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Club Dread (2004)

DVD Cover (Fox Searchlight)
Director:
Jay Chandrasekhar Jay Chandrasekhar
Starring:
Elena Lyons Elena Lyons
Dan Montgomery Jr. Dan Montgomery Jr.
Tanja Reichert Tanja Reichert
Nat Faxon Nat Faxon
Michael Weaver Michael Weaver

5.9 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Comedy, Horror Comedy, Parody / Spoof, Slasher Film, Teen Horror
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Review by Chad
Added: August 21, 2007
I guess that I was lucky going into this one. You see, I'm probably one of the few people who hasn't seen Super Troopers, so I didn't go into this expecting some classic film for the ages based on their previous film (well, that's what some would lead you to believe). On the other hand, I've yet to see Beerfest, so (assuming that the popular "it sucks" opinion holds weight) I also didn't go into this with low expectations. I knew that those Broken Lizard kids were pretty popular, I knew that this film had its share of detractors, and I knew that I absolutely had to give it a shot when I saw it laying in the bargain bin - that was the extent of my expectations. Now, after having watched it, I can only say this: maybe Super Troopers is the funniest movie to come out of the last twenty years, and maybe Beerfest really was a piece of shit - I couldn't tell you. What I can tell you was that I loved Club Dread, and that whole "I haven't seen them" thing that I just said about their other films is going to change very, very soon.

Our feature film takes place at Coconut Pete's Pleasure Island, an island resort where acoustic guitars, booze, bikinis, and lots of premarital sex are the only things on the agenda for dozens of college kids looking for a weekend of fun. That's fine and all, but when a serial killer shows up and starts hacking up the staff with a machete, things get a little more interesting. The kicker here? Thanks to cryptic notes left by said killer, the staff has learned that the guests on the island will not be targeted and that if those guests were to find out about his presence and actions, all hell would break loose. Now, in true slasher movie fashion, it's up to the surviving staff members - Coconut Pete (Bill Paxton) himself, Jenny (Brittany Daniel), Lars (Kevin Heffernan), Putman (Jay Chandrasekhar), Juan (Steve Lemme), Dave (Paul Soter), and Sam (Erik Stolhanske) - to find out who the killer is and put a stop to his (or her) murderous ways.

If it sounds like just another cheesy slasher film, well... that's mainly because it is. Club Dread is a throwback to the trashtastic slasher flicks of the eighties, complete with all of the clichés and "rules" that made those films so enjoyable. This has been done before, true enough, but never quite as well as it was here: whereas other films went completely overboard with the idea or turned out to be more of a comedy than anything else, Club Dread actually feels like a horror flick with some humor thrown into the mix. It's definitely not a "true" horror film, don't get me wrong, but it's certainly not another Scary Movie either. Therein lies the true genius of the film: it's a parody, a horror, a comedy, and a slasher film all rolled into one, but at the same time, it's none of those.

My only real complaint about the film at hand may actually only be a complaint with the "extended cut" of the film. Let me explain. The extended cut, as you may be aware, adds in an additional fifteen minutes of footage that wasn't shown in the theatrical cut. Now, since this was my first viewing of the film, I have no idea what was exclusive to this cut of the film - the new footage could have been scenes that I loved, or it could have been the moments that I had minor problems with. Those problems, as you may have guessed already, have to do with the pacing. There are a couple of scenes that drag on for just a little too long and outstay their welcome, but again, the film may have been a lot tighter in its theatrical format. Therefore, this complaint only refers to the extended cut as of this writing, though if I ever watch the original version (which probably won't happen), it may be retracted.

Still, that's a minor gripe, and it only applies to a handful of scenes even in this version of the movie. Other than that, I don't have anything negative to say about the film: it's a horror film when it needs to be, the comedy is subtle yet hilarious, the feel of those eighties slashers was captured perfectly, and above all else, I enjoyed the hell out of it. 8/10.
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bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 08/21/2007, 10:22 AM
There is just something off about this film. I loved "Super Troopers". It gave me high hopes for Broken Lizard. Then this film came along and kind of just stumped me a little. Since, "The Dukes of Hazard" (technically not Broken Lizard, but who are we kidding) and "Beerfest" have come along and done little to show me that same comedic spark from "Super Troopers". My biggest problem with "Club Dread" is that it's not very funny. Don't get me wrong -- some of it was very funny. But a lot of it seemed generic and pointless. Bill Paxton was quite enjoyable as the Jimmy Buffett character and Kevin Heffernan as Lars was probably just about the highlight of the film. But, everyone else seemed out of place in their characters. The art direction of the film was bizarre and didn't work. The film felt too unsure of itself, and just didn't deliver the same level of laughs as "Super Troopers". 5/10.
QuietMan #2: QuietMan - added 08/30/2007, 09:43 AM
I'm one of the few people who saw Super Troopers and still loved this. I think alot of people were disappointed that this wasn't just like ST but if it was I'd hate it. The thing about Broken Lizard movies is that they're all stupid funny, but they're all stupid funny in different ways none of them are the same Puddle Cruiser, Beerfest, ST and this are all different in terms of joke style if you ask me and thats y I love em.
Lucid Dreams #3: Lucid Dreams - added 05/25/2010, 01:25 AM
Could have been so much better, but it's sort of a guilty pleasure. 6/10
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