Club Dread (2004)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Parody/Spoof, Horror Comedy  |   Release Date - Feb 27, 2004 (USA)  |   Run Time - 103 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Occupying a strange, near superfluous celluloid limbo somewhere between Club Paradise (1986) and Friday the 13th (1980), Broken Lizard's Club Dread does offer some moments of inspired insanity despite the filmmakers' failure to even out the script and pacing problems that plagued the group's breakthrough comedy Super Troopers. The laughs certainly flow more frequently here, but perhaps as a result, they seem so diluted that they lose the unhinged punchiness that made the best moments of Super Troopers so hilarious. Though it does sustain the loose, easygoing aesthetic of the aforementioned sleeper hit, the comedy troupe's third feature (counting their little-seen first outing Puddle Cruiser) also suffers by aiming at a target that's already been fired upon a few too many times; it certainly would have been more effective had it been released among such early '80s slasher parodies as Student Bodies (1981) and Pandemonium (1982). Delayed reaction arguments aside, Club Dread does -- when all is said and done -- mirror the stalk-and-slash efforts of yesteryear down to the most minute details, and the supernaturally-charged killer of Club Dread is on-target for the genre even if the film itself does come a few decades too late. It's obvious from many of the ideas here that Broken Lizard is truly a creative and inspired bunch (a few inventive kills even offer some unexpectedly tense moments); it just would have been nice to see them set their undeniably able sights on a cinematic trend that hadn't already been so well-tread.