Movie review of Broken Lizard's Club Dread, Club Dread DVD review

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Buy your copy from Club Dread (2004) Starring: Bill Paxton, Jay Chandrasekhar, Paul Soter, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Erik Stolhanske
Director: Jay Chandrasekhar
Rating: R
Category: Comedy

The film takes place on a hedonistic island getaway aptly named Coconut Pete’s Pleasure Island after the low-key rock star that runs it, played with clever abandonment by Bill Paxton. When a serial killer suddenly starts murdering the island’s staff, the remaining workers (played by the Broken Lizard gang) must put aside their biases and stop the masked killer before he completely ruins their drunken orgy.

The Broken Lizard men aren’t nearly as effective in their separate roles as they were playing the idiotic highway patrolmen in their last film. There’s Putman (Jay Chandrasekhar), the club tennis pro with the worst English accent in the history of film; Dave (Paul Soter), the resident DJ and drug dealer; Lars (Kevin Heffernan), the new masseuse; Juan (Steve Lemme), the hunky Latin water sports director; and Sam (Erik Stolhanske), the club’s “fun police.”

Much of the gore is unneeded and a lot of the jokes are child’s play when compared to their usual intelligent humor, but a few of the skits manage to pull through in times of need. Case in point, the live-action game of Pac-Man stands as one of the film’s highlights, with women in bikinis and workers dressed in giant fruit costumes running around a hedge maze while a drunk guy chases them down, drinking booze-filled coconuts along the way to make him “invincible.”

Regrettably, while a handful of these jokes hit their targets, “Club Dread” quickly drives itself right into the ground. Broken Lizard has the wit and intelligence needed for a great comedy but, for some reason, they left it out this time around.

DVD Review:
After releasing a barebones disc earlier in the year, the men of Broken Lizard have finally put out an unrated version that should have unlocked the deleted comic genius that was missing in the theatrical cut, but it fails miserably. Boasting fifteen additional minutes of never-before-seen footage and a handful of special features including two full-length audio commentaries, the "Club Dread: Unrated Version" DVD release isn't what fans were hoping for, but it's still a lot better than their first try.

The unrated cut of the film is hardly anything special and most of the "new" material is completely irrelevant to the progress of the story, nor does it offer any new comedic moments. The extent of the special features includes twenty-two deleted scenes with optional commentary by director Jay Chandrasekhar and Erik Stolhanske, and the theatrical trailer. While it's nice to have some extra scenes to watch on the side, they are almost all extended cuts and become taxing to watch after already seeing the film. The commentary for each scene doesn't say anything that most viewers can't guess themselves ("This scene sucked, so we cut it"), but the two film commentaries are definitely worth the price of the show.

Both commentaries are very different in context, but are among the most entertaining extras on the disc. Splitting up the group of five guys on to two separate tracks was also a great idea, because their constant joking around would become very confusing after a while. The first commentary continues to feature Chandrasekhar and Stolhankse from the deleted scenes, and they mostly focus on the film aesthetics like directing and production. The second commentary, on the other hand, is complete goofiness with stars Steve Lemme, Paul Soter and Kevin Hefferman talking about everything from the Farva-mania that occurred from the success of "Super Troopers" to other random thoughts on Hollywood. These two commentaries really make this DVD worth having, but if you haven't already made the mistake of buying the original release, don't bother spending the money for a few extra minutes of good editing.

~Jason Zingale

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