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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 19.4%
Average: 7.46%
Pretty Bad: 11.19%
Total Crap: 24.63%

10 reviews, 74 user ratings

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Very Bad Things
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by Ryan Arthur

3 stars

The question is: does this movie try too hard, or not try hard enough?

A dark, dark, dark comedy. I mean, really dark. Like, midnight black with a new moon and intense cloud cover and dark fog.

If you're easily offended, or if you're not into black comedies, then skip this movie. I think it's an interesting film, not necessarily good or bad, but interesting.

Once again, Jon Favreau plays a guy who goes to Vegas. Too bad he couldn't have brought "Double Down" with him. Favreau plays Kyle, a guy just about to get married to the lovely Laura (Cameron Diaz). Laura is fretting over the wedding. She's basically doing everything herself, and she meticulously plans seating arrangements then way military leaders plan strategic strikes.

Kyle is carted off to Vegas for his bachelor party by a groupf friends. Among the merry band: Robert Boyd (Christian Slater, aping Jack, again), a guy with serious emotional issues; squabbling brothers Adam and Michael Berkow (Daniel Stern and Jeremy Piven), and Charles (Leland Orser), the quiet one.

Drugs are snorted, loud music is playing, and a stripper is in the room. In a bizarre accident, she's killed when she's impaled on a towel hook. The men freak, with the exception of Robert, who says that this is just "a 105-pound problem." Until a guard shows up, and then he gets taken down, too.

So you've got two dead bodies. What do you do?

Cut 'em up and bury 'em in the desert.

And this is how a filmed version of "can you top this?" begins. The bodies are in the ground, the guilt starts to manifest, and things get stranger and stranger as people continue to die in accidents and other murders.

Writer/director Peter Berg tries to continually one-up himself, seeing what he can get away with, and seeing just what it is an audience will laugh at (or cringe at, or both):

Head-on collisions. Retarded kids. A woman biting a man in the groin. A couple more deaths. Gristle on a chainsaw. Quadripelegics in breath-powered wheelchairs.

I'll be honest. I laughed a lot. But the film's hollow. There's no motivation in what the characters do, and there's no repercussions in their actions, regardless of how reprehensible.

It looks interesting, I'll admit, although the jumpcuts and weird angles make me worried that Berg may be the next Michael Bay, God help us all.

Flashy, but empty. Not for everyone.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 12/01/98 02:36:56
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User Comments

7/27/18 Rick Savages the Facebook mentality. Couldn't stop laughing. 5 stars
9/16/17 morris campbell unpleasant & boring & point less pure trash 1 stars
5/20/13 Tim Sardonic, very dark, and misunderstood, the macabre humor grabbed me in a second viewing. 4 stars
7/05/09 mr.mike These things always lose steam towards the end, still well done. 4 stars
8/19/08 Shaun Wallner This Film was well made!! 5 stars
10/25/07 Mr SK Has to be seen at least twice... if not 3 or 4 times - great movie. 5 stars
12/28/06 ben_a I thought I was the only one who got this movie. Great movie! 5 stars
5/06/06 dionwr Haven't seen it 3 stars
5/02/06 Ryan_A I should probably watch this again... 3 stars
5/02/06 David Cornelius ----- 3 stars
5/02/06 HBS-SH paper st. mayhem 4 stars
4/13/06 joe arbuckle Even the 'normal' stuff is hilarious. Even better when you dont know the premise! Whizzers 5 stars
6/07/05 R.C.F. The longer I'm watching this one, the less I care what the whole absurd bloodbath is about. 1 stars
2/20/05 Jeff Anderson Sick insanity DONE RIGHT! Great performances, directing & script TRULY TRIUMPH!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
11/09/04 Mitch De Costa Very Bad Things - Not to be forgotten 4 stars
9/10/04 jeff was this supposded to be a comedy or horror flick?? 1 stars
6/24/04 the bride GO HOME YOU FUCKING MURDERER! 5 stars
2/19/04 MP Bartley FUCKING WHIZZERS!!!! 5 stars
10/20/03 Josh Standlee Christian Slater played the best damn psycho he could! Bravo! 5 stars
9/04/03 eddie it was good because i say so - BOOYAH 5 stars
8/26/03 AD fucking awful 1 stars
6/30/03 B Boring as hell. Not the least bit entertaining. 1 stars
4/01/03 Rebecca Hated it the 1st viewing; Loved it by the 3rd viewing 5 stars
3/16/03 123 a dark disturbing brutal fucked up movie with some characters 4 stars
3/10/03 Stevo very bad film. ok, predictable line, but this is SHIT 1 stars
7/19/02 Film Dude No Caligula, I will not cut my throat and die. 5 stars
6/09/02 Kyle Dark as fuck. 5 stars
4/19/02 R.W. Welch Black comedy that's too black to be a comedy; Aptly named. 2 stars
3/30/02 fjkdljskfds the most FRUSTRATING movie ever, and i LIKE dark comedy. wanted to walk out. 1 stars
2/28/02 Tiffany Thunderhurst Why waste Cameron Diaz on a role that Ashley Judd would envy? 2 stars
2/22/02 CCPunk PIece of shit movie with no understanding about what makes dark comedy still comedy 2 stars
11/16/01 Geto Smurf Now THIS is comedy. 5 stars
7/31/01 KA Fucking Wizzers! Wizzers! 4 stars
7/06/01 SBM Shocking and very messed up! Great if you can HANDLE & UNDERSTAND dark comedy! 5 stars
5/06/01 Louis Really fucked up 5 stars
3/28/01 Monster W. Kung Mediocre attempt at satire with tiresome cliches all over it. Plus, the end sucks. Badly. 2 stars
2/18/01 Soggy Bottom Boy Very Poor Taste. But it had a few (albeit sick) laughs, and an above average soundtrack. 4 stars
2/13/01 Jake Way too dark macabre for my taste. Though Stern was hilarious in scene about the Whizzers. 2 stars
9/03/00 Boyo You have to approach this knowing it's not totally serious. It's blackest of black comedy 5 stars
5/30/00 natasha funny parts overwhelmed by pointless murder, maiming, and dismemberment 2 stars
5/18/00 Richard Wright Gory, disgusting and morally dubious film without a witty or decent bone in its body. 1 stars
4/14/00 Pyro I was drunk, but it had nudity and sensless violence!! 5 stars
3/07/00 J. Alán Blankenship Deliciously deviant and grotesque...I loved every minute of it! 4 stars
2/11/00 Steve Layne I liked it better in the theatre, but I still think its a very entertaining black comedy. 4 stars
10/19/99 JonnyAngel Very Bad Movie (ha ha, that was too easy) 1 stars
9/16/99 mr. pink lesson learned: violence and shouting are not enough for a good dark comedy. 2 stars
8/10/99 Kat savage fun 5 stars
6/28/99 Steve Bashakus There's a big fucking difference between "very dark" and just plain shitty. Bite me. 1 stars
6/26/99 David Offensive is fine as long as it's funny...SHOUTING IS NOT FUNNY 1 stars
6/11/99 The Bomb 69 over the top in some places but funny in most 4 stars
3/17/99 Ah Dooey Not bad, but a really good warped movie. 5 stars
3/13/99 Cool Thing No guffaws, but many guilty chuckles. Enjoyed this immensely. 5 stars
2/28/99 MR HOLLYWOOD!! Very,Very Dark,more so than Pulp Fiction,some funny bits but very depressing. 4 stars
2/09/99 chuck-d damn. funny. laughed out loud for two hours 4 stars
1/12/99 cynthia truly disturbing. but very good.i would see again 5 stars
1/09/99 crc loved it. if you're a prude, you'll hate it. what's so dark about it? funnyfunny and unique 5 stars
1/03/99 Lauren Baker Okay, so, I got the "dark" part, but where did the "comedy" part come in?Run from this. 1 stars
12/24/98 Chip Sprague Funniest Movie Ever (If you can laugh at death) 5 stars
12/13/98 kozmic great movie for those who like to see how a situation can get shockingly worse,it was fun 5 stars
12/12/98 frank the most twisted movie i've ever seen. 5 stars
12/11/98 Daddy Rich I enjoyed it up until the very end. Other than that, pretty entertaining and funny. 4 stars
12/10/98 Bryan Incredibly hateful and unfunny movie! 1 stars
12/07/98 cyanide rush i almost fell over laughing on the way out of the theater(the little kid called him a gimp! 5 stars
12/06/98 Mr Showbiz Cameron Diaz is the film's only bright spot. 3 stars
12/04/98 Jeff C. It was poor. It got boring fast. It was fun to see CD as a total bitch. 2 stars
12/01/98 The Dude This movie was so fucking funny i almost pissed my pants thinking about it on the way home 5 stars
11/30/98 Johny Scores points with me for it's "screw-em if they can't take a joke" attitude 5 stars
11/24/98 Freyja Oh yeah, killing chicks while fucking them is fucking hilarious. har har! OK, it WAS funny! 2 stars
11/17/98 StenoHead Not at all for pussies. 4 stars
10/19/98 Aint-It-Cool I just saw a preview of Very Bad Things... oh my god... it rocked! 5 stars
8/28/98 Mister Whoopee Loved this film. Lots of great performances, great writing-directing from a debutant. 5 stars
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  25-Nov-1998 (R)


  04-Feb-1999 (R)

Directed by
  Peter Berg

Written by
  Peter Berg

  Christian Slater
  Cameron Diaz
  Jon Favreau
  Jeremy Piven
  Daniel Stern
  Jeanne Tripplehorn

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