25 Favorite Films with Broken Lizard!

RT catches up with the comedy troupe as they take their latest film to Slamdance.

After a successful run of studio comedies (most recently, 2006's Beerfest), the Broken Lizard gang is returning to their indie roots with the self-produced Slammin' Salmon, a restaurant-set comedy co-written by and starring all five members (and directed by Lizard and first-time helmer Kevin Heffernan). Rotten Tomatoes caught up with the Lizards en route to Park City, Utah, where they'll premiere Slammin' Salmon at the Slamdance Film Festival, to find out their 25 Favorite Films of all time!

The members of Broken Lizard (Super Troopers, Club Dread, Beerfest) -- also known as Steve Lemme, Erik Stolhanske, Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, and Paul Soter -- have been friends since their college days, and it shows; when RT sat down to chat with the Lizards about their favorite films, they chimed in over one another with their favorite movie quotes, recollections of man dates past, and of course, plenty of good natured jabs. Slammin' Salmon, in which a heavyweight champ-turned-restaurateur (Michael Clarke Duncan, letting loose) pits his wait staff against each other in a Glengarry Glen Ross-style contest, marks the Lizards' return to independent film; they hope to land distribution after their premiere at Slamdance. (And in case you're wondering, having come face to face with Super Troopers fandom at a live, Rocky Horror-style version of the flick, they are indeed in the scripting phase of Super Troopers 2.)

Below, get to know your favorite Broken Lizards as we hear each member's five favorite films -- making this a very special installment of RT's 25 Favorite Films with Broken Lizard.


Steve Lemme


Jaws (1975, 100% Tomatometer)
JawsMy favorite film of all time is Jaws, for a number of reasons. I think it's a perfect film; everything about it works. Obviously, the music --- there are not many theme songs that actually elicit an emotion. From the floating barrels, the scene where Sheriff Brody's on the beach, and stuff keeps blocking his view while he's trying to see what's going on and you're in the audience [cringing]...additionally, my dad took me to see it in the theater when I was seven; he's from Argentina and I guess he didn't understand the rating system. The R rating meant nothing to him at the time. He bought me a Jaws movie poster afterwards and I stuck it in my bathroom and shut the door, and I didn't open the door again for two years. I thought that when I opened the door, water and a shark would come pouring out and eat me. For the longest time, I couldn't go in swimming pools.

[Editor's note: Jaws is actually rated PG.]


Braveheart (1995, 76% Tomatometer)
BraveheartNumber two is Braveheart. I choose that as my second because I didn't sleep that whole night, I was up for 24 hours after seeing it because I couldn't believe they killed Braveheart at the end.

RT: Movies really mess you up, don't they?

Erik Stolhanske: You refer to being thrown out of a castle window...

[Pause. Stolhanske "raises the roof."]

Lemme: That's a very inside Braveheart joke. And yes, Stolhanske raised the roof, and his face is turning beet red. Braveheart is both a love story and an action movie...and at any moment I thought they were going to rescue him and they never rescued him. Same with his wife: Okay, they're not gonna cut her throat, they're not gonna cut her throat -- WHOA! They cut her throat! She's scanning the horizon for Braveheart, any second now Braveheart's going to come save the day...it's awful.


The Matrix (1999, 86% Tomatometer)
The MatrixNumber Three would be The Matrix; I saw it opening day, Friday morning at 10 a.m., then saw it in the final screening that day, and four more times in the theater. It's just an amazing movie.


Grease (1987, 83% Tomatometer)
GreaseNumber four would be Grease, which I saw ten times in the movie theater [and recently]; Paul [Soter] had never seen it, so we went to a revival when it came out again.

Paul Soter: I had never seen it! I had three older sisters, so I was like eh, girl movie. But Lemme talked me into going, on a date. [Fun fact: three of five Broken Lizards named a favorite film that they'd seen on a man date with Soter.]

Lemme: I went as the Fonz for Halloween one year and put Vaseline in my hair, which was a mistake, because it took like two months to get it out.

Jay Chandrasekhar: And he couldn't go to the bathroom because of the shark to wash it out.


The Sting (1973, 91%), The Natural (1984, 83%)
The StingAnd Number Five is a tie [the other Broken Lizards groan]. It's The Sting and The Natural. And that's it.




Next: Erik Stolhanske takes it back to the seventies...

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