Two struggling execs (McCarthy and Silverman) see their fortunes change when boss Bernie Lomax (Kiser) inivites them to his gaff for a party. On arrival, however, they find his dead corpse and a note suggesting that, so long as Bernie appears to be alive, they will stay that way.
A film whose very title became shorthand for the depths to which comedy, so-called comedy, can plumb, is going to struggle to win over the floating voter. And, apart from collectors of comedic aberrations, there is little to recommend this one-joke premise that hoped to turn Jonathan Silverman and Andrew McCarthy into the Bill and Ted of corporate climbers. Safe to say, it doesn’t achieve that or anything else much.
The script is working toward the fraught pace of active farce, knitting together this pair of idiot suits, aiming to cut lose at their bosses summerhouse in the Hamptons, and their very dead boss. Murdered by the Mafia he was in leagues with, of course. That is merely the set-up, the joke, the only joke, is that Larry and Richard decide to have their weekend on the beach, and thus keep up the pretence that the late Bernie (when living played by smarm bucket Terry Kiser) is still in possession of mortal coil.
In other words, every single sicko-silly-undignifed gag you can do with a corpse, each one buffeting into the next without room for any to land. Their could be some cheap laughs in stapling Bernie’s toupee back in place but the idea of his mistress going in for sex with her deceased lover and not noticing is plain stupid. This kind of bad taste humour needs crafting, Ted Kotcheff just sprawls the mishap across the screen hoping the incongruity of dead body (which isn’t on screen enough anyway) in living positions will get a giggle. It’s hopelessly short of the mark, treating women as bimbos, and all else as cliches, with its leads ineffectively trying to muster some charm. Just like death and taxes, even more horrible sequels followed.
One decent sketch that is unconvincingly and thinly stretched over one and a half hours. Lame.