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Very Bad Things

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Very Bad Things
Very Bad Things.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPeter Berg
Produced byCindy Cowan
Diane Nabatoff
Michael Schiffer[1]
Screenplay byPeter Berg
Music byStewart Copeland
CinematographyDavid Hennings
Edited byDan Lebental
Distributed byPolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Release date
  • November 25, 1998 (1998-11-25)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$30 million[2]
Box office$21 million[3]

Very Bad Things is a 1998 American black comedy film written and directed by Peter Berg in his directorial debut and starring Cameron Diaz, Jon Favreau, Daniel Stern, Jeremy Piven, Christian Slater, Leland Orser, Kobe Tai and Jeanne Tripplehorn.


Before his wedding to fiancée Laura, Kyle Fisher organizes a bachelor party in a Las Vegas hotel with his friends: Charles Moore, Robert Boyd, brothers Adam and Michael Berkow. Michael pays Tina, a stripper/prostitute, for sex in the bathroom and accidentally kills her. Soon thereafter, a security guard comes to investigate the ruckus and discovers Tina's corpse. In desperation, Boyd stabs the guard to death. Boyd convinces the group to dismember the bodies, bury them in the desert, and never speak of it again.

At the rehearsal dinner, Adam cracks under the pressure, leading to a confrontation with Michael outside, with Adam threatening to turn him over to the police. The fight is broken up and Michael is convinced to leave. While leaving, he turns to ram his Jeep into Adam's beloved minivan. Adam runs in front of his van and is crushed in the collision. In the hospital, Adam whispers something to his wife Lois before dying, as Boyd looks on through a glass window.

Lois demands answers about what happened in Las Vegas when she finds a written confession by Adam. Fisher makes up a story about Adam sleeping with a prostitute. Boyd, suspecting she does not believe them, kills Lois. Later, Boyd calls Fisher and Moore to bring Michael to the house, where he kills him. He concocts a story about a Michael/Lois/Adam love triangle to answer any interrogation by police. After these events and being named beneficiary of Adam and Lois' estate, Fisher breaks down and confesses the story to Laura, who demands that the wedding she has dreamed about proceed as planned.

On the wedding day, Boyd confronts Fisher, demanding the money from Adam's life insurance policy. Fisher refuses and a fight ensues which ends with Laura bludgeoning Boyd. During the ceremony, Fisher and Moore realize that Boyd has the wedding rings. Moore goes to retrieve them, opening a door that knocks Boyd down a stairwell where he dies. Laura demands Fisher bury Boyd's body in the desert and then ensure no loose ends remain by killing Moore. Ultimately, Fisher cannot go through with the act and as he drives home, he loses focus and crashes into an oncoming car.

After the collision, Fisher has had both his legs amputated below the knee and Moore is brain damaged and confined to a motorized wheelchair, leaving Laura to care for all of them in addition to raising Adam's sons. As Laura watches Fisher's futile attempt to control the two boys, she realizes her life and dreams are totally ruined and suffers a nervous breakdown as she runs out of the house and collapses screaming in the street.



Very Bad Things was noted for having a very similar plot setup to Stag, a film which originally aired on HBO in June 1997. Director Peter Berg told The AV Club in 1998, "See, the first time I'd ever heard about Stag was after I had finished writing the screenplay for Very Bad Things. When we were at the point of getting the film financed, we had a lawyer look over the script and the film to make sure there weren't too many similarities. I mean, there were things we had to change; for example, one of the characters in the movie was a baker, and there was also a baker in our script, so we had to change some very minor things. But as far as I understand it, the two films take very different approaches to the material. I will say this: I think it would be interesting to get, like, three different directors—say, Soderberg, Spielberg, and Coppola—and have them all tell the exact same story in a different way."[4]


The film scored a 41% on Rotten Tomatoes from 58 reviews, with the consensus, "Mean-spirited and empty".[5] Roger Ebert wrote that Very Bad Things is "not a bad movie, just a reprehensible one".[6] Some critics appreciated the cold-blooded approach, however, Maitland McDonagh of TV Guide wrote, "In a world filled with crude movie sitcoms, Berg's bitter, worst-possible-case scenario really does stand alone".[7]


  1. ^ "Full cast and crew for Very Bad Things (1998)". IMDb. Retrieved 2009-06-06.
  2. ^ "Very Bad Things (1998) - Box Office Mojo".
  3. ^ "Very Bad Things (1998) - Financial Information".
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Very Bad Things".
  6. ^ "Very Bad Things". Chicago Sun-Times.
  7. ^ "Very Bad Things".

External links

This page was last edited on 6 August 2020, at 00:36
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