August, 1998: Dead Man On Campus

Benjamin Franklin once said “Nothing in life is certain but death and MTV Movies absolutely sucking.” Maybe he didn’t say that, but Dead Man On Campus fried my brain so hard that it sounds plausible.

MPW-50236

This film features one of the most oddly morbid plots for a teenage stoner flick– maybe ever. Definitely ever.

Josh (Tom Everett Scott) has just been accepted to college on a full-ride academic scholarship and he couldn’t be more excited. The bad news is that his roommate, Cooper (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), is a total party-animal and this begins to wear on Josh. Eventually, through a series of wacky antics and alcoholic persuasion, Cooper convinces Josh that, in order to be respected and fully experience college, partying is a necessity. 

Soon after, Josh’s grades begin to plummet and Cooper’s dad threatens to make him clean toilets if he continues to waste money by ditching class; but not to worry, a shady man in a bar informs the devious duo that he had a roommate when he was in school that committed suicide and the university provided him with A’s across the board.

The two take it upon themselves to scout the campus for depressed, out-of-touch teens and the plot is largely about them dealing with three possible candidates, all with their own specific personalities: a raving lunatic that jumps from buildings and runs from cops, a neurotic, narcissistic artist, and a shy goth.

After attempting to convince these individuals to off themselves, all seems lost. Josh stages a suicide at a nearby bridge, but Cooper manages to put whatever morals he has on full-display to prevent his friend from jumping. In the end, they both learn lessons about being ethical individuals and they get A’s in their classes because, if your roommate even attempts suicide, you’re scot free.

Where do I begin?

This is the worst script we’ve seen in over 20 episodes and, while the actors tried to their damnedest to make this interesting, they can’t really pull it off in the end. The moral implications of this movie are just shocking and this is definitely a movie that could not get made today– for better or worse.

Matt: Don't watch
Gabe: Don't watch

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