The basic formula has not changed at all: People submit their friends to a cruel joke, Tracy Morgan makes quips between skits. Pretty basic. As "Candid Camera" has proved in the past though, messing with people can some times be quite a bit of fun to watch. "Scare Tactics" season 3 is no exception!
SciFi showed the first two episodes of the season this past Wednesday and surprisingly, most of the pranks were pretty fun to watch as well as the reactions of those being punk'd.
-Satan Baby: A girl thinks she's going to be answering phones for a medical clinic. When a pregnant woman and her husband arrive in labor, things seem pretty normal until the dark priest arrives.
-Farm Worker: A young man arrives for his first day of work on a farm. Working with two guys on the wood chipper, he's soon introduced to the very angry boss. There's no sign of the nice boss except for his ripped up uniform in the exit end of the wood chipper.
-Pyschic Experiment: A girl signs up for a lab test with a psychic. Informed that he was committed for the last three years, she's assured he's okay now. Soon she realizes he's not completely healed as the other test patient's head suddenly explodes!
-Government Facility: Thinking he's working on a new web television program, a young man sneaks into an abandoned warehouse supposedly owned by the government. Soon they find they're not alone...
Not having watched much more than the first couple of episodes of the former show (Largely due to the Doherty factor) I knew what to expect. However, what makes this show fun is the attention to detail that the creators use to create their pranks. It seems to stand out more in this relaunch of the series, but all are well executed film FX that even Mr. Savini would probably approve of. Exploding heads, exploding cars, bloody midgets, all done believably and over the top. The saddest factor of this not attributed to "Scare Tactics" itself; it's the fact that most of these effects are better implemented than on "Fear Itself" which is supposed to be 'mini-movies'. Pretty sad that a "Candid Camera" knock off can out do something that big.
Tracy Morgan is....Tracy Morgan. Sadly he's pretty wasted in this series as he doesn't do anything at all except for introduce the skits in his standard T.M. style. Sure, he's worth a chuckle or two, but they don't give him much room to work. Pretty rote, pretty flat. Regardless, it's still an improvement over the former!
"Scare Tactics" isn't for everybody, but it earns a good laugh during the summer slump months. And most importantly, it's already far and above better than the other summer slump horror fix that we have available.
"Scare Tactics" airs on Wednesday nights on SciFi Channel at 10P Eastern. For more info, check the official site here.