Club Dread review by The Grim Ringler

Me, I never got into the whole parody sub-genre of films. I know they have gotten to be an art form all themselves but I never got into the trend. Now one I CAN get behind is the camp classic Student Bodies, which is just silly fun, but the rest, eh, I don’t have a lot of use for them. So you can see that I wasn’t walking into Club Dread with a lot of hope, but it looked interesting so, heck, why not give it some love. Well, I gave it love and it gave me a rash, dammit.

Club Dread is set on a beautiful island paradise run by Coconut Pete (the funny and over the top Bill Paxton, here channeling a parody of Jimmy Buffett), a washed up hippie known for his oddball party songs, where anything goes and fun is the word of the day. While Pete’s name is on the island, it’s his staff that runs the place, when they can stay out of each other’s pants that is. Trouble starts on the island when a masked killer targets the staff and begins dispatching them one by one in successively gruesome ways. With their way off the island lost to them after the boats are destroyed, the staff and Pete decide that the best thing to do is to keep the murders quiet and hope that the guests don’t find out and panic. Their hope is that they will figure out who among them is the killer and be able to stop them before they are all dead. But, will they find out the truth in time?

I can appreciate what they were trying to do here, really I can – they wanted to make a horror/slasher film that was funny. And while they poke fun at the genre they never dumb it down the way many of the modern parodies have. But I will give them props for respecting the genre; the laughs are too hit and miss to really get much out of this. What scare potential there is is lost to the joke because it’s just damned hard to balance comedy AND horror and one must be more dominant then the other for both to work. And the emphasis here is on the comedy. The jokes are pretty hit and miss, some being very funny but most being just too odd to really get a lot out of. The performances are pretty good and the Broken Lizard group works very well together but let’s face it, no matter how well you work together, unless you can find a formula where the horror and comedy work together the film just ain’t gonna work. The gore is pretty scarce but they are releasing an unrated edition later this year that might be something to watch for.

While far from a great film, it isn’t bad, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it. I was disappointed that the film didn’t work out but it was a valiant effort and gave me a few grins. While I can’t recommend it, fans of their other works or die-hard horror fans may get a kick out of it and their take on the horror genre.

6 out of 10 Jackasses
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