Murdaritaville Image


By Anthony Francis | March 11, 2024

Murdaritaville is a horror/comedy love letter to the music and legacy of Jimmy Buffett. Reading that and saying it out loud before watching director Paul Dale’s horror film, I could not have imagined the good time that was in store. Co-writers Dale and McGovern have written a fun micro-budget comedy that celebrates creature features, the uber-dedicated fans of the legendary margarita-pushing musician known as “Parrot Heads,” and pure silliness. The comedy found within the picture is purposely ludicrous and, at times, evokes the madness and batshit-crazy humor of National Lampoon in their heyday.

Jeep (Dustin Simoneaux) and Maisie (Manon Pages) drive the country roads of Florida, arguing on their way to a Jimmy Buffet concert. Maisie kicks Jeep out of the car, leaving him in the middle of nowhere. As he trudges through nuclear waste (a nice tip of the hat to 50s monster films and 70s drive-in horror), Jeep vanishes.

Thirty years later, a group of Buffett fans (Jenna-Francis Duvic, Austin Naulty, Heather Campos, Dylan McGovern, and Carter Somoneaux) are about to go to a Buffett show. They stop at Jeep’s old house to pre-party before tailgating at the music legend’s concert. Things are fine until they are terrorized by the infamous Parrothead, a vicious killer with the face of a parrot who stalks them one by one.

“…terrorized by the infamous Parrothead…”

Murdaritaville is surprisingly entertaining and occasionally very funny. A good deal of the jokes hit and the script manages to achieve some clever punchlines out of Buffett’s lyrics. While one does not need to be a fan of the musician to get the comedy (I confess to not bowing at Buffett’s altar), those who know his music will probably laugh more often and, just maybe, a bit harder.

But, make no mistake, the filmmaker is not poking fun at Jimmy Buffett, nor are they having a laugh at the expense of those who love him. It is evident that Dale has great affection for the singer/songwriter. The light tone, sun-drenched set pieces, and references to Buffett’s albums and lyrics show nothing less than respect. If viewers aren’t laughing at every joke, rest assured they will be almost constantly smiling. The zaniness keeps it enjoyable. The director knows what kind of movie he’s creating and does not put on airs. This cast clearly had fun making this movie in the sun. Their good time is nothing short of infectious and leaps off the screen for viewers to bask in as well.

Murdaritaville is full of funny moments. Make sure you stay for the end “credits.” Taking a cue from the Zucker brothers, Dale fills the sequence with outrageous titles, leaving the audience with one final (and very funny) gag. It’s zany, a little scary, and a lot of fun.

Murdaritaville (2024)

Directed: Paul Dale

Written: Dylan McGovern, Paul Dale

Starring: Jenna-Francis Duvic, Austin Naulty, Heather Campos, Dylan McGovern, Carter Somoneaux, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Murdaritaville Image

"…full of funny moments."

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  1. Paul Dale says:

    Anthony, thank you for the great review. I’m glad you liked the movie. If you ever need a kidney…All the best. -Paul Dale, Director of Murdaritaville

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