Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Every horrorhound's favorite month is upon us, and to celebrate, I'll be dishing out a personal pick from the genre for every day in October. Some will be obvious and rather unoriginal (sorry that I like movies other people like), while some will be a little more oddball and off-the-wall. Some may even challenge your idea of what constitutes a "horror" movie. Regardless, I hope you enjoy the month with some good movies, even if they aren't ones I recommend!

Today's Pick: Club Dread (2004)

Now, I know what some of you must be thinking right now: "The guys that made Super Troopers and Beerfest never made a horror movie!" Well, you'd be half-right. While Club Dread is never really going for the scares, it still follows the slasher template extremely closely, but decides to play the material for laughs instead of screams. While some would jump at the chance to call it a "spoof", it really isn't. It's actually one of the better slasher films made in the last few years and it just happens to be incredibly funny as well.

Set at the tropical island resort of washed up singer Coconut Pete (Bill Paxton, who is having a blast), the story is about the resort's staff who discover that a maniac is going around murdering people, but making sure the rest of the vacationers don't find out about it. The killer seems to be using some of Coconut Pete's old songs as inspirations for his murders, and eventually, the staff figures out that one of them must be the psycho.

While I love all of the Broken Lizard films I've seen, Club Dread just hits the sweetest of spots for me. Not only does it brandish the boys' particular brand of humor extremely well, but you can tell that they were honest fans of 80's slasher films when they wrote it. There are some great deaths (the Pac-Man sequence and the disc jockey's fate are some of my favorites) and the ending sequence with the unkillable villain is gut-busting fun. Plus, there are some honestly good gore effects and gags peppered throughout, and that's always fun.

But, why include it in a Halloween horror movie list? Well, like I said before, unlike the Scary Movie franchise, this isn't some cheap imitation and mockery of horror films. Sure, it does its part to lampoon some tropes of the genre (the number of fake-out jump scares could be made into a deadly drinking game), but it's never mean-spirited or degrading. This feels like it could have been a slasher movie straight out of the 80's, but with incredibly funny people at the helm.

Halloween doesn't need to be spooky all the time. In fact, a big part of Halloween is taking horrifying imagery and stories and turning them into a good laugh. Club Dread achieves that goal perfectly, without sacrificing good characters, plot or respect for the genre it's playing in. If you've just stuck with Super Troopers and Beerfest as your Broken Lizard go-to's, this is the perfect time of year to rediscover this bloody comedy gem.

Okay, so tomorrow I'll do a straight up slasher movie. ...Wait, this one is kind of a comedy too? The Evil Dead guys are behind it, so you know not everything is being taken seriously. See you then!

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