Club Dread (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner25/06/2004

Two out of Five stars

Running time: 103 mins Nicely played slasher spoof that unfortunately isn?t as funny as it ought to be, though there?s no denying that Broken Lizard?s hearts are in the right place.

The Broken Lizard troupe are the American comedy team behind last year?s surprise hit Super Troopers. Essentially, if Super Troopers was their Police Academy then Club Dread is their Scary Movie. Unfortunately, though it?s gory enough and suitably scary in places, it?s never quite as funny as it needs to be, despite the best efforts of a likeable cast.

Machete-Wielding Maniac Picks Off Staff

So far the most notable distinguishing characteristic to a Broken Lizard movie is the casting of a single name actor in a main role. In Super Troopers, Brian Cox turned in a unexpectedly decent comic performance and here it?s the turn of Bill Paxton, who plays washed-up pop star Coconut Pete, the manager of Coconut Pete?s Pleasure Island resort.

When a machete-wielding maniac starts picking off the staff of the resort, Coconut Pete and his crew have to figure out who?s stalking them, whilst not bringing down the party vibe amongst the guests. Unsurprisingly, no-one is above suspicion?

The main problem with the film is that the team of actors / writers spent too much time on the development of their characters and not enough on the actual jokes. There are inspired moments (such as the human Pac-Man game) and a couple of laugh-out-loud gags, but for the most part the humour is character-based and the characters just aren?t that funny.

That said, the film does pick up in the final act where it abandons any attempt at playing it relatively straight and just goes for the laughs.

Actors A Likeable Bunch

Even though the characters aren?t as funny as the actors obviously think they are, they?re still a likeable bunch. Paxton (like Cox before him) provides a decent comic turn and Brittany Daniel (?Eve? from Dawson?s Creek, the sex-mad mentalist who made him crash his boat) makes an appropriately perky female lead.

Other notable characters include Kevin Hefferman?s Lars (a burly masseur with a ?special? touch) and director Chandrasekhar?s Putman with his fake British Comedy Accent and a mean line in deadpan lines such as: ?Ah, Jenny. Since you have your arms around me I can only assume that every other male on the island is dead?. There?s also good support from Samm Levine (from TV?s much-missed Freaks and Geeks) as one of the fun-seeking guests at the resort.

In short, Club Dread ironically works better as a slasher flick than as a spoof of the genre, due to the high levels of gore and the occasional scary scene. It?s worth seeing but it doesn?t do anything that Scary Movie didn?t do better.

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Content updated: 21/10/2017 20:39

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