While the latter film was one of the funniest comedies of the last five years, "Club Dread" is so spectacularly unfunny that it makes you wonder if "Super Troopers" was a fluke.
At its core, "Dread" seems a parody of slasher flicks in general and of "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer" in particular. The killer on the loose at a tropical resort plotline is lifted directly from that earlier film.
But the movie fails to elicit even a single chuckle. Part of the problem is that many scenes are way too violent for a comedy. In fact, the killings are generally played straight and are bloody enough to fit right into any modern slasher film. At the same time, all the lame jokes keep things from getting too serious.
The end result is a movie that is schizophrenic in that it seems to want to work as a horror film AND as a comedy. Ultimately, "Club Dread" is too violent to be funny and too much of a wanna-be yukfest to be truly frightening.
In trying to achieve two goals, the movie fails at both.
The performances of actor/director Jay Chandrasekhar and the other members of Broken Lizard lack the anarchic glee and razor sharp wit that made "Super Troopers" a "must see and then see again" classic. Bill Paxton plays an always-sloshed Jimmy Buffet-style singer whose resort is the center of the action. One wonders if he wasn't drunk out of his mind, when he agreed to this role.
I have high hopes for Broken Lizard and hopefully their third film outing will see them on surer footing. As for this movie, a better title would be "Club Dreadful."