Very Bad Things (1998)

I don't know how Very Bad Things ended up on my watchlist —I think it was on a Top 10 Black Comedies list or something—, I just know that it did somehow and I've been putting it off ever since, that being about four years. I finally decided to give it a chance and damn, it is messed up. 

The film follows a group of friends, Kyle Fisher (Jon Favreau), Charles Moore (Leland Orser), Robert Boyd (Christian Slater), Michael Berkow (Jeremy Piven) and his brother Adam (Daniel Stern), who heads to Las Vegas for Kyle's bachelor party. With booze and cocaine in their bloodstream, they get pretty wild, things get out of control and a prostitute (Kobe Tai) gets killed. They decide to get rid of the body and soon the bodies are piling up. 

The story is a very, very, very dark and twisted one, the kind of story you either like or hate. And, no matter how ridiculous and far-fetched it is, or how many plot holes it has, it's definitely got the potential to be pretty awesome. Unfortunately, the execution leaves a lot to be desired and the result is a boring and uninteresting story, and it feels like it's never coming to an end.

The characters are all terrible people which is the filmmakers' way to show that every single one of us has a bad side, no matter how nice and good they look, especially those that look like saints. They also are quite annoying and irritating though which makes the film pretty difficult to watch and makes you wish they all could die. In the end they all get what they deserve, especially Cameron Diaz's Laura, Kyle's fiancée, who easily is the most obnoxious of the bunch. Robert was the only likeable character for me but I guess I liked him because I have a soft spot for Christian Slater and his charisma. 

Which brings me to the cast and their overall terrible performances, especially Diaz's as she yet again delivers her predictable shallow and wooden performance. There's something positive to say about the actors though, they don't act as if they were in a comedy but as if that shit happened in real life —they panic, freak out and do stupid things without trying to be funny, just like most human beings would do in that situation. 

PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
As I mentioned above, the biggest issue I had with Very Bad Things is the way it was executed, not only plot-wise. You don't just need a dark story and some jokes but make an effective dark comedy, you need to set the right tone and of course to entertain. The film has a very dark tone right from the start, but it's more dramatic than comic and it keeps being that way for most of the film's running time. Sure, there are some funny moments —no matter how tasteless they are, some jokes are funny— but overall the film felt flat for me. 


  1. I've never seen this. I do hate when a film is on your watch list and you can't remember why you put it there for sure. lol

  2. Yeah, this wasn't a very good film. It had a nice premise but it never worked for me. Plus, I too was annoyed by Cameron Diaz in that film.

  3. I remember this being very dark and Slater being good but yeah it was...unpleasant. Amazing super dark ending, tho.