Dead Man On Campus
The third production from MTV's filmmaking division (following Beavis And Butt-Head Do America and the already-forgotten Joe's Apartment), Dead Man On Campus stars Tom Everett Scott (That Thing You Do!) and Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Saved By The Bell: The College Years) as a pair of freshmen who find themselves on the verge of flunking out of Daleman College, one of moviedom's most prestigious universities. Scott is studious but distracted by the freedom of college; Gosselaar can't get his face out of a bong long enough to go to class. (But, in an unconventional twist, he's the one who wears glasses.) Finally, they settle on the only logical course of action: Recruit a suicidal roommate and cash in on the instant 4.0 grade-point average his death will give them, according to the obscure bylaw rumored to be in every college's charter. Things naturally don't go as planned, and all sorts of badly choreographed shenanigans ensue, one involving a lighter, Alyson Hannigan's (Buffy The Vampire Slayer) hair, and a way of extinguishing fire made famous in Gulliver's Travels. A collegiate black comedy worthy of Swift this is not. Aside from the occasional interesting visual touch, veteran MTV and House Of Buggin' director Alan Cohn shows no flair for comedy, and Scott and Gosselaar have all the chemistry of a latter-day Ritz Brothers. It's all handled so poorly that it comes off as more ghoulish than anything else, although those who find the word "bong" instantly entertaining and are easily distracted by the presence of flickering images may be amused.