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Club Dread (2004)
Club Dread (also known as Broken Lizard's Club Dread) is a 2004 comedy horror film written by the comedy group Broken Lizard, who also created Super Troopers. It is directed by Jay Chandrasekhar, one of the group members. Though the story is set on an island in Costa Rica, filming took place in Mexico. The opening overhead shots of the island were actually clips lifted from Danny Boyle's film The Beach. On Coconut Pete's (Bill Paxton) private party island, Rolo (Dan Montgomery Jr.), Stacy (Elena Lyons) and Kellie (Tanja Reichert) sneak off to an mausoleum to make out. While there, a masked killer stabs Rolo to death. The two girls run through the jungle and eventually split up, but Kellie is thrown off a cliff and Stacy decapitated before they can reach help. As Lars (Kevin Heffernan) arrives on 'Pleasure Island', he is introduced to the staff, including Jenny (Brittany Daniel), Juan (Steve Lemme), Putman (Jay Chandrasekhar), Dave (Paul Soter), Sam (Erik Stolhanske) and Yu (Lindsay Price). As the staff and guests, including Penelope (Jordan Ladd), Carlos (Julio Bekhor), Dirk (Samm Levine) and Hank (M.C. Gainey) party, Carlos is lured outside where he is swiftly murdered.
The Lizards made a name for themselves at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival with law enforcement spoof Super Troopers. That film cultivated a rabid cult audience who devoured the film at midnight screenings. Perhaps they were sleep deprived. Their follow-up follows a gaggle of young, hard-bodied partygoers to Pleasure Island, where a little fun in the sun turns deadly after a stalker starts killing the employees of beautiful Club Dread.
Warner Bros.' Scooby-Doo remake, which also featured partygoers fleeing a stalker on a tropical island, had a better story and sharper jokes than Dread. The punch lines start in the crotch and try to meander their way up to the brain, but only make it as far as the rectum. Poop jokes muscle for screen time with cheap, sleazy sex jokes.
There was a time when I'd have been surprised to see Bill Paxton in garbage like this, but somehow he fits in with these burnouts. Playing Coconut Pete, the owner of Club Dread, Paxton inhabits a boozy Jimmy Buffet clone with Kid Rock's body and Tommy Lee's libido. He has plenty of talent to ogle, from the luscious and scantily-clad Brittany Daniel (Joe Dirt) to the luscious and scantily-clad Jordan Ladd (Cabin Fever). And as actors, the Broken Lizard kids make great lamp posts. At least they all suck. I'd hate to see one talented Lizard break away from the pack and get too cocky.
Dread alternately dreams of being either a cheesy slasher homage or a clever horror spoof in the line of Scary Movie. It fails at both. At least the Wayans brothers had a few scattered points of reference in their Scary spoof efforts. Dread doesn't know what it wants to do, so it wanders through a dense jungle of lame ideas and floats out to sea on a leaky raft of gratuitous sex and slaughter.
Two commentary tracks on the DVD ensure you won't have to listen to the actual dialogue while you watch the movie. You might also amuse yourself with the unrated extended edition, which is a bit raunchier and features extra nakedness, etc. A commentary track from the troupe and 22 deleted scenes pile on the extras.
Dreading opening night.