A cult classic of the Wayans brothers is currently trending on Netflix. The parody comedy film Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood is the No. 10 movie on the streaming service. The film was released in 1996 and has since become popular amongst urban fans and is considered a true hood classic.
The cast is star-studded, with Shawn and Marlon Wayans as the lead characters. Also in the film is Vivica A. Fox, Bernie Mac, Terri J. Vaughn, Omar Epps, Kenan Ivory Wayans and a host of others.
The film spoofs a variety of Black coming-of-age films, mostly dramas, including Juice, Jungle Fever, South Central, Higher Learning, Do the Right Thing, Poetic Justice, New Jack City, Dead Presidents, Friday, Above the Rim, with the title of the film being a combination of Boyz n the Hood and Menace II Society.
The film opened at No. 2 at the box office opening weekend. By the end of its theatrical run, the film grossed over $20 million against a budget of $3.8 million. Critics were not fans of the film, but audiences found it entertaining.
A 1996 Variety review of Don't Be a Menace notes the film is "much like its marquee-buster of a title: full of very obvious spoofery, and funnier in concept than in execution. Coming rather late on the heels of the movies it sends up, pic bodes to do little more than score a quick drive-by on urban auds."
The review continues, with the reviewer hinting at being disappointed by the Wayans gang, saying it doesn't live up to its iconic In Living Color sketch variety series that aired on FOX. "Though spirited and hilarious in odd moments, "Don't Be a Menace" hardly expands on "In Living Color" and other Wayans precedents, and compared with a genuinely satiric film like Rusty Cundieff's "Fear of a Black Hat," it's simple parody, with little in the way of ironic commentary or real invention," the review reads.