Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Broken Lizard's Club Dread

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
4 out of 10
Extras Rating:
5 out of 10
Movie Details:
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Rating: R

Starring:
Elena Lyons as Stacy
Dan Montgomery Jr. as Rolo
Tanja Reichert as Kellie
Nat Faxon as Manny
Michael Weaver as Roy
Kevin Heffernan as Lars
Michael Yurchak as Burke
Jordan Ladd as Penelope
Brittany Daniel as Jenny
Richard Perello as Cliff
Steve Lemme as Juan
Jay Chandrasekhar as Putman
Paul Soter as Dave
Erik Stolhanske as Sam
Lindsay Price as Yu
Julio Bekhor as Carlos
Bill Paxton as Coconut Pete

Special Features:
Commentary by director Jay Chandrasekhar and Erik Stolhanske

Commentary by Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, and Paul Soter

Full-screen and widescreen anamorphic formats

Other Info:
Anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1)
Full Screen (1.33:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French and Spanish Language
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 104 Minutes

Synopsis:
On a remote Costa Rican island, a Jimmy Buffet wanna-be named Coconut Pete has a singles resort called the Coconut Beach Resort. Featuring non-stop parties, sex, and drinking, it is a hot spot for young tourists. But just as a new group of kids arrive, a maniac starts killing the resort staff off one by one. The killer also cuts off all communication from the island and steals the boats. It's up to the remaining staff to keep the guests calm and stay alive until help arrives. But what will they do as the murderer continues to pick them off?

Club Dread is rated R for violence/gore, sexual content, language and drug use.

The Movie:
When I saw Super Troopers, I thought it was a bit of a mixed bag. There were moments that were truly awful, but there were moments that were also absolutely hilarious. I thought the 'Broken Lizard' group had potential to do great comedy and I was looking forward to seeing what they would do next. Unfortunately, Club Dread is a step backward for them. It's less funny than Super Troopers and yet again shows that these guys have potential, but they haven't tapped into it yet.

The biggest problem with Club Dread is that it doesn't know what it should be. It's not funny enough to be entirely a comedy but not scary enough to be a horror film. It takes itself too seriously to be a total parody but it never mocks the horror genre quite enough (despite featuring every horror cliché in the book). I think 'Broken Lizard' should have zeroed in on one genre and stuck with it instead of being all over the map. This film is marketed like Scary Movie and that's what fans of Super Troopers expect, but that's not what this movie is. There's just way too much gore and 'scary moments' for it all to be taken as a total comedy.

But just like Super Troopers, there are some shining comedy moments. Director Jay Chandrasekhar plays Putman, a Jamaican looking man who surprises everyone with his British accent. Then there's a funny resort game resembling Pac Man (and an homage to The Shining) where guests run through a maze chased by ghosts and staffers dressed like fruit. It's a clever gag that children of the 80's will appreciate. There are also running gags about how Coconut Pete is like Jimmy Buffet. Bill Paxton has a funny moment when he gets offended when one of the guests asks him to sing Margaritaville. He angrily responds by saying his song was "Pina Coloda-burg" and that Buffet ripped him off. They even go so far as to have Paxton sing the parody song. All these are really funny moments, but they aren't enough to make it the "side-splitting", "hilariously funny" comedy that the DVD cover proclaims.

The cast is pretty decent though nobody is a breakout star. Jordan Ladd and Brittany Daniel are both funny and pretty as the token hot chicks. Kevin Heffernan has the most dramatic transformation in this film as Lars. He played the fat, obnoxious cop Farva in Super Troopers, but he's the hero in this movie. It's quite a difference.

This film also has the typical nude scenes and gross out jokes that you'd expect from these guys. There are no surprises here in that respect, but you have been warned if you didn't know before. And yes, it is all gratuitous.

The Extras:
Besides including both widescreen and fullscreen formats, this DVD features two commentaries. The first is by director Jay Chandrasekhar and Erik Stolhanske. The second is by Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, and Paul Soter. On both of the commentaries the guys joke, give anecdotes about shooting, and talk about ideas they had but weren't able to use (like Mick Jagger appearing in the nightmare sequence, kissing Putman, and saying, "Now you're my Brown Sugar."). Both of the commentaries are entertaining, but they really should have all been combined into one commentary. They are similar enough in tone and content that it's not really worth listening to the movie twice to hear them.

The Bottom Line:
If you're a fan of "Super Troopers", then you're probably going to be disappointed by Club Dread. And if you're expecting "Scary Movie", then you're also going to be disappointed. Club Dread is a light mix of horror and comedy that isn't completely satisfying.

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