Starring Robin Williams, Jimmy Cliff, Twiggy, Peter O’Toole, Brian Doyle-Murray, Rick Moranis, Eugene Levy, Adolph Caesar, Joe Flaherty, Robin Duke, Mary Gross, Steven Kampmann, Andrea Martin
Written By: Harold Ramis, Brian Doyle-Murray
Directed By: Harold Ramis
Studio: Warner Brothers
Buy on Amazon.com link
I have been looking forward to Club Paradise coming on DVD since, well, since I had a DVD player. Even though this movie was on TV a lot, I still wanted to own the movie on DVD in widescreen format. Finally, Warner Brothers has released this very underrated Robin Williams/ SCTV comedy directed by Harold Ramis.
If you never saw Club Paradise before, it’s about a Chicago fireman named Jack Moniker (Robin Williams) retiring to the island of St. Nicholas. He meets up with a reggae singer/small hotel owner named Ernest Reed (reggae legend Jimmy Cliff) and they become business partners. Island Jack has a lot of insurance money to use from getting hurt on the job so he invests in the club. Ernest & Jack try to make some money off the beach resort and spice it up a little bit, with a lot of false advertising. Jack meets Phillipa (Twiggy), who he starts hanging out with. She also helps him with the hotel stuff, and eventually becomes his girlfriend. They actually scam enough people to vacation to the resort and a lot of the vacationers realize they have been had but try to make the best of it. Jack is also friends with the Governor of the island, Governor Hayes (Peter O’Toole). He’s pretty bunch the local lush and ladies man, but becomes a powerful alley in the end to Jack. While all this happening, Jack and Ernest run into the Prime Minister (Adolph Caesar) in the beginning of the movie, who wants to move Ernest off the island. The Prime Minister gives them two weeks to get the money together they own him, or else he’s gonna build new rich hotels on the island. A wealthy businessman (Brian Doyle-Murray), who owns the rest of the island tries to persuade Jack & Ernest to sell the resort to him as well but they don’t bite. Ernest refuses to pay the Prime Minister so he ends up starting up a revolution that could get everyone killed.
I think this movie is really underrated and doesn’t seem to be appreciated as much as it deserves. I grew up watching this movie on cable all the time and when it came on TV, my family and I would have to watch it. Then we would do endless quotes from the movie and still do to this day. “Major score, major score” and “who’s up for a nude orgy picnic at devil’s hole!” But what’s makes this movie so great is the comedic acting of all the actors involved. Robin Williams, love him or hate him, but the man is a comedic genius and I think this is an underrated comedy from him. He has a lot of great lines in the movie and has great chemistry with Jimmy Cliff. Jimmy Cliff, who happens to be one of my favorite reggae singers, is also a good actor. He also stars in the classic Jamaican film, The Harder They Come and he also can be seen in Marked For Death with Steven Seagal. I believe this movie got me into Jimmy Cliff’s music but I honestly can’t remember. The rest of the supporting cast were fantastic because pretty much it’s everyone from SCTV. Rick Moranis and Eugene Levy, the most notable ones, as the two loser guys trying to score some tail, and weed. And you’ll laugh just at the sight of their bad 80’s glasses and extremely nauseating chest hair. Then when you actually the stuff they say in the movie, brilliant stuff! Andrea Martin was hilarious too, and that high water pressure shower scene is one of my favorite scenes in the whole movie. She comes off as annoying but it’s still funny to watch.
Another reason I love this movie is the soundtrack! Jimmy Cliff does the majority of the songs and they are really hard to find nowadays. I the soundtrack is out of print I believe, and was only ever released on crappy cassette. It might have been released on CD in other countries though. For the longest time growing up, I was trying to find one of the songs from the movie, “Solider Take Over” by Yellowman but I couldn’t really find it. All these songs are really rare and I wish someone would re-release the soundtrack because Jimmy Cliff’s “The Lion Awakes” is an extremely catchy song. The song can be heard throughout the movie, along with the title track “Club Paradise.” Other artists on the soundtrack is Mighty Sparrow, Elvis Costello with Jimmy Cliff and three other groups that I forget haha. I’m disappointed The Kinks’ “Apeman” wasn’t on the soundtrack though. This soundtrack is so rare I can’t even find a track listing.
If you like beach & island comedies, with a great ensemble cast then you’ll love Club Paradise. It’s one of my favorite 80’s movies and a very underrated one as well. I’m just so happy it’s on DVD now, and in widescreen format too! Harold Ramis directed this movie so if you never saw Club Paradise, you can kind of guess on the type of comedy it is with him directing it. Plus, If you are a fan of Robin Williams, Jimmy Cliff or this movie, you’ll definitely want to go out and buy this DVD.
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Stereo CC
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Stereo
Widescreen 1.85:1 Color (Anamorphic)
English, Spanish, French
Favorite Scenes: Barry on the windglider, the nude beach, seeing the vacationers arriving at the resort, linda’s shower scene, getting the weed with the taxi driver scene
Running Time: 95 minutes