Technically speaking, "Scary Movie 2" is a real mess. The editing is pathetic, mostly because the script -- if you can call it that -- is just a series of unrelated horror movie japes put in almost random order and tied together by about two minutes of plot.
Characters disappear completely from the story without explanation and blatant continuity errors abound because some gags where left on the cutting room floor while the follow-up jokes were kept. In one scene a character is lying in a pool of blood, then a second later the blood is gone. Then it's back, then it's gone again, then it's back again. No attempt whatsoever is made to cover up this sloppy, choppy, rushed-into-production total lack of cohesion.
But comedically speaking, "Scary Movie 2" is an almost constant laugh riot of extreme gross-out humor and surprisingly limber lampoonery -- and this is coming from a guy who didn't think much of the first "Scary Movie" and was pretty irritated when the Wayans brothers (director Keenen Ivory and stars Shawn and Marlon) broke their promise not to make a sequel.
I laughed my butt off through the pre-title "Exorcist" spoof in which the head-spinning, demon-possessed girl jet barfs on a priest, and the priest (James Woods, hamming it up to beat the band) barfs right back. Ewww! That's one of about 20 side-splitters in just the first five minutes.
I surprised myself guffawing at the over-milked "Charlie's Angels" fight scene satire -- complete with wire work kung fu -- in which heroine Anna Faris (returning in the Neve Campbell-aped "Scream" role) and her girlfriends (Regina Hall, Kathleen Robertson) accidentally end up in their underwear.
But the Wayans crew doesn't always go for such obvious targets. There's a blink-and-you-miss it dig aimed exclusively at John Woo fans (doves fly gratuitously through a fight scene, a Woo trademark), a quick riff on "Silence of the Lambs" that has nothing whatsoever to do with Hannibal Lecter or Clarice Starling, and a slew of other amusingly unexpected references.
The plot this time out -- all two minutes of it -- is lifted from 1999's "The Haunting." The surviving gang from the first picture (Marlon Wayans' bake-head, Shawn Wayans' ambiguously gay jock) and a few new faces are recruited to stay in a haunted mansion under the guise of a sleep study by an unscrupulous professor (Tim Curry) at their college.
Once this set up is out of the way, the loosely ordered parade of sketch-style screwball set pieces begins in earnest, barely stopping long enough for people like me to notice how badly the picture is made.
"Scary Movie 2" has problems other than its slapped-together style, not the least of which is that director Wayans hired deadpan comedian Chris Elliott (a premeditated Tom Green) to play the mansion's lurching, disfigured butler. Elliott is allowed several tedious, open-ended ad-libs that bring the laughs to a grinding halt.
But every time something that lame happens in this cheeseball flick, the Wayans have another twisted comedy corker waiting in the wings to pull "Scary 2" back out of the crapper.
I don't want to spoil any more of the movie, so I'm done reviewing. But here's a partial list of the films "Scary Movie 2" runs through the wringer: "Save the Last Dance," "Dude, Where's My Car?," "Hannibal" (of course!) and that unexpected part of "Silence of the Lambs," "The House on Haunted Hill," "What Lies Beneath," "Little Shop of Horrors," "The Empire Strikes Back," "Titanic," "Twister," huge chunks of "Hollow Man" and "Mission: Impossible 2."