Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Don't Be a Menace - Unrated

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
4 out of 10
Extras Rating:
6 out of 10
Movie Details:
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Rating: Unrated

Starring:
Shawn Wayans as Ashtray
Marlon Wayans as Loc Dog
Tracey Cherelle Jones as Dashiki
Chris Spencer as Preach
Helen Martin as Loc Dog's grandma
Suli McCullough as Crazy Legs
Darrel Heath as Toothpick
Isaiah Barnes as Doo Rag
Lahmard J. Tate as Ashtray's father
Keenen Ivory Wayans as Mailman
Keith Morris as Dave the Crackhead
Kim Wayans as Mrs. Johnson
Vivica A. Fox as Ashtray's mother
Virginia Watson as Loc Dog's Mom
Gabriel Alexander as Jheri Curl Kid
Scott Randle as Dough Boy
Wesley Eugene as Tre
Tedero Jones Jr. as Ricky
Queline Young as A.K
Alex Thomas as Al Dog
Lester Barrie as Preacher
Omar Epps as Malik
Bernie Mac as Officer Self Hatred

Special Features:
Unrated Edition of the film

Deleted Scene "The Interrogation"

The Wayans Brothers Behind The Scenes

Hood Movie Gumbo

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital Stereo Sound
Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: 89 Minutes

Synopsis:
This film was originally released in 1996. The following is the description from the DVD cover:

"Now, add to your comedy collection the unrated Special Edition release of the outrageous motion picture that had critics and moviegoers roaring with laughter ... from the creators of Scary Movie. From block parties and beepers to high tops and high-powered weapons, it's everything that's funny about growing up in the 'hood ... the Wayans Brothers' neighborhood, that is! Marlon, Shawn (both from White Chicks), and Keenen Ivory Wayans (A Low Down Dirty Shame) get together and deliver a series of hilarious situations that all move to a hot hit soundtrack! Get ready for a good time, because there are plenty of laughs in this neighborhood!"

This is the unrated edition of "Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in The Hood", but it was originally rated R for strong language, sexuality, some drug content and violence

The Movie:
This movie really wasn't very good at all. It's a parody like Airplane or Scary Movie, but it takes aim at the 'hood' movie genre. While those kinds of films are ripe for parody, Don't Be A Menace isn't all that successful at making good fun of them. First of all, the story isn't very entertaining. There's no real plotline at all. It's more like a series of short skits strung together into something that resembles a movie plot. Second, the jokes are rather weak. I can't think of a single gag that even induced a chuckle for me. Even the unrated footage that included a game of 'Po'Nopoly', the grandma cutting off someone's head, and the white man's plan can't make it any better. Third, the acting wasn't all that great. For example, Marlon Wayans' performance as Loc Dog consists of him scrunching his face up weirdly, sticking things in his hair, and waving a gun around. He acts like the love child of Jar Jar Binks and Chris Tucker. Then you have Helen Martin as Loc Dog's grandma. The sweet looking old lady mainly shocks the audience by cussing, fighting, and acting like a punk. They rely on her for most of the jokes in the movie. It gets to the point where it loses any shock value. Even the cameos in the film are weak. Vivica Fox, Bernie Mac, and other recognizable faces have cameos, but they don't get to be nearly as funny as you might hope. In short, I wouldn't recommend this movie to anyone except big fans of the Wayans family.

The Extras:
This DVD proclaims that it is an "exclusive special edition with all-new bonus material". In reality, there's very little in the way of extras included here. There's one deleted scene where Ashtray is interrogated at the police station, but it is rather brief. There is a short behind the scenes feature that looks like it was aired on TV. It has some footage from the making of the movie along with interviews and movie clips. It is followed by another behind the scenes feature that contains a little more of the footage and interviews left over from the previous feature. If you already own this movie on DVD, I don't think there's enough stuff here to warrant buying it again.

The Bottom Line:
Lame jokes, unfunny acting, and a lack of plot make Don't Be a Menace a film only the most die-hard Wayans fans could love.

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