Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
A spoof of dance movies, even though I think the movie 'Dance Flick' was a spoof of dance movies but 'Dance Flick' didn't bring to the table what this spoof, 'Freak Dance' brings to the table.  These table bringings turning out to be a full blown musical.  They don't sing all the time in 'Freak Dance' just most of the time, and the songs are really, really stupid.  Just like the movie is really, really stupid.  And for the most part a lot of this stupidity is really funny.  For the most part. 

Cocolinia (Megan Heyn) is rich bitch who longs to dance.  Personally, I wouldn't have called her a bitch because I find that term offensive, but that's what they call her in this movie.  Her mom (Amy Poehler - arguably the funniest woman alive) doesn't want her to dance but when a rich bitch wants to dance, she's gonna dance.

Eventually she meets the Fantaseez crew and in its defacto leader Funky Bunch (Michael Daniel Cassady), a light skinned Black man raised in the streets.  Even though he looks like a white guy wearing a headband that was raised in The Valley, but I'm no genealogist so what would I know?  Actually Funky Bunch is only substituting as a the leader since the normal head of the crew, Asteroid Asteroid (Hal Rudnick), known for his signature move of Dancing on the Ceiling… the worst song Lionel Ritchie ever made… is on deaths door ever since he tried to do the Freak Dance boogaloo during a dance off.  The Freak Dance boogaloo should not be confused with the Electric Boogaloo which is another beast altogether.  Anyway, if you don't do the Freak Dance Boogaloo properly it will shave off your penis and make your head implode.   There are other members of the crew such as Barrio (Sam Riegel) whose Hispanic in case you couldn't figure that out, Egghead (Benjamin Siemon) whose smart and the extremely limber and profane Sassy (Angela Timbur) who can't read.  Who knew illiteracy could be so funny?
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If you've seen a dance movie or two before, it's not uncommon for The Man to turn up and crush the dreams of the dancers by closing down their operations, usually because they need the spot to build some mega structure in a crap neighborhood, but here The Man (director Matt Bessar) shuts them down, in song, for some lousy code violations leaving the Fantaseez crew in a desperate need of a few grand to keep the dream alive, whatever the hell that dream happens to be because we don't know.  It's also not uncommon to have an evil dance crew, such as the Dazzle Crew, led by the sexually suspect Dazzle (Drew Droege) show up to further complicate issues, as these evil dancers have twisted the art of dance into something… sexual.  Not cool. 

Also, if you've seen a dance movie or two it usually comes down to a dance off between the two warring crews, which is also going to happen, but the dance off between Dazzle and Fataseez… well… it's something else. 

We're kind and gentle people here at the FCU, rarely lobbing insults and diatribes at the hardworking people, folks we don't personally know, who make these movies.  Sadly, the spoof movie genre has tested even our angelic approach to these things and seems to be on the downslide… and you probably know why Cough… Seltzer… Cough… Friedberg… not that we're picking on anybody or anything.  Well we are happy to say while 'Freak Dance' doesn't save the spoof genre… which can't happen until those two cats stop making spoof movies… it does briefly move it out of the hospice and into the ICU.  The story being told is negligible, heck I've already forgotten what is was about, something to do with terrorist I think, but the movie is funny.  Sometimes side-splittingly so… sometimes not at all despite the best efforts of all involved… but with scenes such as the slaughterhouse love song, the ode to the evils of marijuana, and lots of other little nuggets, vignettes and tidbits littered throughout the somewhat lengthy running time of 'Freak Dance', it's funny outweighs it's non-funny.

I'm thinking one of the things that helps a spoof movie is paying a healthy respect to what one is attempting to spoof in addition to having a good understanding of the spoofed genre.  Clearly professional dancers, singers and songwriters were involved in making this controlled nonsense, so the dancing and singing were taken pretty seriously with the humor allowed to flow out of the dancing and the singing… organically… as opposed to just being stuck laughing at bad singing and bad dancing, which would've gotten old pretty quick.  Also future spoof movie makers might want to avoid cryptic pop culture references which people won't understand in five years and thus it won't be funny anymore.  And that's assuming it was funny today, which it probably wasn't.  That doesn't happen in this movie but we're just throwing it out there in case some filmmaker somewhere is gearing up to make another spoof movie, say like spoofing 'The Hunger Games' or something.  Because spoofing The Hunger Games in which kids brutally slaughter each other would be freaking hilarious, right?  But I don't think anybody would do that, would they?

Anyway, 'Freak Dance' does have its challenges as more than once it gets a little too stupid for its own good, but nonetheless it made me laugh.  And considering this is a movie that has billed itself a comedy, what more could one ask for?
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