The comedy spoof movie sub-genre has always been hit and miss. Even genre kingpins like Mel Brooks, Jim Abrahams, and the Zucker brothers have had embarrassing missteps (Dracula: Dead and Loving It and Mafia! spring to mind). Nowadays, the Wayans family has essentially taken over the spoof market; every spoof that has hit theaters in the past ten years has either had a Wayans in it or a writer/director from a Wayans project involved with it. I have major issues with this trend, partially because I think the Wayans spoofs are lazy, obvious and insulting to my intelligence, and partly because watching there is scientific evidence that they cause massive brain hemorrhages. My biggest issue with these newer spoofs is that they are mean-spirited. They don't seem to like the things that they are spoofing, so it becomes an exercise in taunting the spoof subject instead of giving the audience a few laughs and some wink-wink-nudge-nudge moments.
|Just try to name another movie with watermelon-pretzel sex|
|Which is good, because the world doesn't need more "Trapped in the Closet" jokes|
The movie follows a fairly traditional plot outline. A group of moderately attractive young singles finds themselves in an isolated location with a mysterious killer on the loose. The singles in this movie are the Broken Lizard troupe: Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, and Erik Stolhanske. Of course, they aren't terribly attractive, so they get some help from Brittany Daniel and Jordan Ladd.
With that disclaimer in place, how good is this movie? It's pretty awesome. The mediocre slasher movie elements jump out at you first. Creative deaths? Check --- my favorite is when the masked killer puts on a costume (think about that) to participate in a life-sized, alcohol-fueled Pac-Man game. Gratuitous nudity? Double check!
|Erotic penis statue? Triple Check!|
|Admittedly, most of the masseur gags aren't quite half-jokes|
Part of these successful moments is due to the actors' timing, but the rest is due to good direction; Chandrasekhar is a good comedic director, knowing how to milk even kinda funny moments for all they are worth. He's lucky to have some solid supporting actors, though. Bill Paxton is awesome as Coconut Pete; his nonverbal acting is top notch and he really does come across as a stoned, has-been rocker when he speaks. The lyrics and song titles for Coconut Pete songs are so good that Jimmy Buffett even played Coconut Pete songs on his tour that summer.
|"Ponytails and Cocktails" is dangerously on-the-nose as a Buffet spoof|
|That's a Super-Soaker. Probably.|
This movie is not flawless, of course. This marriage between horror and comedy leaves moments where one genre is being sacrificed for the other. It's not a huge problem for me, mind you, but I understand that argument. Probably the worst aspect of this movie is the acting of Jay Chandrasekhar. The man did a pretty good job of directing here, but (according to the commentary) the group decided to give him an annoying accent and goofy hairpiece to help offset his tendency to get stressed when filming. I'm sure that Broken Lizard laughs at his scenes, but viewers are left on the outside of that inside joke. Seriously, I wish they had just left him out of the movie entirely. The ending can be annoying for people looking for a more traditional horror experience, but I've always felt in was in-line with the general feel of Club Dread. It's stupid and plays on a horror cliche, but it's still pretty funny.
|Another horror cliche: watching people watch things|