everybody dies… third spoiler alert – by this point into my review you should already know this.)
The script also gave Ted (in this movie Teddy) a giant penis which he would use to hit people in the face with. Because a teddy bear with a giant penis and what appears to be a rape fetish is adorable right? And then the film divulges into a fantasy where a grown man is obsessed over seeing a 17 year old girl naked claiming: “Age means nothing to soul mates.” The joke, if you want to call it that, borders on disgusting and is more offensive than funny.
1 Horse Beaten to Death out of 5