Pop Rocks: Win A Couples Retreat DVD, And Discover The Five Best Paradise-Gone-Bad Movies

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A tropical retreat sounds pretty good right about now, as Houston begins yet another in a seemingly unending series of cold (well, relatively), rainy weeks. Unfortunately, in this economy the odds are slim that any of you can afford to just drop everything and jet off to Antigua for a weekend.

As it turns out, that's probably for the best. For while it's easy to lull yourself into thinking that spending a few afternoons dozing on the beach while Ramon brings you Mai Tais would be a lot of fun, here are some movies to remind you that paradise ain't always what it's cracked up to be.

5. The Island (1980)

Though penned by Jaws author Peter Benchley and starring Oscar-winning (then only Oscar-nominated) actor Michael Caine, this flick about modern-day pirates terrorizing the Caribbean failed to have the same negative effect on pleasure cruising that his earlier work did on recreational swimming. Hollywood learned a valuable lesson from this box office dud: audiences only like their waterborne rapist/murderers depicted by hot guys like Johnny Depp.

4. Broken Lizard's Club Dread (2004)

We all know the Star Trek formula: every even-numbered one is good. Okay, not necessarily "good," but better than the odd-numbered ones. The opposite is generally true for Broken Lizard flicks, as Super Troopers and Beerfest are pretty funny. Unfortunately, Club Dread was their second movie.

3. Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise (1987)

Despite the return of almost all the Tri-Lams (post-Top Gun Anthony Edwards obviously felt himself above such shenanigans), the conversion of former adversary Ogre, and the presence of uber-prick Bradley Whitford, we weren't as taken with Booger, Lewis, and the gang this time around. This is probably because middle America was terrified by the concept of dorks with armor support.

2. Cocktail (1988)

I don't begrudge Tom Cruise his success. Really. I figure anyone delusional enough to buy into the Gospel According to L. Ron Hubbard probably needs the adulation of millions of fan to distract him from the resultant loss of sanity. No, I resent the man because he got to mash lips with Elisabeth Shue, my imaginary girlfriend since The Karate Kid.

And as a former bartender, his sloppy technique enrages me.

1. The Beach (2000)

Hmm, an island paradise where young people freed from the shackles of society learn disturbing truths about their inner natures. No "flies" on that startlingly original concept.

Win a DVD of Couples Retreat -- Be one of the first three people to send an e-mail to hairballscontest@houstonpress.com with "Couples Retreat contest" in the header.

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