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Review: 'Dead Man on Campus' worth a pop quiz

Web posted on: Friday, September 11, 1998 2:49:25 PM

From Reviewer Paul Tatara

(CNN) -- I feel compelled to warn you that "Dead Man on Campus," the latest installment in that most sacred of all genres, the college gross-out comedy, is now playing in our nation's theaters. This is the poetically rendered story of a studious college freshman (Tom Everett Scott) who gets led astray by his over-sexed, party-animal roommate (Mark-Paul Gosselaar).

When the two roommates realize that they're about to flunk out of school for having done no work whatsoever, they hit upon a brilliant scheme. The university they're attending has a little-known rule stating that any student whose roommate commits suicide will be given straight A's for the semester during which the suicide took place. "Hey," they say, "Let's get a suicidal roommate and push him over the brink!"

Clip: "That one's not beer."

Windows Media: 28k or 56k

Wrack your brains

"Dead Man on Campus," as you may have already wagered, is the kind of movie that's no good. This turn of events can be traced to the fact that it's very, very, very bad. So, rather than writing a needless review of what we'll laughingly refer to as "the movie," I've decided to put together a little pop quiz. There's no time limit, so those of you who move your mouth when you read won't be unfairly left behind again.

1. The big shots at MTV Films decided that "Dead Man on Campus" was worth putting into production because:

a. There was film left in one of the cameras after that cockroach movie.
b. The chart at the meeting clearly showed that the "stupid" demographic still has loose coins in its pockets.
c. You gotta do something in between groovy haircuts.

2. Counting story and screenwriting credits, it took four writers to come up with "Dead Man on Campus." This is because:

a. The typewriter was HUGE!!
b. They needed one guy for puke jokes, one guy for bong jokes, one guy for sex jokes, and one guy to "shape it."
c. The first three writers eventually quit showing up.


3. Tom Everett Scott was funny and likable in "That Thing You Do." In "Dead Man on Campus," Tom Everett Scott is:

a. Funny and likable in "That Thing You Do."
b. Praying that his face will somehow be obscured by the magic of botched film processing.
c. Wishing everyone would start calling him "the new Tom Hanks" again.

4. Mark-Paul Gosselaar is best known for his work on the Saturday morning teen comedy, "Saved by the Bell." Mark-Paul Gosselaar is in "Dead Man on Campus" because:


a. Elizabeth Berkeley knew somebody. Real well.
b. All the other actors the producers wanted were too committed to "acting" all the time.
c. All the other actors the producers wanted knew better.

5. Director Alan Cohn got his start with MTV's pseudo-verite docu-drama-mentary "The Real World." Cohn was selected to direct "Dead Man on Campus" because:

a. Tilting the camera at an angle while everyone argues about the snide roommate's most recent outburst seems a lot like "directing" to people with groovy haircuts.
b. He had always wanted to work with Mark-Paul Gosselaar, and the right script finally came along.
c. He's always been a sucker for pithy urine ingestion jokes.

6. X, Y, and Z get into a car to go see "Dead Man on Campus." They have to travel 17 miles to reach the theater, driving at a speed of 52 miles per hour. If they stop every 2.8 miles to check the air in the tires and X falls out of the back of the car at the 11.4 mile mark, forcing them to back up 4.2 miles to retrieve him, what the hell is wrong with these people?

a. They are going to see "Dead Man on Campus."
b. They are going to see "Dead Man on Campus."
c. They are going to see "Dead Man on Campus" and have some deep-seated air-pressure issues that need to be worked out.

Put your name on your paper and pass it to the front of the class. I will accept badly drawn posters for extra credit.

"Dead Man on Campus" contains four-letter words, although four-syllable words are somewhat scarce. There's open recreational drug use, and sexual situations. I'd warn you about laughs if there were any. 96 minutes. Rated R.

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