Club Dread (2004)
Starring: Steve Lemme, Kevin Heffernan, Eric Stolhanske, Paul Soter, Jay Chandrasekhar, Brittany Daniel, Jordan Ladd, Samm Levine, LindsayPrice, Bill Paxton, MC Gainey, Nat Faxon
Directed by: Jay Chandrasekhar
Tagline: A vacation to die for!
Running time: 104 Minutes
Quick summary (from IMDB): When a serial killer interrupts the fun at the swanky Coconut Pete's Coconut Beach Resort -- a hedonistic island paradise for swingers --- it's up to the club's staff to stop the violence ... or at least hide it!
More and more, I’m beginning to regret my Decluttring from a few months ago. In my haste to get rid of some space-stealing DVDs I never watched and to scrounge up some extra cash, I sold off a large chunk of my movie collection. I thought I did a pretty good job of keeping certain movies I couldn’t part with. The movies that mean something to me (Joe Dirt, Not Another Teen Movie, Pootie Tang), were my wife’s (Motel Hell, House of 1000 Corpses, Boogie Nights) or weren’t available on Netflix all got a chance to stay. I guess I got a little tired of checking every single movie against Netflix and Hulu and decided to just sell off a bunch of movies I’d probably want to watch again. Club Dread was one of those movies. It’s definitely worth more to me than the measley $0.50 I got for it and certainly worth more to me thant Thir13en Ghosts, which I inexplicably kept.
Back in college, I kept thinking Club Dread was going to be the next Super Troopers. And not just because both were made by and starring the same people, I genuinely thought Club Dread was on the same level, comedy-wise, as Super Troopers. In the numerous viewings of both movies since then, I realize that this was wrong. Super Troopers is the far better and funnier movie, but Club Dread is still a really funny horror spoof. I tried several times to get my friends and the guys in the dorms into it, but it never worked out.
There are at least three things in Club Dread that make me laugh every single time:
1. Steve Lemme’s character’s pronunciation of the name Penelope (Peenalope). To this day, that’s how I pronounce that name (I know 0 people named Penelope) and also how I pronounce pineapple (because I am weird).
2. Bill Paxton as Coconut Pete. Everything about the Jimmy Buffet rip-off is perfect. The song titles (Pina Coladaburg) and the songs themselves are fantastic. And Bill Paxton is hilarious, I especially love his rant on the girl who requests Margaritaville.
3. And the intro scene featuring Kevin Heffernan as Lars the masseur. The first is early on in the movie, when Paul Soter complains that Lars is replacing the 6 ft tall female Swedish masseuse and Lars responds "I'm 6'1." It gets me every time. I have no idea what it is about that line that gets me but I love it.
While re-watching the movie reminded me of all of those things, it also reminded me of the one thing I hated about Club Dread, and that is the accent Jay Chandrasekhar uses for Putman. The British accent he uses has always annoyed me, and I don’t really know why. It might be the accent combined with the character a little, but I just hate it.
As a horror movie spoof/satire, Club Dread is far better than Scary Movie (or any of the crap spun off from that). There’s an actual story and a plot here, not just a collection of gags and stupid jokes. There are plenty of stupid jokes in Club Dread, but they are much funnier than anything in Scary Movie. And rather than make fun of horror movies, Club Dread pays homage, utilizing several horror movie clichés throughout the movie. I really enjoyed the way they kept the identity of the killer hidden for so long in the movie. There was so much misdirection and a bunch of false alarms; at some point in the movie, the killer very well could have been anyone and it would have worked out.
I might be alone in my feeling for Club Dread, but I think it’s the second best Broken Lizard movie, just behind Super Troopers. Granted, I haven’t seen Beerfest or The Slammin’ Salmon near as many times as I’ve seen Super Troopers and Club Dread, but I still don’t think they’re as good or as funny.
4 out of 5 stars