Club Dread (2004)
Welcome to a He Said/ She Said review of films! We’re just two newlyweds trying to navigate sharing the Netflix queue while balancing our diverging tastes in movie genres. Sometimes we agree – and sometimes one of us loses our place in line!
Broken Lizard, the gang that brought us Super Troopers, teamed up again to pen this horror/comedy spoof about a murderer running loose on Coconut Pete’s party island in the midst of a raucous weekend bender with his guests. Needless to say, hijinks ensue as the team seamlessly blends the best of the genres.
In a time-honored ode to teen scream/slasher flicks, the film opens with a frothy party scene that soon turns deadly. Coconut Pete (brilliantly portrayed by Bill Paxton as a Jimmy Buffett rip-off) welcomes a host of 20-somethings who’ve paid to come party on his island – a singles cruise on land, if you will. Three of the guests immediately sneak off to the jungle to fool around – only to get stabbed in quick succession by a masked killer. Aren’t these kids familiar with the rules of horror? Don’t have sex if you want to live, fools!
She Said: “Let’s at least go inside that old mausoleum!” (The line uttered before the three-way is about to take place.) That’s a new classic!
He Said: This is a great movie! You know it’s good when you’ve got tits, gore, a threesome and a chase scene within the first three minutes. Oh, man – I thought this was going to be a topless running scene.
She Said: Seriously – how did they have time to get their clothes back on? The killer is after me – I better get dressed?!
He Said: Goddamn ratings board.
The film veers back to the guests and staff who are raging on the beach, none the wiser that three guests have already been killed. The limbo, bonfires, shots and tons of babes in bikinis sparkle against the backdrop of this tropical paradise.
He Said: This is a genius film! Must’ve been even more fun to make than it is to watch. It doesn’t hurt that there are hot chicks everywhere!
She Said: I love Lars the masseuse (played by Kevin Heffernan, one of the Broken Lizard founders). This movie is kicking ass. They’ve obviously got more of a budget this time around, thanks to the success of Super Troopers.
He Said: This movie is hitting it out of the park so far. Boom, boom, boom. It’s quirky and funny, with a rapid-fire script.
She Said: And boobs! Thank god they’ve the budget and experience to hire real actors (especially standout Brittany Daniel as Jenny) – what a treat (as opposed to their low-budget debut, Puddle Cruiser).
In one of the best scenes of the film, a drunken girl yells out to Coconut Pete to “play Margaritaville” while everyone is gathered around the campfire. Pete gives the gal an icy stare before retorting, “Darling, I think you’re referring to my song ‘Pina Colada Burg’ – the song I wrote seven fucking years before ‘Margaritaville.’ Fuck you.”
She Said: Man, Bill Paxton is chewing the scenery – he obviously loves this role. If only “Pina Colada Burg” was the song that was actually famous – what a wonderful world it would be!
He Said: Goddamn Jimmy Buffet. (Though, in Jimmy’s defense, he found the songs in this film so funny that he asked if he could cover them on tour.) We’ve got to see if we can find the soundtrack to this film. Talk about a collector’s item!
The plot thickens as the madman starts targeting the staff and killing them in order, according to Coconut Pete lyrics. Unfortunately Pete can’t remember most of his own songs, so they are literally left clueless. The staff is now paranoid and terrified of each other but, at the order of the killer, is still putting on game faces for the guests. The guests are enjoying a live version of Pac Man as they run through a maze when the killer strikes again…
He Said: A real time Pac Mac drinking game in a maze – brilliant!
She Said: I want to play that!
He Said: It’s insane!
She Said: I think we just found a new way to celebrate Thanksgiving. This film is a crazy blend of laughing out loud and feeling anxious.
He Said: A pear running away from a pineapple? Who ever thought you could be so scared? This is funny as shit. How was this movie not a hit? I can’t quite figure out where it’s going, but it’s really funny.
She Said: I love Coconut Pete’s motto: Have a good time, all the time and always eat the worm!
He Said: Man, I wish we’d put that on our wedding invites.
She Said: Ah, retrospect.
It’s all fun and games until a madman stops by to say hello!
Though it remains funny throughout, the movie flip flops and starts focusing more on the horror aspect as fewer and fewer people remain alive on the island…
She Said: Running through fog while looking over your shoulder; a classic horror combo.
He Said: Yes, the mysterious fog that seems to come out of nowhere.
She Said: Just like in Flashdance! You’d know this if you’d bother to watch it. Not that that’s a horror film.
He Said: I disagree. I’d rather live in a lifetime of fog than watch that fucking film.
She Said: Funny, I said the same thing about Pink Floyd – and here I am, a fan thanks to you!
He Said: Oh, man – another Pete gem. Hilarious! (Coconut Pete has a meltdown in the kitchen and says, “Jesus, do you think Eddie Money has to put up with this shit?”) This movie is genius! It’s actually kind of amazing that we’re watching this spoof of a horror movie, but we’re actually curious as to who the bad guy is. It’s still a good mystery – and it’s funny. It never actually works that way.
She Said: Yeah, to create a story – a mystery with humor within a spoof. And I’m actually a little scared! Good thing the wine is taking the edge off that. Yep, I’m cheating and drinking wine. Oh, man – now they’re running through the jungle to get away from the murderer. They don’t shirk on the stupidity of people in horror films. This is a well-done spoof.
What’s a horror spoof without a “let’s all hide in the closet” scene?
Though the humor can be a bit uneven, this is the perfect blend if you enjoy both comedy and horror. Worth a rental!
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time you see a hot girl in a bikini.
Take a Drink: every time Coconut Pete makes a Jimmy Buffett reference.
Take a Drink: every time you feel surprisingly nervous during a comedic scene.
Drink a Shot: to honor every staffer that meets his or her maker at the hands of the island’s madman (or woman – no spoilers!).
While Last Call is usually reserved for theatrical releases, we wanted to note that watching to the end of the credits is worth your time.