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Very Bad Things (1998)
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Review Date: November 28, 1998
Director: Peter Berg
Writer: Peter Berg
Producers: C. Cowan, D. Nabatoff, M. Schiffer
Actors:
Christian Slater
Cameron Diaz
Jon Favreau
Jeremy Piven
Daniel Stern
Jeanne Tripplehorn
Plot:
Kyle and his friends go to Las Vegas for his bachelor party. They drink like fish, snort a lot of cocaine and hire a hooker for some fun. When the prostitute suddenly kicks the bucket, the boys have to resort to plenty of sinful shenanigans to get out of their dilemma. One cover-up leads to another, and all of a sudden, our friends are caught in a downwards spiral of all things moral. Meanwhile, Kyle's wife Laura is much more concerned with her wedding going off without a hitch, and the guests having the padded chairs which she requested.
Critique:
Deeply disturbing, violently graphic, hilarious romp that chews into every sick, twisted taboo that you'd ever think about, then goes one step further, and then another step...and then one too many. This film is one of the blackest of all the black comedies that I have ever seen! It starts off with a good premise, and then gets darker and darker and funnier and funnier, and then a little darker still. It pushes every envelope that you thought would never be pushed, and succeeds in most of what it is trying to do. These guys find themselves in an awful predicament, and attempt to solve it by unsuspectingly placing themselves in an ever worse predicament, and so on, and so forth. All the while, the film laughs at itself, and the absurdity of every single exaggerated situation that they find themselves in. Having said that, please don't expect to find this story based in much reality, because it does go overboard quite a bit, but that is its purpose.

The cast is great, with Slater playing one of his best roles in years (Reminiscent of his psycho role in another great black comedy, HEATHERS (8/10)), the rest of the boys also come through like gangbusters, and Diaz plays the role of the ultimate wannabee bride convincingly. Berg's camera technique is also well-handled, while the run time of the film trickles in right before any indigestion. The only issue that I did have with this movie was the fact that I did find myself rolling my eyes about 3/4 of the way through, when some of the things just started getting a little too much out of hand. Having said that, the ending was ironically hilarious, and the overall audacity of the cast, and most of all, Peter Berg was a sight to behold. This man must've been in some kind of a funk when he wrote this crazy script because it is totally "out there"! If you like to see movies that take things to the extreme, then check this one out! If you like your standard, uncomplicated Hollywood pictures, with your happy-go lucky couple and friends for life, then forget this one, and go back and rent one of the eighteen thousand romantic comedies out there.

Most of the humour in this film worked for me (and for most of my friends, I might add), but admittedly, I have become accustomed to overly-violent behaviour in films by now. If violence, murders and the commitment of extremely immoral sins doesn't stir your darkened funny cup, then forget that you ever heard about this film. This movie is only for people who appreciate dark, dark humour under very bad, horrible circumstances. But it's like I said, even I thought the believability within this tent of black humour disappeared for a little while, but all in all, the film worked for me as one of the year's most original screenplays, and one of the most gruesome concepts to walk down the cinematic aisle in a while. This is NOT for the faint of heart, folks!
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian
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