18. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997) – Jay Roach
Austin Powers is a British spy cryogenically frozen for 30 years since the mid-1960s. In this first film of the Austin Powers trilogy, we are introduced to Powers who is awake for the first time in the 1990s. Dr Evil, his arch nemesis, has also been woken from cryogenic sleep, and is hatching new ideas with his henchmen/women.
Austin is enlisted by the British Ministry of Defence to stop the villain, who is planning on blowing up the world, once again. An agent Vanessa Kensington, with whom Austin becomes enamoured, helps him along the way.
Austin Powers was a character created by Mike Myers during a Saturday Night Live sketch, and the Austin Powers series of movies are largely parodies of James Bond films. Other movies and TV shows, as well as 1960s pop culture in general, are heavily referenced.
19. Best in Show (2000) – Christopher Guest
This mockumentary follows five entrants in a dog show as they prepare for the competition. The dialogue was largely improvised, and the interactions between the bizarre characters are the focus of the film.
Much of the cast are Guest regulars, having appeared in two other movies on this list, This is Spinal Tap and A Mighty Wind. The fictional dog show in the film is loosely based on the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show taking place annually in New York City.
20. Zoolander (2001) – Ben Stiller
Derek Zoolander is a successful male model, whose only rival is Hansel, a new up and comer. After a damaging article about Derek is written up by journalist Matilda Jeffries, and his male model flatmates accidently kill themselves by having a gasoline fight, Zoolander announces his retirement from the fashion world.
Jacobim Mugatu, a wealthy and powerful fashion mogul, invites Derek to model at one of his upcoming shows, only to use him for his own evil deeds.
Zoolander has still never been shown in Malaysia, and in other Asian releases of the film, the country’s name was changed to Micronesia instead. The author Bret Easton Ellis claimed that the Derek Zoolander character was plagiarised from his satirical novel Glamorama.
21. Pootie Tang (2001) – Louis C.K.
Pootie Tang is a crime fighting ladies’ man who has risen to fame by singing, helping children, and defeating bad guys with his belt. After being temporarily defeated by the slimy CEO of an evil corporation, Pootie falls into deep despair.
As he attempts to pull himself back together and take out Dick Lecter and his company, Pootie Tang is supported by one of his best friends Biggie Shortie.
Pootie Tang received a mixed response, and Louis C.K. has stated that although he enjoyed parts of the film, he had little to do with the editing process and did not feel that the end product fully reflected his vision.
Despite being labelled as one of the dumbest movies ever made by certain critics, it has also gained praise from others for its subversion and uncompromising dedication to absurdity.
22. A Mighty Wind (2003) – Christopher Guest
This is another Christopher Guest mockumentary, this time about the lead up to a memorial concert held for Irving Steinbloom, a fictional folk music producer. A large number of the cast from Best in Show also appear in this movie.
Three main fictional folk acts feature in this film, The Folksmen, The New Main Street Singers, and a duo named Mitch & Mickey. Most of the performers have now left show business, and have been living different lives since their popularity in the 1960s. Some have not seen each other for a number of years.
A Mighty Wind is a parody of the renewed popularity of American folk music in the 1960s and the acts associated with the movement. In particular, it is supposed to be a direct reference to a memorial concert held for folk music producer Harold Leventhal in 2003.
Prior to this film, fictional band The Folksmen have featured on Saturday Night Live, as well as a made-for-TV sequel to the movie This is Spinal Tap. All the songs in A Mighty Wind were written by the cast, with “A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow” going on to be nominated for an Academy Award.
23. Shaun of the Dead (2004) – Edgar Wright
Shaun works at an electronics shop and is in a failing relationship. Every date is spent at the pub, and Shaun’s girlfriend Liz is becoming increasingly dissatisfied with their life together. All Shaun ever seems to do is hang out with his unemployed best friend Ed, with whom he also lives.
While the two lads go out for yet another boozy night at the Winchester, a zombie apocalypse takes hold of the city. Once Shaun and Ed realise what is going on, they set out on a mission across town to rescue Shaun’s mother and Liz.
This is the first film in the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy, with the others being Hot Fuzz (2007) and The World’s End (2013). The name of Wright’s trilogy is a satire of Krysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colours films.
24. Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007) – Jake Kasdan
John C. Reilly plays Dewey Cox, a Johnny Cash-like character whose rags-to-riches story is the plot of this movie.
After writing and performing a hit song “Walk Hard”, Dewey almost immediately becomes addicted to the rock and roll lifestyle. His love for drugs leads to problems in his marriage and Dewey undergoes a number of transformations.
Everything in this movie is a reference to biopics of well-known performers, made in a style similar to serious Oscar winning movies. John C. Reilly was able to sing and play guitar and received a Golden Globe for his work on the title song.
25. Black Dynamite (2009) – Scott Sanders
Black Dynamite is a Vietnam War veteran and ex-CIA agent who is hell bent on cleaning up the streets, after his brother is killed by criminals. As Black Dynamite delves deeper into the conspiracy surrounding the trade of heroin within black orphanages, he is also falling in love with a black power activist, Gloria.
With the help of some wingmen, Black Dynamite uncovers a crime organisation and evil plan that extends as far up as the White House and the US president himself.
Black Dynamite had a trailer even before filming began, and when it was shown to producer Jon Steingart he was convinced the movie would be a success. The film received funding even before the script was written.
The same team as the one behind The Boondocks has also created an Adult Swim animated spin-off called Black Dynamite.
Author Bio: Bela is a self-professed film nerd with a hankering for the macabre. she lives in New Zealand and spends far more time with her cat than she does with people.