— Bette Davis as Rosa Moline from Beyond the Forest, 1949
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April 12, 2013
Simon Rex On Why He Loves the Scary Movie Franchises
— Posted by Kenny Miles
Simon Rex has had quite the versatile career since breaking out onto the pop culture radar thanks to his gig as an MTV VJ in the middle 1990′s. His biggest exposure to mass audiences was in the Scary Movie franchises. He returns of Scary Movie 5 opening on April 12th. Although director Malcolm D. Lee as well as cast members Anna Faris and Regina Hall are not returning, this Scary Movie promises to have the same oddball, spoof humor.
Rex has worked pretty hard in the industry and has flown under the radar, making various TV and movie experiences. Simon has floated between rapper, acting on Television, movies, and being a savvy social media user with a passionate following on Twitter. Heck, GQ recently profiled his Intragram account. In order to get as many gigs, Rex has learned to be flexible rapping here, acting there. Simon Rex branched out from the music video channel thanks to connections he made in the Entertainment Industry, which was easy since he was working on MTV pretty much 7 days of week.
“In Hollywood, you’re only as good as your last job,” he said which serves as a reminder to keep an active career in this industry.
Rex has chosen to work in the comedy sub-genre spoofs, he was influenced by childhood memories of the Zucker brand of comedy, and when asked why he chose this route he answered with the following:
“I grew up with Airplane and Naked Gun,” he said. “I like the type of broad comedy of goofy slapstick. This is my taste in comedy.”
Simon Rex pointed out that the Scary Movie franchise was “one of the most successful franchises of all time”, and he’s correct. The first four Scary Movies have grossed around $800 million worldwide! The secret to the success of the Scary Movie brand has been to keep costs low, sprinkle in some eye catching cameos, emphatically target the franchise to a younger demographic market and you have a hit. This is an overlooked series that was profitable for the Dimension/Weinstein Company studio which produces shocking horror movies or prestige award contenders. Simon Rex has been apart of the Scary Movie series since the 3rd installment, almost ten years ago, and he knows what the secret is to success with people.
“It’s familiar to the audience,” he said. “You know what you are getting with the silly laughs and don’t have to think. You’re not watching Lincoln or Downton Abbey.”
Rex mentioned how many of the familiar actors were on set “for a day or two and mostly came and went.”
Notable actors/musicians making those appearances in Scary Movie 5 include Molly Shannon, Heather Locklear, Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, Snoop Lion (Dogg), Mike Tyson, Mac Miller, Bow Wow, Terry Crews, and Chris Elliot. All make cameos in the film with some even playing themselves re-enforcing the notion that this is a series that attracts many famous actors like a pop culture infused carnival circus.
As mentioned earlier, the fifth film is absent of the familiar faces to the series including Anna Farris and Regina, as well as director David Zucker who was on set consulting. Despite their presence not being shared, Rex is confident its a the same Scary Movie series that he has enjoyed belonging.
“This is a whole new style with a different cast and definitely a fun experience. Its a dream job,” he said.
Director Malcolm D. Lee has experience with working in movie spoof. He is the filmmaker behind the very funny, but under-appreciated 2002 comedy Undercover Brother. With a movie like Undercover Brother, Scary Movie 5 should show some comedic potential despite switching directors. However
Simon Rex really hopes viewers go see Scary Movie 5 continuing the tradition of the successful franchise. Otherwise he promises to “come after you with a harpoon and a machete” who don’t.
Appropriate comment considering he is clearly displaying sarcastic humor out of horror.
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Whether something is overlooked by Hollywood or whatever business trend has captured the Entertainment Industry’s attention, Kenny Miles loves to talk about movies (especially the cultural impact of a film). He covers various aspects of movies including specialty genre films, limited release, independent, foreign language, documentary features, and THE much infamous "awards season." Also, he likes to offer his opinion on the business of film, marketing strategy, and branding. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado and is a member of the Denver Film Critics Society critics group. When he isn’t writing, Kenny channels his passion for interacting with moviegoers (something most movie pundits lack) as a pollster for the market research company CinemaScore and working as floor staff/special events coordinator in the film community. You can follow him on Twitter @kmiles723.
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