Club Dread appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Don’t expect too many problems from this strong presentation.
Sharpness usually seemed solid. A few wide shots showed some light softness, but those failed to occur too frequently. Most of the image was nicely defined and distinctive. Jagged edges and moiré effects created no issues, and only a little light edge enhancement appeared at times. As for print flaws, I noticed almost no concerns, as the movie showed only one or two small bits of grit.
Colors seemed very positive. As one might expect of a movie set on a tropical island, it featured bright and vibrant colors that almost always came across as dynamic and vivid. Black levels were dense and warm, while shadows seemed well developed. Even nightclub interiors demonstrated good definition and articulation. I found the image of Dread to consistently seem very positive.
On the other hand, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Club Dread seemed fairly mediocre. The soundfield was unexceptional but it worked fine for his sort of flick. It presented a decent sense of atmosphere but not too much more than that. Some scenes in the jungle opened up the spectrum fairly well, and these offered a few of the movie’s examples of active surround usage. For example, some birds flew across the back speakers at one point. Otherwise, the movie tended toward general ambience and didn’t bring out much.
Audio quality was decent but a bit flawed. Speech created some of the problems. Much of the time, the lines were reasonably natural, but they occasionally demonstrated some flatness and also showed more than a few examples of edginess. The score offered good breadth and range, but the non-score songs were strangely bland and boxy. Effects played a generally small role, but they were acceptably accurate and distinctive. Bass response periodically kicked in with some moderate depth and that was about it. Ultimately, the audio of Club Dread seemed acceptable but somewhat erratic.
How did the picture and audio of this unrated cut compare with those on the theatrical DVD? They seemed identical. If any differences occurred, I didn’t notice them.
For this “unrated’ version of Club Dread, we get the smattering of extras from the original version plus a few new ones. Already found on the prior release, we find two separate audio commentaries. The first presents remarks from actor/director Jay Chandrasekhar and actor Erik Stolhanske, both of whom sit together for their running, screen-specific discussion. The pair seem generally chatty, as the track suffers from only a few dead spots, but unfortunately, they don’t really tell us a ton about the making of the movie.
Particularly during its early moments, the commentary suffers from Farrelly Syndrome, whereby the guys mainly just name participants in the flick. They also get into subjects like various film references, elements of the shoot, and gags that they like. Probably the most interesting part of the chat comes when they tell us of Jimmy Buffett’s reaction to the Coconut Pete character, though those remarks come across as somewhat self-congratulatory since they let us know how much Buffett loved the spoof. The commentary remains fairly pleasant and occasionally amusing, but it lacks much real information.
For the second commentary, we hear from actors Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, and Paul Soter, all of whom offer their own running, screen-specific discussion. Expect a piece that seems fairly similar to the prior one. The guys go through a mix of topics related to the film, with an emphasis on their experiences during the shoot as well as some changes from the original script. A moderate amount of repetition occurs between the two tracks; for example, we hear the same story about the genesis of Juan’s pronunciation of “Penelope” both places. Occasional gaps occur, but not many, and the participants mostly seem chatty and lively. As with the first commentary, this one fails to present a great deal of informative pieces, but it comes across as moderately entertaining and useful.
Note that the original DVD edited the commentaries. Though the body of both tracks is the same for both discs, this one includes information during the added scenes. It appears that the two commentaries were recorded along with the uncut version of the movie and simply edited for the theatrical DVD.
New to the “unrated” DVD, we get a collection of 22 deleted scenes. These fill a whopping 48 minutes and 29 seconds. Some of them will look familiar, as everything added to the unrated cut of the film also shows up here. That still leaves more than half an hour of new footage. Does anything memorable appear? Not in my estimation. A lot of the bits pad out existing scenes, though a few totally new tidbits materialize, such as a sequence with Pete and Juan in the jungle. Mostly the scenes seem forgettable, though.
We can view the deleted scenes with or without commentary from Jay Chandrasekhar and Erik Stolhanske. A very erratic piece, they occasionally let us know why the segments failed to make the cut, and they provide some production notes. However, much of the time they ramble about whatever hits them, which means lots of irrelevant remarks. Actually, the track goes so far off-task at times it almost becomes funny. However, much of it simply plods and makes the commentary less than useful.
Lastly, we find some trailers. We locate ads for Dread and its soundtrack plus one for The Ringer.
A movie that came out about 20 years too late, Club Dread offers a toothless and tired spoof. We’ve seen too many flicks that covered similar territory, and this one lacks anything new or creative to add. The DVD presents very good picture with fairly mediocre sound and a couple of generally enjoyable audio commentaries. We also get many deleted scenes, some of which get reincorporated into the movie for this unrated cut. I think the disc brings Dread to DVD reasonably well, but it’s simply not a very good film. The extended version doesn’t improve it, as it remains unfunny.