PARODIES | Offscreen
Parody cinema, aimed at grotesquely mocking a genre and its rules, is usually not the most subtle art form! Comedy duos, trios, and groups around the world have lampooned various film genres, often with varying degrees of success. Americans Abbott and Costello made fun of Universal's horror films, Italians Franco and Ciccio targeted various B-genres of Italian popular cinema, and the French group Charlots took on Dracula and James Bond, much like the Carry On series in England! Carry On is a series of 31 films made between 1958 and 1992, all directed by Gerald Thomas and featuring recurring actors. There are parodies of Hammer films, Emmanuelle, and James Bond with Carry On Spying, part of the Eurospy wave of the 1960s when small European productions imitated the exploits of the famous secret agent! In the 1980s, the American trio David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker, known as ZAZ, followed in the footsteps of Mel Brooks, who had already parodied Frankenstein and Alfred Hitchcock's films. With Airplane!, they tackled the disaster films that were popular in the 1970s using visual and grotesque gags. Canadian actor Leslie Nielsen, known for films like Forbidden Planet and The Poseidon Adventure, found his calling here and became a star of the comedy genre. ZAZ offered him the role of a lifetime as police officer Frank Drebin in The Naked Gun film series. The trio became the reference in parody cinema of the 1980s, creating medley films like Hot Shots!, in which all the latest box office hits (Top Gun, Rambo) were parodied in one film.
An airplane en route to Chicago is left without a pilot due to food poisoning. It is crucial to find a replacement among the passengers. Could the man for the job be Ted Striker, a former fighter pilot traumatized by war and now plagued by a fear of flying?