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Very Bad Things (1998)

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A prostitute is killed during a bachelor party and the attendees turn on each other as the wedding approaches.


Peter Berg


Peter Berg
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jon Favreau ... Kyle Fisher
Leland Orser ... Charles Moore
Cameron Diaz ... Laura Garrety
Christian Slater ... Robert Boyd
Rob Brownstein ... Man
Jeremy Piven ... Michael Berkow
Daniel Stern ... Adam Berkow
Jeanne Tripplehorn ... Lois Berkow
Joey Zimmerman ... Adam Berkow Jr.
Tyler Cole Malinger Tyler Cole Malinger ... Timmy Berkow (as Tyler Malinger)
Kobe Tai ... Tina (as Carla Scott)
Russell B. McKenzie ... Security Guard
Pancho Demmings ... Cop (as Pancho Demings)
Blake Gibbons ... Suit
Angelo Di Mascio Jr. Angelo Di Mascio Jr. ... Clerk


A group of friends head to Las Vegas for a bachelor party.. only things go wrong and a woman is killed. Soon, the bodies are piling up and the friends find themselves turning against one another as the coverup builds. Written by Spanner <Spanenr@Aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


For boys who should know better... See more »


Comedy | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong, grisly violence, sexuality, drug use and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

25 November 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Very Bad Things See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,245,853, 29 November 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$9,801,782, 3 January 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Adam Sandler was originally cast as Michael Berkow but dropped out at the last minute to make The Waterboy (1998). Jeremy Piven took the role. See more »


Adam, as a practicing Jew, would not have called his son by the same name. See more »


[Adam is in a hurry to get away from the petrol station because he thinks ordinary bystanders are eyeing him suspiciously about the murders in Las Vegas, but his wife has asked him to go inside the shop to buy some whizzers for their children. In his panic, he has difficulty finding them]
Adam Berkow: Fucking whizzers!
See more »

Alternate Versions

In 2004 the film was resubmitted in its uncut form to the German ratings board FSK and received a "Not under 16" rating. See more »


Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »


Bridal Chorus
from "Lohengrin"
Written by Richard Wagner (uncredited)
Arranged by Peter Lea-Cox
Courtesy of Associated Production Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Ultimately, Very Bad Things is disjointed, mildly irritating and far more violent than the pilloried and much finer Natural Born Killers
18 January 1999 | by walshioSee all my reviews

"Strip away the morality, strip away the ethics, and we're left with a 105 pound problem. 105 pounds that has to be moved from point A to point B." (Christian Slater as Boyd).

Boyd is an estate agent. He is also a psychopath. Fittingly, given his recent incarceration for violence, Slater is landed the plum role. However, it turns out to be merely an extension of the nutcase he played in Heathers many moons ago. Only not half as good.

Very Bad Things is part of a trio (the other two being The Opposite of Sex and Your Friends and Neighbours) of very nasty American independent movies coming out in the next month or so. Like its contemporaries it's memorable and scabrous.

The tale concerns a trip to Las Vegas for the boys. Kyle Fisher, Favreau (of Swingers fame), is getting wed to snotty ex-sorority girl Laura (Diaz), but before he takes the plunge Boyd has organised some drugs and frolics in seamy Las Vegas.

Accompanied by brothers Adam (Daniel Stern) and Michael (Jeremy Piven) and mute-like Charles (Leland Orser), the big boys' entertainment is abruptly curtailed. Michael, high on coke, has accidentally embedded an Asian (played by real-life porn star Kobe Tai, a.k.a. Carla Scott) prostitute's head to a coat-hook in the bathroom. This is a truly gruesome scene that is interspersed quite cleverly with the revolting sight of two wrestlers on the TV. Noticeably, Berg's direction lingers very uncomfortably on her naked corpse.

The boys panic and before you can say "blood bath", Boyd misuses a corkscrew on a hotel security guard, leaving him wailing like a pig, before, inevitably, slaughtering him. He duly announces: "Surrender is no longer an option."

This kicks-off a lot of histrionic yelling and a burial scene reminiscent of Shallow Grave - shopping for equipment, decapitation and dismemberment. Aiming for humour, these scenes flop laugh-wise. Left in the hands of Tarantino or the Coen brothers, these sequences may have succeeded, but in Very Bad Things there is far too much screaming going on. The Coens would have tempered the chaos and brutality with pathos or a hint of humanity. Director Berg aims hard for "cool", but only achieves bad imitation.

After the horror of Vegas, the utterly charmless set of businessmen return to their suburban homes and go swiftly mad. What ensues is a series of events reminiscent of the classic Ladykillers, interspersed with the occasional witty line. Diaz, in particular, gets some fine dialogue: "The scent of cheap hotel's whore's sex" and "No one is going to rob me of the wedding I've waited 27 years to have." Slater also gets a couple of good scenes where he takes corporate business logic to an insane limit: "I'm a lighthouse, I never go dark."

Ultimately, Very Bad Things is disjointed, mildly irritating, far more violent than the pilloried and much finer Natural Born Killers, contains obnoxious characters and receives a rather good finale that it doesn't really deserve. A film that illustrates just how clever the likes Tarantino, John Dahl, The Coens and David Lynch really are.

Ben Walsh

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