Projections - Movie Reviews
Broken Lizard's Club Dread
Broken Lizard's Club Dread
Starring Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme,
Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske, Bill Paxton, Brittany Daniel

Colgate University turned out a comedic quintet in the mid 90's who named themselves Broken Lizard. After their antics in Super Troopers a couple of years ago in subverting the likes of Police Academy and C.H.I.P.S., the raucous stand-up performers are back with Broken Lizard's Club Dread.

This time it's part horror, part comedy show that probably would fare better with some editing on late night programming for Comedy Central. But, director Jay Chandrasekhar has enough slasher/sexual material to allow for an appreciative male, mostly college-age audience to enjoy it all. Club Dread uses a tropical resort for its setting with the director being less outrageous overall in following the Scream formula, with a machete-wielding serial killer in the booze-soaked, sun-kissed Pleasure Island. It doesn't quite run into the ribald Eurotrip territory which had its grads wandering onto the wrong nude beach.

Bill Paxton is the owner of the resort, a has-been pop star, named Coconut Pete, whose big hit was “Pina Colada Burg.” He doesn't like being compared to the leader of the “Parrotheads” Jimmy Buffet, as his song came years before the famous drinking song “Margaritaville.”

The 24 hours partying off the coat of Costa Rica with new islanders would appear to be a satisfying siesta until dead bodies begin to show up in unexpected places. The heavy dinging and a human fruity :Pac-Man” game conjures up images of The Real Cancun and Scooby-Doo before lurid sights shake up things.

Legend has it that Machete Phil could be lurking in the jungle, a phantom on the prowl for hedonistic guests. Others in suspicion include the enigmatic, burly masseur with a pleasing, “special” touch (Kevin Heffernan, Jenny (Brittany Daniel of Joe Dirt), the athletic, well-toned fitness instructor whose mentor suddenly met his demise. Also, there is Putnam (Chandrasekhar) who is a bratty tennis coach with a goofy British sound in his voice, Dave (Paul Soter), Coconut Pete's nephew, induced by jealousy and on ecstasy, as well as the Fun Police's Sam (Erik Stolhanske) and Speedo-wearing driving master Juan, a dread-locked Steve Lemme.

Jordan Ladd of Cabin Fever gets involved with Steve, as these warped minds showcase standup routines with plenty of hit-and -miss jokes, often in nude form. A chase scene involving a cart is like “Club Dread,” going on for a while, but somewhat amusing in execution. It just seems stale for the most part even with a neat film allusion. The production is workmanlike and the overall tone tries to balance out the chronic gratuitous gags with the leisurely congeniality that exists on Pleasure Island. Thus, the irreverence that tries to live out the casual life through a slasher streak comes across as scattershot with the nasty sometimes sly lampooning more appealing to its participants than the viewer.

Broken Lizard's Club Dread

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