Nothing makes you feel older than the things you loved from your childhood coming back into fashion and being called “retro.” Fuck! It is that time already? The movies I grew up on were some of the funniest, silliest and most entertaining movies and compared to today’s standards seemed more wholesome, even when they weren’t. One of my favorites was the Weekend at Bernie’s movies.
Only two movies in the line, the idea was hilarious. Two poon hounds (Andrew McCarthy and John Silverman) find out someone is embezzling from the firm they work for. Little do they know the embezzler is their boss they reported it to. He invites them to his beach house as a “thank you” (aka come get super murdered) but not before getting himself assassinated by a mafia man for fooling around with his girlfriend. The guys show up, Bernie Lomax(Terry Kiser)is dead, but they pretend he is still alive, confusing the hitman and essentially putting them in the line of fire.
If that wasn’t enough felony fun for you, Weekend at Bernie’s II brings voodoo into the mix. To try and find the money that Bernie embezzled, a cartel hired a voodoo priestess to raise Bernie from the dead to lead them to the money in St. Thomas. However, the voodoo goons fuck up and Bernie only moves when he hears music.
Just re-watching that scene to write this had me howling. This movie is comedy gold, if only for the dead man dance. I can’t count the number of times I have performed the Bernie flop and shake and Kiser is a trooper in this movie, too. The slapstick physical comedy in this movie is pure 80’s/90’s charm. I fucking lost it during the harpoon scene. But why is Weekend at Bernie’s II the superior film? Because the corpse of Bernie Lomax gets the chance to truly be its own character. In the first one it was all about the wacky scenarios that McCarthy and Silverman got into, but in this movie, it’s, “OMG, where the fuck did Bernie go? Shit, he danced into the damn ocean.”
The first movie was necessary to set the tone and solidify the characters and the second movie was their chance to really have fun with it. It wasn’t silly on the level of Mel Brooks, so it still felt original and not like a parody. Much like with Ghostbusters, I prefer the second movie over the first. Uh oh, I can already hear the angry mob gathering on that one.
When it comes to movies from this time period, Weekend at Bernie’s II is right up there with Captain Ron and The Burbs. And You’ll be hearing from me about The Burbs in the future.