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Club Dread
2004 - R - 97 Mins.
Director: Jay Chandrasekhar
Producer: Richard Perello
Written By: Jay Chandrasekhar
Starring: Bill Paxton, Jay Chandrasekhar, Steve Lemme, Eric Stolhanske, Brittany Daniel
Review by: Greg Ursic
Whatever happened to the supernatural killing machines that could hack up a troop of teens, outwalk a speeding car and teeter on the brink of death only to come back for more all without breaking a sweat? Today’s slashers lack panache, I mean where’s the motivation? Whiny spoiled brats who didn’t get the right pizza, or didn’t get hugged enough as a child. Bah, I laugh at them and their wimpy ways. Or at least I hope I will...

When the stress meter is off the scale and you’re fantasizing about strangling your co-worker till their head pops like a grape, there’s nothing better than a touch of paradise, Pleasure Island style. Former 70’s rocker Coconut Pete promises beaches, booze and bumpty bump to take your mind off your troubles. The fun turns to frantic when a machete wielding maniac starts downsizing the staff with brutal efficiency that would make any CEO proud. Can they keep their heads and stop the killer before the guests notice? And will they get a refund if they have to serve themselves?

Bill Paxton is truly slumming it as Coconut Pete the washed up host of ceremonies, but not merely in appearance – all I can say is he must have been offered a juicy paycheque to try and breathe a little fresh air into this lifeless character. At least he’s rarely onscreen long enough to be annoying: Erik Stohlanske is positively grating as Sam the insipid Captain of the Fun Police and I wish I’d had a chainsaw of my own to cut Jay Chandrasekhar’s upper crust putz Putman out of the film completely. The only character that I didn’t wish would be vivisected sooner was Steve Lemme’s Juan, the Latin American horndog who plays a mean game of Pac Man. The writers however deserve the lion’s share of the blame.

Minutes into Club Dread as an intrepid trio prepares for a mini orgy in the jungle, bimbo #2 opines “Let’s at least go in this old mausoleum”. I was amused and more importantly, feeling decidedly optimistic. The glow didn’t last long: the amusing death scene that I had envisioned (and there were several possibilities given the circumstances) was very bloody, too realistic, and decidedly unfunny, which is an accurate summary of the film.

Brought to you by the same creative team responsible for last year’s surprise hit “Super Troopers,” the writers were clearly aiming for a Scary Movie kind of horror comedy vibe (without the excess fluids) but failed miserably. The script is lacking in humor, and they hamstrung the horror quotient, yet opted to portray realistic beheadings, guttings, etc which ultimately earned the film an R-rating for violence which is going to limit it’s potential audience (that and the legions of reviews panning this dog) .

I have one piece of advice for anyone thinking of making a movie with the word dread in the title (even sound alikes – remember Judge Dredd?). Don’t. There is nothing that I can recommend about this dreadful mess. Go see something, anything else or stay home.
Movie Guru Rating
A train wreck.  So bad some may find it unintentionally entertaining.
  1 out of 5 stars

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