Broken Lizard's Club Dread

on February 27, 2004 by Tim Cogshell
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Coconut Pete (Bill Paxton of "Frailty" and many very good movies, not including this one) is a washed up ex-pop star/stoner. Actually, he's still a stoner. He and his "Love Boat"-style staff run a remote hedonistic resort where Pete plays all his old LSD trip songs, and everyone has sex with everyone else. That includes Jenny, the hot aerobics instructor (Brittany Daniel of "Joe Dirt"), and a bunch of weird guys played by members of the Broken Lizard comedy troupe (last seen in "Super Troopers"): Sam the Fun Cop (Erik Stolhanske); Juan, the Speedo-wearing cliff diver (Steve Lemme); Putman, the Indian/British tennis instructor, played by director Jay Chandrasekhar (who was actually quite funny in "Super Troopers," but isn't here); and the new masseur, Lars (co-writer Kevin Heffernan), who seems to be the only person on the island who isn't high, drunk, oversexed or killing people with a machete. Which brings us to the plot: Someone wielding a big machete is killing the staffers at Coconut Pete's, and they'd rather the guests not know. But the real question is: who cares, especially if it's not particularly funny. There was a time when movies about guys with big knives stalking and hacking up beautiful young people didn't have to be funny; scary was good enough. But no more. Now, it had better be funny, and not just occasionally humorous, as is the case with "Club Dread," but gut-bustingly funny--otherwise it's just a movie about guy in a mask with a big knife killing pretty people, which has been done. To death.

The Broken Lizards are--apparently--proponents of a style of comedy that hearkens to mid-'70s low-budget classics like "H.O.T.S" and "Animal House" that feature a juvenile sense of funny and lots of nudity. Neither of which are necessarily bad things, but with "Club Dread" the Broken Lizards are too busy enjoying themselves to be concerned with whether or not we are enjoying ourselves. Which we aren't. Starring Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske, Brittany Daniel, Jordan Ladd and Bill Paxton. Directed Jay Chandrasekhar. Written by Broken Lizard. Produced by Richard Perello. A Fox Searchlight release. Comedy. Rated R for violence/gore, sexual content, language and drug use. Running time: 105 min

Tags: Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske, Brittany Daniel, Jordan Ladd and Bill Paxton. Directed Jay Chandrasekhar, Broken Lizard, Richard Perello, A Fox Searchlight release, Comedy, funny, pop star, drunk, hedonistic
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