March 9, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 82  

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Nothing to Dread in this Club

Club Dread
Starring: Erik Stolhanske, Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Bill Paxton
Directed by: Jay Chandrasekhar

By Justin Manuel
Gazette Writer

Gazette file photo
IT’S CALLED CLUB DREAD FOR A REASON. From left to right: Erik Stolhanske, Brittany Daniel and Paul Soter spend some time on the island.

The Broken Lizard team returns... with a vengeance! Club Dread is bound to be compared to Super Troopers because the primary cast is the same — but they are two very different movies.

Comparing the two would be like comparing watermelons to pretzels — which coincidentally, are part of a gratuitous sex scene in this film. If anything, Dread is similar to the Scary Movie franchise, but whereas Scary Movie got progressively crappier, Dread is a surprisingly solid film.

The film takes place on Pleasure Island, named after a lyric from the owner of the island — burnt-out “mellow island songster” Coconut Pete (Paxton). The island is a haven for sex, drugs and general debauchery, making it perfect for nubile young men and women to enjoy themselves.

Unaware of a serial killer that is slowly killing off the staff of the island, they do enjoy themselves. Along with the fresh boat of victims is newly hired masseuse Lars (Heffernan), who soon finds out that having the island cut off from all sources of communication for a week threatens his will to live.
But that doesn’t stop everyone from having a good time, while people drop like flies. Whether it is life-size games of Pac-Man in a hedge maze, “luging” copious amounts of alcohol, or midnight raves, the patrons of Pleasure Island have their every whim catered to — including sex with the staff.

It is really the staff of the island, however, that provides the most entertainment. Consisting of the entire Broken Lizard team, they play off each other’s characters to the best of their abilities. The new characters are nothing like their Super Trooper counterparts, thereby keeping the jokes fresh and new.

Lars stands out as the most enjoyable character, playing the straight man to all the quirks of the other staff; he does it with great poise and reserve. Heffernan’s orgasm-inducing masseuse is a far cry from past characters he has played, and in the scenes where he showcases his massage prowess and other new-age knowledge are some of the funniest in Dread.

It is Paxton, however, that really makes. The way he carries himself through his various acid flashbacks makes him seem like the washed-up hippie he portrays. As well, the songs he performs throughout the film showcase his inability to carry a tune, adding to the crazy world Broken Lizard has created.

The fact Club Dread is a parody film should not detract anyone from seeing it. It is actually well written and upholds the quality of humour we have come to expect from this comedy troupe: boobs, drugs and toilet humour.

Congratulations, Broken Lizard — you’ve done it again.



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