Sun. Sand. Fruity drinks. Murder! Pleasure Island, Costa Rica, is home to Coconut Pete’s Coconut Beach Resort, which is dedicated to decadence. Unfortunately, someone is running around killing off the staff. Further unfortunately, there are no boats, phones, or radios, so everyone is trapped. It’s up masseur Lars (co-writer Kevin Heffernan), aerobics instructor Jenny (Brittany Daniel), water sports guy Juan (co-writer Steve Lemme), D.J. Dave (co-writer Paul Soter), tennis instructor Putman (director and co-writer Jay Chandrasekhar), Fun Police Sam (co-writer Erik Stolhanske), and owner/Jimmy Buffett wannabe Coconut Pete (Bill Paxton) to find the culprit that’s ruining their good time—without letting on to the guests that anything is amiss.
It’s a parody of slashers by Broken Lizard that manages to use the genre’s conventions (like gory deaths and an unkillable villain) while remaining a fairly original piece of work. It makes visual references to Jaws and Friday the 13th, but other than that, there doesn’t seem to be any specific movie being parodied. It’s pretty clever; what better setting for a slasher (where partying people are often punished by death) than a place devoted to debauchery? It’s also a place that can easily become isolated, guaranteeing the conditions that allow for serial killing. There’s even a Mayan burial ground to tempt naughty employees to drink and have sex and then be murdered.
It’s not always funny, but very entertaining. My favorite quote comes from Dave, referring to Putman’s unruly and comically fake dreadlocks: “Am I the only one who thinks his head looks like an octopus?” The characters are quirky and likable, even Jenny, despite half of her dialogue consisting of “Oh, God!” It’s just plain fun.