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Weekend at Bernie’s II

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Weekend at Bernies 2

Image credit: Weekend at Bernie’s II, 1993.

I harbor a secret (or not-so-secret) love for most of the terrible sequels I’ve featured this month. A lot of them were favorites from my childhood that still bring me a certain amount of glee. I went into this week thinking that Weekend at Bernie’s II (DVD/Download) was actually pretty good, based on my memory from 20 years ago. Welllllll……. I admit. I was wrong. Go ahead, put in me in movie jail and make me watch Ingmar Bergman films as punishment. I deserve it.

I get a shocking amount of traffic on Cinema Sips from my original Weekend at Bernie’s post, so I know there are a lot of Terry Kiser fans out there. The first movie was ridiculous, but it was FUN! You kind of believed that it was possible for a self-centered group of one-percenters to not notice an actual human corpse in their midst. But in the sequel, all believability goes out the window with a trio of asinine plots. #1- Bernie is raised from the dead by a voodoo priestess working for mobsters. #2- the people who actually perform the voodoo ceremony are two random dudes with no connection to anything, yet they spend the whole movie following a shuffling Bernie around in search of the mob’s money. #3- Rich and Larry are back, and decide to look for the money Bernie embezzled in the first movie. They’re being trailed by Barry Bostwick, who is hired to prove that the two doofuses were in on the embezzlement. Essentially, all these people are following Bernie, I can’t keep anything straight, and I eventually throw my hands in the air and accept that this movie MAKES NO SENSE.

The one thing Weekend at Bernie’s II has going for it is a gorgeous tropical locale in the Virgin Islands. Richard and Larry spend most of their time at the hotel bar, avoiding the stench of a rotting corpse in their mini fridge (don’t ask). If you’re like me, you’ll need a lot of rum to make this funny. While watching Weekend at Bernie’s II, I recommend drinking a Voodoo cocktail.


2 oz aged rum

¾ oz Martini Rosso Vermouth

2 ½ oz pressed apple juice

½ oz lime juice

¼ oz simple syrup.

Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a rocks filled Collins glass.

I’d like to think I’ve always had impeccable taste in movies, but this one proves that there are a few missteps in my past. It also proves that not all sequels are created equal. For every Before Sunset, there’s a Weekend at Bernie’s II, which (like Bernie himself), is long past its sell-by date. But if you must watch, by all means please- do it with a cocktail. Cheers!

*Side note-  Pretty, pretty please do not judge Andrew McCarthy for participating in this film.  I like to think that he financed his later career as an AMAZING travel writer with the money he got from this schlock.  In my opinion- totally worth it.  I highly recommend his book The Longest Way Home.

Weekend at Bernie’s

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Image credit Weekend at Bernie's, 1989

Image credit Weekend at Bernie’s, 1989

Happy Memorial Day, Cinema Sips readers! This day traditionally heralds the start of summer (which in Texas means that I can’t venture outside comfortably until October). If you are lucky enough to have the day off work, then I suggest you spend it not at a picnic getting eaten alive by mosquitos, but rather in an air-conditioned house watching this week’s film, Weekend at Bernie’s (DVD/Download). I love that it has gained a cult following over the years, though I’ve secretly always been partial to the even more bizarre Weekend at Bernie’s II, featuring a voodoo priestess and a brief appearance by Patti Mayonnaise.

Weekend at Bernie’s is about two lowly financial employees at a big Manhattan insurance firm. They accidentally discover evidence that their boss (Bernie) has been embezzling from the company, and before he can have them killed, Bernie himself is murdered at his house in the Hamptons. His employees, played by Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman, discover his body, but before they can do anything about it, party guests descend on the house. They decide to keep up the ruse that Bernie is still alive, which involves some great work by actor Terry Kiser, a master of the art of jelly limbs. The movie then turns into one big party full of guys in Miami Vice apparel and women with moussed perms and unflattering thong bikinis. The house itself is pretty great in an 80’s sort of way, full of glass brick and neon bar lighting. Even with a corpse in the middle of the living room, Bernie’s party is the place to be.

Although tempted to feature a Corpse Reviver this week, I think a more appropriate drink for this particular film would have to be the Long Island Iced Tea. Too many of them and you’ll be staring into space with Bernie’s amused smirk on your face while people try to pose your limbs into a lifelike arrangement. Plus, what’s a Hampton’s party without this boozy drink? While watching Weekend at Bernie’s, I recommend drinking a Long Island Iced Tea.

Long Island Iced Tea

1 oz vodka

1 oz white rum

1 oz silver tequila

1 oz gin

1/2 oz triple sec

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup Cola, or to taste

Lemon wedge

Mix alcohol and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker full of ice.  Shake until chilled, then pour entire contents (ice included) into a Collins glass.  Top with cola and a lemon wedge.

Long Island Iced Tea

I read an article last year about a company (BBQ Films) that recreated the Weekend at Bernie’s party in New York. All I can say is, pretty please come to Austin. After all, Bernie is a resident here!! If I ever see him shuffling down the street, I might die of excitement. (Bad joke?) Cheers!