A couple of days ago, I wrote up a pretty detailed review of An American Werewolf in London where I stated that the movie succeeds in large part because it throws in just the right amount of comedy and horror into the mix where one doesn't overpower the other.
Well, welcome to the other side of that coin, kids. From the folks who made the legendary Super Troopers movie, it's Club Dread... the story of an island paradise, the ultimate party getaway, and murder!
The story takes place on a beautiful topical locale called Paradise Island ( not to be confused with the island that turned Pinocchio into a donkey or where Wonder Woman lives) that is owned by Coconut Pete (played by Bill Paxton in his best role since Hudson in Aliens), a washed-up Jimmy Buffet wannabe who has adopted the philosophy of getting drunk, partying, and mellowing out.
On the island with him is an oddball assortment of employees played by the Broken Lizard guys and a couple of other people. They are busy making sure that the guests are comfortable and partying and getting but soon, they find themselves in great danger when a killer starts stalking them for no apparent reason!
I like the Broken Lizard guys and I think that, in addition to Super Troopers, they're going to make some very funny movies down the road... I just don't think that Club Dread will be counted among them.
The comedy in this movie doesn't compliment the horror and the horror doesn't compliment the comedy. In fact, the horror and comedy in this movie appear to be opposing forces out to completely annihilate each other and like a base and an acid, all they do is cancel each other out. Club Dread couldn't decide what it wanted to be and the effect is uneven and a little jarring in places.
I mean, honestly... it goes from being a straight slasher movie to slapstick comedy in one breath... keeping the goofball characters all the way through into the serious parts where they just about undermine any tension that could have been built!
Still, I have to admit... when it wanted to be funny, it was... kind of funny and when it wanted to be scary, it was... a little scary. There are some pretty funny and inventive moments in Club Dread like, for instance, a new way to play Pac-Man, but nothing particularly memorable or even quotable.
Still, like I said, I like these guys and I did chuckle consistently throughout the movie, even if those chuckles never evolved into genuine laughter. At the most, I'd say that this is one movie to see once, but don't expect to have anything stick inside your head afterwards.