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Very Bad Things

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When Kyle (Jon Favreau) announces his wedding, the stag weekend is booked for Las Vegas. Brothers Michael and Adam (Jeremy Piven and Daniel Stern) join their friends Robert (Slater) and Charles (Leland Orser) to celebrate, and the quintet head for their first bachelor party. The guest of honour is Tina, a hooker who is paid to party. Michael takes full advantage and, during sex, accidentally kills her.

When a hotel security guard spots the corpse, Robert murders him. Shocked and on auto-pilot, they head for a local hardware store and purchase equipment to dismember the bodies. The Nevada desert doubles as the graveyard. Back at the hotel, tension mounts – to avoid jail, each of the five men must stay silent, but Adam is notoriously loose-lipped, and Robert has nominated himself as the enforcer. With the bodycount increasing, the groom’s wife-to-be, Laura (Cameron Diaz), starts taking an interest…

In the world of ‘what-ifs’, had Adam Sandler not departed from the cast – to make his breakthrough picture, The Waterboy – it could have produced a very different (and less successful) result. His replacement, Piven, holds the black comedy tone note perfect, as do his fellow revellers. The script’s more outrageous forays play on Slater’s bad-boy image (‘There were qualities there I could relate to,’ said the actor, of Robert), but the honours go to Diaz. Her superb portrayal of domestic desperation changed her business card from ‘Supermodel’ to ‘Actress’, and would be seen again in the sublime Being John Malkovich.

production details
USA | 100 minutes | 1998

Writer and Director: Peter Berg

cast
Jon Favreau as Kyle Fisher
Leland Orser as Charles Moore
Cameron Diaz as Laura Garrety
Christian Slater as Robert Boyd
Jeremy Piven as Michael Berkow
Daniel Stern as Adam Berkow
Jeanne Tripplehorn as Lois Berkow
Rob Brownstein as Man
Blake Gibbons as Suit
Tyler Cole Malinger as Timmy Berkow
Joey Zimmerman as Adam Berkow Jr.
Russell B. McKenzie as Security Guard
Kobe Tai as Tina
Pancho Demmings as Cop
Lawrence Pressman as Mr. Fisher
Brian Grandison as Doctor #1
John Cappon as Doctor #2
Steve Fitchpatrick as Cop at Hospital
Angelo Di Mascio Jr. as Clerk
Linda Klein as Doctor #3
Peter Berg as Man at Funeral

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