Dead Man on Campus

With just three weeks to go before finals, Josh and Cooper (Tom Everett Scott and Mark-Paul Gosselaar), hard-partying freshman screwups, attempt to salvage their disastrous grades by exploiting an obscure campus rule: If a student commits suicide, his roommates — presumably grieving — will automatically receive straight A’s. For anyone who was wondering whether the ’90s issue of teen suicide could mesh with a revival of bad ’80s teen comedy, the answer now arrives: The two mesh all too well. It seems to take Josh and Cooper forever to begin auditioning potential disturbed roommates — they include a strapping frat-house blowhard (Lochlyn Munro) with hormones in psychotic overdrive, a paranoid computer drone (Randy Pearlstein) who thinks Bill Gates is out to kill him, and, rather amusingly, a depressive British alt-rocker (Corey Page) who turns out to be a happy-go-lucky poseur. As a satire of new-style collegiate types, this MTV production actually evinces a few germs of rancid wit. If only the laborious high-concept plot had been deep-sixed — and, along with it, the cynically blah heroes, who almost make you wish that the movie had starred Jesse Camp and Pauly Shore instead. C-

Dead Man on Campus
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