Very Bad Things (1998)
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as Laura Garrety
as Kyle Fisher
as Charles Moore
as Robert Boyd
as Michael Berkow
as Adam Berkow
as Lois Berkow
as Adam Berkow Jr.
as Mr. Fisher
as Timmy Berkow
as Security Guard
as Cop at Hospital
as Doctor No. 1
as Doctor No. 2
as Doctor No. 3
as Barry Morris
as Judge Tower
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Critic Reviews for Very Bad Things
Berg is so in love with his escalating shock tactics that they quickly cease to shock.
...hollow, simple-minded and about as profound an experience as stepping in a pile of road kill.
The gross-out humor lacks edge, the guilt never kicks in, and the outrages are predictable. It's one flat brewski.
Audience Reviews for Very Bad Things
Unjustifiably mean spirited and at times headache inducing, Peter Berg's Very Bad Things (1998) is a muddled and ill-conceived attempt at creating a cult black comedy without any funny ideas. We open with Kyle Fisher (John Favreau) a 30 something year old man waiting to be married to his fiancée Laura (Cameron Diaz). He sits alongside Charles Moore (the near silent Leland Orser) and together the pair reminisce the insane recent events that lead them to where they are now.
We are then pulled back a few days and Kyle is set to leave on his bachelor party with friends Robert Boyd (Slater), brothers Adam and Michael Berkow (Daniel Stern and Jeremy Piven) and Leeland. From here on out things get undeniable messy; a swooping shot of a Casino table begins a montage of shouting, drinking, drug taking and bromantic babble, all shot with a constantly moving camera and distorted visual overlays jumping from one moment to the next. It's a merciless affair that thankfully ends relatively quickly with the arrival and consequent murder of a prostitute, setting of a dark chain of cover-up murders and madness.
It's obvious from both the film's posters and on-screen who are the real stars are here. Slater's performance as the psychotically persuasive Boyd feels as if it could be the later iteration of his character from 1989's cult classic 'Heathers', and Cameron Diaz conveys her character's longing for marriage and subsequent madness in a convincingly annoying fashion. Other character's and performances here are less refined, as Berg to often relies on racial identity and for comedy; his constant stereotyping of Jews in particular grows tiresome quickly.
VBT also falls apart when it comes to comedy senarios, with Berg constantly trying to present unfunny situations in a funny manner. Take, for example, the scene in which Boyd goes to set up a murder/suicide, it's undoubtedly the most dramatic point in the plot but for some reason Berg decides to turn it into a penis biting joke. Moments like this occur far to often and what feels like could have been an interesting deconstruction of the American Dream is lost among the chaos.
Alongside it's bigger problems VBT suffers also from an overused and over-loud soundtrack, the always annoying shaky cam and a tone that darts between the serious and silly in an obnoxious fashion. If you asked Berg what exactly he was attempting in this film I'm sure he'd say it was a comment on voyeurism and the way people have become desensitized to violence so much that they can laugh at it, and I'm sure that may be the case, but only if it's funny.
"Very Bad Things is a crazy movie. I thought it was going to be a little like the movie Hangover, but I was really wrong. This film is a twisted in a good way. It goes to places I didn't see the movie going. There is chaos throughout. It's not a film meant to be taken seriously. It gross, funny, and disturbing. I enjoyed it. The cast was good and the ending was pretty funny. I'm not sure if I would see again though."
I loved this dark comedy. It's full of very bad stuff, but it's all so horribly funny at the same time. Plus, the cast is great. If you have a sick sense of humour, see this movie.
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