Film: Weekend at Bernie's

aka: Weekend At Bernies II

A 1989 comedy film in which corporate lackeys Larry Wilson (Andrew McCarthy) and Richard Parker (Jonathan Silverman) get duplicitously invited by their scheming boss Bernie (Terry Kiser) to his fancy Long Island beach home for the weekend. Hilarity Ensues when Bernie is murdered (by someone else), and circumstances force the hapless duo to lug his corpse around, pretending he is still alive.

Unsurprisingly, the film's title was originally used as the name for the trope Of Corpse He's Alive.

A sequel was made in 1993, which is even more ridiculous than the first thanks to the addition of voodoo and dancing corpses.


Contains the following tropes:

  • Asshole Victim: Bernie himself. He was a Corrupt Corporate Executive who was planning on killing the protagonists for unknowingly discovering his scheme, but the mob he hired double-crossed him.
  • Beach Bury: "Mister, can I bury you?"
  • Black Comedy: What else would you expect from a movie where two guys carry around their boss's corpse while trying to make it look like he's still alive?
  • Blatant Lies: "I didn't see anything! I was looking at my watch!" "I'm blind!"
  • Bratty Half-Pint: The bratty kid obsessed with burying Bernie's body.
  • The Cat Came Back
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Vito when he finds out Bernie is sleeping with his girlfriend Tina.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The protagonists were unaware of it, but Bernie was the one behind the insurance fraud that was going on in their company.
  • Creator In-Joke: The film's director Ted Kotcheff makes a couple of nods towards his involvement in the Rambo franchise, name-dropping the eponymous hero, and with the guy playing Lomax's gardener, who was also the main villain in the second Rambo film, wearing a very similar outfit.
  • Death as Comedy
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Silverman's character.
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: Guess. Squick!
  • Footsie Under the Table
  • Groin Attack: Bernie gets his revenge in the end.
    YOU KICKED ME YOU... [shoots corpse]
  • Ho Yay: Between Larry and Richard; it's noticed by Bernie. Also, a woman at Bernie's party acknowledges the ho yay in Sherlock Holmes, writing a book about him and Watson being 'secretly married'.
    • It's also invoked in the original "suicide note" written by Bernie. He was originally going to claim that Larry stole the money so he could have a sex change operation. And live with Richard as his lover.
  • I Love the Dead: Things turned really strange when one of Bernie's lovers came to argue with him, and ended up having sex with him. And she claimed it was the best they'd ever had. And he was dead.
    Larry: How do you like that? The guy gets laid more dead than I do alive.
  • Irishman And A Jew: While there is no indication from their Anglo-Saxon surnames "Wilson" and "Parker", the protagonists conform to some extent to these stereotypes- Larry is a confident, outgoing, booze-swilling and not-too-bright merrymaker (who takes to praying the "Hail Mary" under duress and is outright confirmed as Catholic in the sequel), whilst Richard is neurotic and constantly aghast at the horrible things happening around him. Larry's aggressive pursuit of the fairer sex seems like it is in contradiction to the usual stereotype of the prudish Irishman, but the sequel reveals that his private life may be more in keeping with expectations.
  • It's All About Me: Larry's first reaction to Bernie's death is to complain about how his weekend has now been ruined. Played for Laughs.
    Larry: I don't understand why he couldn't wait until Monday to kill himself.
  • The Mafia: The boss Bernie reports to is even named Vito.
  • Of Corpse He's Alive: The plot formerly known as Weekend at Bernie's.
  • Naughty Under the Table
  • Rule of Funny: Certain facts about corpses are cheerfully ignored.
  • Sanity Slippage: Vito the hit man, who gets dragged away in a straight jacket at the end, screaming that Bernie is still alive.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Not only does the bratty kid seems too obsessed with burying Bernie's body, he also flips Richard and Larry the bird after scaring them with a toy gun.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Bernie is popular with everyone at the resort, and even the protagonists think he's a pretty Nice Guy before finding out about his corruption.
  • Xanatos Backfire: This is exactly why Bernie winds up in the state he's in for most of the film; he tries to get the protagonists killed by the mob, but the mob winds up murdering him and making it look like a suicide.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Why Vito has Paulie kill Bernie instead of killing Richard and Larry; Bernie was getting too greedy, and got sloppy as a result. Oh, and he was also sleeping with Vito's girlfriend Tina.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Tina was unfaithful to Vito by sleeping with Bernie, and had the nerve to accuse Bernie of cheating on her.

The sequel contains:

  • Accidental Pervert: Bernie, while getting dragged across the beach by a parasail rope, grabs two girls bikini tops and leaves them on Hummel.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Hummel uses his camera to snap a few pictures of some girls in bikinis.
  • A Man Is Not a Virgin: The subversion of this is Chekhov's Gun. A voodoo priest says he needs the blood of a virgin to cure Richard after a poisoning. Well, remember the quote in I Love the Dead for the first film?
    Larry: Just take the blood.
  • Animated Credits Opening: And a half-assed one at that. Not only is the animated of poor quality, but the animated studio didn't even bother to animate the crew's production titles! This creates for a really bad effect where the names are animated but the production titles are obviously added in.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Those Two Bad Guys are turned into goats by the end of the film, and are stuck being dragged around by Bernie.:
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Gwen Saunders, Catherine Mary Stewart's character from the original film, is nowhere to be seen here.
  • The Dead Can Dance: But only when there's music playing. You see, they used the pigeon when they should have used the chicken...
  • Hello Again Officer: Hummel gets arrested by the same officer twice.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: Cock-a-doodle-do.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: The luckless Hummel gets arrested (three times!) and has something close to a nervous breakdown thanks to encounters with Bernie... all without the heroes being any the wiser.
  • Inspector Javert: Hummel.
  • Made of Iron: Bernie's body gets shot in the head with a harpoon and chewed on by a shark. By the end of the movie, there's no scratch on him.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Bernie ends up a Type V. Sort of. Those Two Bad Guys screwed up the ritual that was supposed to fully revive him, so now he can only move when music is playing.
    Larry: Swim with the fishes, you zombie bastard!
  • Unknown Rival: Larry and Richard are unaware Hummel is tailing them until the very end of the movie, despite indirectly causing a lot of trouble for him. To a lesser extent they only become aware of the Big Bad two thirds of the way through the film and she was likewise had no idea about them.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Both Larry and Richard, and Charles and Henry drag Bernie around in a busy road and no one seems to notice or care.

Alternative Title(s):

Weekend At Bernies, Weekend At Bernies II