Writer & director Peter Berg's directorial debut, "Very Bad Things," is simply hilarious for all its shocking revelations that never let up until the last scene. No, I'm not going to give away too much. Indeed, this lively R-rated black comedy with gallows humor galore lives up to its title. A group of chummy friends embark on a bachelor party in Las Vegas that includes gambling, drinking, and binging on drugs. Things turn suddenly tragic when one of them accidentally kills a prostitute while she is in his arms! The poor gal dies with a clothes hook stuck in the back of her head after a night of rough-stuff. The bachelors at the party: Kyle Fisher (Jon Faveau of "Iron Man"), Robert Boyd (Christian Slater of "Kuffs"), Charles Moore (Leland Orser of "Taken"), brothers Michael (Jeremy Piven of "Smokin' Aces"), and Adam (Daniel Stern of "Blue Thunder") decide to bury the stripper in the desert where nobody will find her. Their efforts come under immediate scrutiny when a hotel security guard (Russell B. McKenzie) lets himself in their room to warn them about their noisy behavior. As the security is about to leave, he spots the dead hooker in the bathroom. Boyd attacks him with a corkscrew, stabbing him repeatedly in the chest, and driving him backwards into the bathroom where the prostitute is sprawled in her own blood. Our heroic quintet barricade guard in the bathroom. Eventually, after futilely trying to break out of the bathroom, the security guard dies in the bath tub, and the bathroom resembles an abattoir.
Naturally, an argument ensues, and Boyd convinces his companions that they must transport the mortal remains both stripper and security guard to the desert and bury them in anonymous graves. Adam insists that the bodies be buried with all correct appendages intact. Initially, the guys crammed various parts of the corpses into different suitcases to haul them out of the hotel without attracting any attention. Once they find a suitable spot to bury them, Adam issues an ultimatum that each corpse must be interned with all their appropriate body parts. Later, Adam creates more friction when he shows his accomplices the dead guard's newspaper obituary. He points out that the guard had two sons. Adam emerges as the weak link in the crime. He is more than willing to confess everything he knows about the that fateful night in Vegas. During one of their rehearsal banquets for Kyle's impending marriage to Laura Garrety (Cameron Diaz of "The Box"), these old friends become involved in an incendiary argument about the crime. Adam cannot live with himself, and his brother Michael turns on him. Essentially, Michael decides to smash his vehicle into his brothers' minivan. In an earlier scene, Adam imagines that everybody knows what he has done and he loses his cool when suspicious people at a gasoline convenience store alarm him with their looks. It doesn't help matters that he almost single-handedly turned the store into a disaster area because he stumbled around and knocked over so much merchandise. The cashier ran him out while an African-American uniformed cop watched him with interest.
Christian Slader has some choice Jack Nicholson moments as sarcastic real estate salesman Robert Boyd. The dialogue that Boyd utters after the hooker's death and his efforts to calm them down so they can come to grips with their predicament is a scream. "If you take away the horror of the scene, take away the tragedy of the death, take away all the moral and ethical implications that have been drilled into your head since grade one, do you know what you're left with? A 105-pound problem that needs to be moved from point A to point B." Of course, Boyd's dialogue is as monstrous as he becomes. Meantime, Kyle worries about Laura and the wedding, and Laura worries about the chairs for the wedding that are not going to be padded. Kyle never solves the chair problem because he is too worried about his guilty friends. No sooner has Michael careened toward Adam's minivan than his brother steps in from of it, and Michael smashes into him. Adam doesn't survive the emergency room. Afterward, Adam's suspicious wife, Lois Berkow (Jeanne Tripplehorn of "Basic Instinct"), discovers a confession that Adam left her about their madcap Las Vegas adventure. Kyle and the guys convince Lois that Adam slept with a hooker at the bachelor party and he felt guilty about his behavior. After they leave, Lois goes to bed, and Boyd slips in and strangles her to death. He calls Michael to the house and shoots his old pal. Boyd tells Kyle and Charles that Michael had had a crush on Lois and killed her before he shot himself. In reality, Boyd killed them both so that neither could blow the whistle on him. Michael was grief-stricken about killing his own brother and he had gone about telling everything that he was a brother killer.
At one point, Boyd tries to kill Kyle, and Laura interrupts them and bludgeons Boyd to death, just so they can get on with their wedding. Boyd had attacked Kyle because he had heard about Adam's half-million dollar insurance policy. He demanded that Kyle share the policy with him. Unfortunately, Adam had stopped making his payments, so there was no insurance policy money. Nobody gets off the hook in "Very Bad Things," and everybody pays the piper. Berg walks a fine line between gruesome melodrama and comedy of errors, and "Very Bad Things" ends up being an amusing cautionary tale about trying to get away with murder. Christian Slater and Cameron Diaz have the best lines, and Jon Faveau is caught between them in some sidesplitting scenes.