Miscellaneous Playlists

Reel-to-Reel Presents: “Club Paradise”

Official Music Video for “Ape Man” by The Kinks from YouTube.

Because it looms large over this movie, we’re getting it out of the way right now: I miss Robin Williams, too.

Released in 1986, “Club Paradise” is an incredibly fun and equally incredibly cynical film, despite what critical reception may suggest.

Trailer for “Club Paradise” from YouTube.

Directed by Harold Ramis and written alongside Brian Doyle-Murray, “Club Paradise” follows retired Chicago fire fighter Jack Moniker in his attempts to turn a seedy club in a troubled former banana republic into a destination resort.

Supporting William’s wayward fireman is Jimmy Cliff as Ernest Reed, the reggae-singing bandleader of the club, and Peter O’Toole as the former colonial governor of the island.

With Cliff and O’Toole acting as relative “straight men” against the unfettered energy of Williams, the three are released upon an equally chaotic supporting cast of vacationers including the likes of Eugene Levy, Rick Moranis, Andrea Martin and Twiggy.

“Club Paradise” by Jimmy Cliff from YouTube

With the film being so openly on “Island Time,” the soundtrack revels in reggae and reggae-inspired rock, especially leaning on the talents of the under-appreciated Jimmy Cliff.

With songs written for the film, namely the titular “Club Paradise,” Cliff’s crooning is written into the film as musical numbers within the club.

Beyond the delectably ’80s reggae, the film also pulls from a variety of Caribbean acts like The Mighty Sparrow from Grenada but also more colonial influences from England with Elvis Costello and The Kinks.

“Seven Day Weekend” by Elvis Costello & The Attractions and Jimmy Cliff from YouTube

While there is most certainly a deeper socio-economic analysis you could do of the film’s politics around rejuvenating a downtrodden island, and the smell of neocolonialism lingers around every corner, that’s really not the point of the film — it’s a fun movie set in a pretty location.

We all know the real motive behind the film — a paid vacation on a tropical island and a tax write off — but that’s alright with me.

So turn off your brain and take a mental vacation to Club Paradise — you won’t regret it.

Reel-to-Reel airs every Friday starting at 8 a.m. only on WKNC 88.1 FM HD-1, Raleigh, NC.

No man is an island – Bodhi

By Bodhi

Human Dewey Decimal System for all things music and movies, purveyor of useless knowledge.