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Dead Man on Campus

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Dead Man on Campus

Starring: Tom Everett Scott, Mark Paul Gosselaar
Director: Alan Cohn
Rated: R
RunTime: 96 Minutes
Release Date: August 1998
Genre: Comedy

*Also starring: Poppy Montgomery, Lochlyn Munro, Randy Pearlstein, Corey Page, Alyson Hannigan, Mari Morrow

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1.  Susan Granger review follows movie review
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3.  Greg King read the review movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review

Review by Susan Granger
1 star out of 4

This tongue-in-cheek glimpse of college life is timed for the opening of classes and specifically aimed at its target audience - which is over 18 (because of its R-rating) and under 30 (after which, presumably, maturity beckons). Given that window of view-ability, this quirky story is built around a popular urban legend. Namely, the obscure "dead man's clause" that goes: If your college roommate commits suicide, you get straight A's for the semester. Meet Tom Everett Scott ("That Thing You Do!"), a former honor student on scholarship, and Mark-Paul Gosselaar (TV's "Saved by the Bell), a hard-core party animal. After a couple of months of drugs, drink, and casual sex, they're flunking freshmen who realize that this obscure loophole, buried in the college charter, may be their only hope of staying in school. Forced to take desperate measures, they embark on a bleak mission to recruit the most emotionally unstable people on campus to agree to move in to their three-man dormitory suite and then fervently hope that one of them will commit suicide so they can get their automatic 4.0 grade average "as a consolation prize." The candidates include a paranoid computer whiz (Randy Perlstein) who is convinced Bill Gates wants to steal his brain, a dour British punk rocker (Corey Page) with a death wish, and a manic, self-destructive frat man (Lochlyn Munro) whose idea of chivalry is to unzip his fly and offer his services after he accidentally sets a co-ed's hair on fire. Directed by Alan Cohn from a satirical script concocted by a quartet of screenwriters, the murderous mischief consists entirely of one-liner drivel, bathroom humor, and boisterous, childish pranks. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Dead Man on Campus" flunks with a funereal 3. What else would you expect from a demented comedy about suicide?

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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