Maybe it’s because I’m a nerd, or maybe it’s truly funny, but I tend to get a kick out of misinterpretations or re-interpretations that rely on an audience knowing that a previously existing work has been twisted into something new. This type of joke requires the audience member to be keenly aware of both genre conventions and a wide swath of pop culture. In some ways, it’s the real life equivalent of eats, shoots and leaves versus eats, shoots, and leaves. Knowing about language and how punctuation forces us to parse this sentence differently – and have a completely different understanding of the life of a panda – makes the grammar joke funny. And so it is with other things in our world, like novelty movie trailers that play off the idea that you’d have to know a.) something about a particular director’s style and b.) something about genre and c.) how to twist that all together into something new. To demonstrate what I’m saying in my medicated haze, here are some fake movie trailers that do this quite nicely.
Here’s “Tim Burton Remakes Weekend At Bernie’s“: