Weekend at Bernie’s II (1993)

Starring Andrew McCarthy, Jonathan Silverman, Terry Kiser, Troy Byer Bailey, Barry Bostwick, Tom Wright, Steve James, Novella Nelson

Directed by Robert Klane

Expectations: Seen it before, but I don’t remember anything about this one. Bernie’s a stiff from moment one, so this should be non-stop corpse-draggin’ fun, right?

On the general scale:

On the “People Pretending a Corpse is Still Alive” scale:


[Editor’s Note: One quick thing before I kick this one off: there will be massive spoilers. I’m just not able to do it justice without performing the full autopsy on Bernie’s rotting corpse. So be warned!]

In yesterday’s review of Weekend at Bernie’s, I called it a singular and unique film. The same can be said of Weekend at Bernie’s II, as it goes in a completely different direction than its predecessor while still exploring plot lines introduced in the original. After a strange animated intro sequence that plays up the kid-friendly aspects of this tale of the not-so-recently deceased Bernie, the film begins in the coroner’s office. Bernie has been turned in and locked away, and our heroes can finally get on with their lives without Bernie always hanging around. Wait, what? How are we supposed to have all the wild fun of the original now? I was hoping for a film filled with dead Bernie, but apparently that wasn’t meant to be. That being said, when Weekend at Bernie’s II is funny, it’s incredibly absurd and in certain cases it even rivals the original. The only problem is that these moments are so few and far between that most of the film is spent yawning and wishing Bernie would enter frame.

Before I go any further I have to make note of the film’s rating, as it is baffling me. I generally don’t pay attention to these things, but for whatever reason I had noticed that the original was PG-13, and the sequel was only PG. I thought, “Damn, so it’s gonna be tamer and more kid-friendly, huh?” I resigned myself to it, but to my surprise this is most likely the first and last PG movie to feature a main character yelling “Blow me!” to one of his co-workers, quick frontal female nudity and other assorted adult situations. If this came out at PG nowadays, the conservative Christian groups would tear down the local AMC, with burning effigies of Bernie littering the sidewalk.

Continue reading Weekend at Bernie’s II (1993) →

Weekend at Bernie’s (1989)

Starring Andrew McCarthy, Jonathan Silverman, Catherine Mary Stewart, Terry Kiser, Don Calfa, Catherine Parks, Eloise DeJoria, Gregory Salata, Louis Giambalvo, Ted Kotcheff, Margaret Hall

Directed by Ted Kotcheff

Expectations: I have the expectation that this is gonna be one hell of a weekend at Bernie’s! He always throws the best parties!

On the general scale:

On the “People Pretending a Corpse is Still Alive” scale:


When I started Silver Emulsion, I knew one day I’d get here. It was inevitable that I’d review Weekend at Bernie’s, and now having seen it again, I’m finding it hard to know how to go about actually reviewing it. I’ve only seen this once before, around the time it originally dropped on VHS, so I must have been about eight or nine years old. I found its uproarious, black humor intoxicating, with two horny, bumbling dorks doing their best to drag a dead man around as if he were alive. I loved it. I also loved The Three Stooges at the time, and watching this now I was able to see the parallels between the two. And just for the record, Bernie’s corpse is a better replacement for Curly than Shemp.

Weekend at Bernie’s is the other 1989 film set in New York during the sweltering summer heat. Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman work for an insurance firm and over the sticky, roof-melting hot of the weekend, they discover some clear insurance fraud on the company’s books. Come Monday morning they prance down to Bernie Lomax’s office, in hopes of big praise and even bigger rewards. He thanks the boys for finding this “error” and invites them to a weekend at his place… oh I can’t resist, a weekend at Bernie’s! But when they arrive ready for a getaway filled with booze, woman and excitement, they find Bernie slumped over in his office chair.

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