Club Dread (also known as Broken Lizard's Club Dread) is a 2004 American comedy slasher film directed by Jay Chandrasekhar and written by and starring the comedy troupe Broken Lizard, Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske, Brittany Daniel, and Bill Paxton. The film follows a group of staff members on a tropical island resort, where an unknown killer begins a murder spree.
Though the story is set on an island in Costa Rica, filming took place in Mexico.
Club Dread was released on February 27, 2004, and grossed $7.6 million at the box office on a budget of $8.6 million, becoming a financial failure. The film received mixed-to-negative reviews from critics.
Pleasure Island is a resort off the coast of Costa Rica, owned by famous, washed-up musician Coconut Pete. Staff members Rolo, Stacy, and Kelly sneak into the jungle to have sex, where they are ambushed and murdered by a masked figure.
The resort staff discover another body behind the kitchen, and Dave relates a story about a former employee named Phil Colletti who lost his mind and murdered his fellow staff members, before castrating himself and running away. Putman alerts the others when he finds Cliff murdered in a hedge maze. A message left by the killer suggests that he is targeting only the staff. All communication devices and transportation have been stolen or destroyed.
Hank, a former FBI serial killing investigator, convinces the staff to continue with their jobs and allow him to catch the killer. Two staff members decide to warn the guests and they too are murdered by the killer.
The staff begins to suspect one of the guests, Penelope. Juan, believing her innocent, tries to eliminate her as a suspect. Putman disappears into the jungle after having a nightmare. Sam and Dave find a shrine of photos of Lars and his friends, in which all of the faces except Lars' have been replaced with Pete's; suspicion turns on Lars and the staff lock Lars in the resort's drunk tank. The killer attempts to kill Jenny by dropping a television into the swimming pool, but Jenny escapes just in time, ultimately killing Dirk and causing a power failure. Putman returns, and he and Jenny deduce that Lars is not the killer, and return to the drunk tank to release him, only to find that he has escaped.
When Pete is found dead, the staff members turn on each other. Partway through the argument, Lars returns and discovers Pete's body. Just as everything escalates, Jenny calms everyone else down and tries to convince the group that they must work together to survive until the shuttle from the mainland returns for the guests. The staff split up and Dave restores the electricity, seconds before being beheaded by the killer. Jenny and Lars find Dave's severed head and, thinking the killer is coming for them, hide under a bed. Jenny places a nearby pair of handcuffs on what she believed to be the killer's feet, only to realize that she handcuffed Putman by mistake. Just as Jenny and Lars come out of hiding, the killer appears and Putman tells them to hide before being killed.
During a party in the nightclub, the killer then reveals the corpses of his previous victims to the guests, causing a panic. Juan returns to join Lars and Jenny, with the killer's machete in his hand. Penelope, Juan, Lars and Jenny find Sam's body in a mud bath. While they consider their next move, Sam leaps from the bath and snatches his machete from Lars, revealing himself as the killer. He grabs Lars before revealing his motive: Pete had intended to sell the island, but ultimately decided to give the island to Dave, who Sam assumed would mismanage the resort and destroy it, instead of him. Lars grabs the machete, allowing the others to escape. Jenny and Juan lock themselves in the nightclub. They see Sam drowning Penelope in a large tank. Juan smashes the tank and rescues Penelope. Sam prepares to kill them, but Lars appears and stabs Sam.
Sam pursues the four as they escape through the jungle. Cornered on a cliff, they jump to the water below. They find the resort's damaged boats, and try to cobble together enough working parts to leave the island. Sam appears and kills Juan, then attacks Jenny and Penelope. Lars breaks his vow of pacifism and overcomes Sam, and Sam is bisected by a rope attached to the power boat. Just as everything seems to settle down, Sam's upper half emerges and grabs Penelope, but Lars tosses him into the ocean, before they motor away. As they do so, Sam's lower half continues to pursue them as the film ends.
On one of the disc's commentary tracks the filmmakers state that they screened the film for Jimmy Buffett, who was so amused that he requested permission to sing some of the film's songs on one of his live tours.
Club Dread received mostly negative reviews. It has a score of 45 out of 100 on review aggregator website Metacritic based on 28 reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has an approval rating of 29% based on 101 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads: "Comedy is too hit-or-miss in this slasher spoof".
In 2005, an unrated edition was released to DVD. This version of the film contains an additional 15 minutes of footage for a 118-minute running time. It features several extended scenes, and also restores a subplot involving two cops that was absent in the theatrical edition. Director Jay Chandrasekhar states in one of the disc's commentary tracks that the original R-rated version is still the director's cut.