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Although it gets off to a slow start, BROKEN LIZARDíS CLUB DREAD ($28) proves to be a pretty funny horror movie spoof that manages to push all the right genre related buttons. CLUB DREAD is a product of the Broken Lizard comedy troop, who seems to know their way around the typical slasher flick, although their sensibilities bring a ridiculous quality to the expected blood and gore. In addition, CLUB DREAD takes place in a tropical setting, which gives the comedy troop even more license to rev up the filmís "T&A" factor. CLUB DREAD takes place on a Pleasure Island, which is owned by recording artist Coconut Pete (Bill Paxton), who keeps alcohol and sex very high on the resortís very short activity list. As the latest batch of vacationers arrive on Pleasure Island, so begins a sting of killings that begin to decimate the resortís rather randy staff. The cast of CLUB DREAD also features Brittany Daniel, Jordan Ladd, Kevin Heffernan, Jay Chandrasekhar, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske and Lindsay Price.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has made CLUB DREAD available on DVD in a 2.35:1 widescreen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays (a full screen version is also provided on the flipside of the disc, but isnít reviewed here). The widescreen version of CLUB DREAD has a solid and good-looking presentation that offers a sharp and reasonably well-defined image. There are occasional shots that appear a bit soft, but nothing out of the ordinary for a modestly budgeted affair such as this. Colors usually appear pretty vibrant and flesh tones are appealing. There are no signs of chroma noise or smearing to mar the color reproduction. Blacks are accurate, whites are stable and shadow detail is pretty darn good. The film element used for the transfer has some minor blemishes, as well as some instances of noticeable grain. Digital compression artifacts are usually well contained.

CLUB DREAD comes with a fairly standard comedy mix that is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. The forward soundstage tends to dominate the mix, with much of the film being dialogue driven. There are some good channel separations across the front for sound effects and music, while the rears provide ambient sounds, musical fill and the occasional effect. Every aspect of the sound mix is kept simplistic, but it works effectively enough with the material. Fidelity is just fine and the bottom end of the track seems solid enough for the material. The voices are cleanly recorded and dialogue is always totally understandable. French and Spanish language tracks are also provided, in addition to English, French and Spanish subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few extras. There are two audio commentaries; the first is with director Jay Chandrasekhar and Erik Stolhanske and the second features other Broken Lizard troop members Kevin Heffernan, Paul Soter, and Steve Lemme. Both tracks are interesting, although the second is a bit more fun. A soundtrack spot closes out the extras.

If you are a horror fan, you will probably get a kick out of BROKEN LIZARDíS CLUB DREAD. The DVD looks and sounds pretty good and is worth checking out if you are into genre spoofs.



Broken Lizard's Club Dread (2004)


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2004 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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