DECEMBER 30, 2007
Sadly, Club Dread has one of the all time records for essentially bombing in theaters. Not that it lost the most money or anything, but the film’s already dismal opening weekend had one of the largest drops in attendance for its 2nd weekend in all of movie money making tracking history. Gotta be proud.
Well I must admit, regrettably, that I am one of the 5.9999 billion people who didn’t go see the film in theaters, because as it turns out, I liked it a lot. Since I haven't seen Super Troopers (or their latest, Beerfest), I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was also under the impression that the film was a parody of slasher movies. But in reality, it’s more like Shaun of the Dead, in that it’s an ACTUAL genre film (Shaun = Zombie, Dread = Slasher) that happens to have a lot of really funny characters in the situation. Since being scared is one of the least essential elements of an enjoyable horror movie (having suspense is another thing), I didn’t mind the fact that the movie wasn’t scary, because it was damn funny and, surprisingly, I did not guess the killer’s identity (which more or less covered the suspense angle).
The scene where the killer gives his/her motive is one of the funniest in the film. He/she (oh fuck it, he) starts telling a story about why he did it, only to stop in mid sentence, and then he says “Oh wait, no, that’s not it,” before telling the right story. Hahahaha, genius. The only time the film really approaches parody is during the climax, where the killer comes back a record THREE times (one time after losing his legs) to strike again. The sight gag was funny enough to warrant forgiveness for breaking the film’s otherwise sort of realistic (as realistic as a slasher can be anyway) take on the genre.
Also, now that I have seen the scene in question, I fully understand why Eli Roth whined so much about Jordan Ladd’s nude scene in this film on the commentary tracks for Cabin Fever (something she declined to do for his film)... it actually DOES add to the film’s value. Immensely.
It’s also one of the increasingly rare films in which Bill Paxton has any fun. Nowadays, he’s always playing serious roles, or just plain stupid ones (Mighty Joe Young), or narrating documentaries for Cameron. It’s nice to see him go back to his Real Genius roots, i.e. being funny. He exits the film far too early though; in fact he shouldn’t have been killed at all.
One thing about the film is that it’s too long. Spoof or not, it’s the longest slasher movie ever (unless you count the ridiculous 121 min unrated version of the non-slasher slasher movie Halloween 2007). It moves along nicely for the most part, but there are things that could have been cut. Incidentally, after I watched the film I discovered it was the ‘unrated’ version I was watching, which restored a subplot about two cops. It was these very scenes that I felt slowed the film down, so Fox’s decision to put them into the film (the Broken Lizard guys prefer the theatrical cut) was a poor one. If you plan on buying the film, buy the regular version. I believe the extras are the same.
What say you?