Dead Man On Campus
Rating -

Comedy (US); 1998; Rated R; 96 Minutes

Tom Everett Scott: Josh Miller
Mark-Paul Gosselaar: Scott Cooper
Poppy Montgomery: Rachel
Lochlyn Munro: Cliff
Randy Peterson: Buckley
Corey Page: Matt
Alyson Hannigan: Lucy

Produced by David Gale, Gale Anne Hurd, Maggie Malina and Van Toffler; Directed by Alan Cohn; Screenwritten by Anthony Abrams and Adam Larson Broder

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Written by DAVID KEYES

There's a character in "Dead Man On Campus" called Cliff. He's a sick lunatic, and yet he's very interesting. He's the only thing about the whole movie that I liked.

Movies should be made more often about characters like him. But not in the conception of "Dead Man On Campus," which is just as dead as its title. Rather than seeing such a movie, it would have been better to see a story, perhaps, about him solely, without a plot destined to kill him off so that college roommates can pass their college courses with 'A' grades. I would have liked to see Cliff as an absolute center of attention, because he's so moronic and weird that it's almost fascinating and funny all at the same time.

Instead, we get a movie that mixes him up in absolute boredom and foolishness. It is not only a shame for actor Lochlyn Munro, but for the audience as well. Such promise could have been paid to Cliff and his observant characteristics. Such a wonderful story could have emerged to follow him and his life. But the script that is "Dead Man On Campus" kills everything decent about him.

There is total ineptness woven into every loathsome point of the screenplay. It tells the story of two college freshmen friends who learn at the same time that they are failing all of their courses. Checking into the colleges bylaws, they learn that if their college roommate dies tragically, the other roommates get straight A's in their courses. Destined to stand above failing, they encounter a guy named Cliff, who, after just a few minutes, seems like the perfect man to take out, since, after all, he's already gone off the deep end.

The idea for such material is an impossible one. Does anyone think that they can get away with this? Are we supposed to believe that if a college roommate dies that you get an A? Is it even illegal for such a bylaw? The premise did not convince me for one second. My attention remained elsewhere while the script unfolded it's maniacal plot.

Did I mention Cliff? He can be a great focus of a movie. He is so interesting and so over-the-edge that by the time the movie ended, I was asking myself questions solely about him. What would he have done next? What would he have done in the opposite situation? The list goes on and on.

It's just a real shame that he has to be downgraded by appearing in this movie. "Dead Man On Campus" delivers no imagination and no laughs whatsoever. I should know. It is not only an unfunny shame of an idea, but a waste, for taking the interesting persona of Cliff and shredding it to bits.

1998, David Keyes, Please e-mail the author here if the above review contains any spelling or grammar mistakes.
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