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Thursday, March 15, 2012

My 100 Worst Movies of the 90's - 24 - Drop Dead Fred (1991)

Drop Dead Fred (1991;
Polygram Filmed Entertainment)
If I had one film I could kill forever, eliminating any trace of its existence from this world (every copy of the movie, ever poster, ever mention on the Internet, all of it), Drop Dead Fred would be a strong, strong candidate.  And if you’re like “But it’s only number 24 on your list!”  Well, first off, DON’T QUESTION ME (:P) and second, the 23 films that follow this one are worse and all are candidates for the same “Movie Kill”!

Drop Dead Fred is a look into the mind of an evil clown who lives in an amusement park in the desert and eats motorists who breakdown along the interstate.  Okay, okay.  That has nothing to do with this movie.  This is a FAMILY FILM!  No.  Really.  The plot follows Lizzie (Phoebe Cates) who is nuts.  She is so repressed and so beaten down by her overbearing mother and so overwhelmed by her relationship with her misogynistic husband that a long lost imaginary friend is reborn from deep in her psyche.  That imaginary friend is Drop Dead Fred (played by Rik Mayall) and he constantly causes Lizzie to embarrass herself as she forgets time and again that he is not real and everyone spends the movie wondering who the crap she’s freaking yelling at!  So it all culminates in a massive metaphor of her getting sucked into imaginary friend land (or whatever) and facing her adult life head on in one of the biggest cop-out scenes ever.  You can literally tell they had no idea of how to really resolve these plot points so they just had her do it on the set of Beetlejuice.

Drop Dead Fred ultimately caused Phobe Cates’ career to drop dead and was one of her last performances.  This movie was not just a critical flop, this movie was not just panned, it was hated.  It received some of the worst reviews of the 1991 and nobody really survived this film.  Everyone in the movie was either reduced to bit parts in small film projects or TV shows or their careers ended altogether.  Drector Ate de Jong continued to work behind the camera but most projects were made-for-TV fare and none of the writers never had another major film credit to their name.  Drop Dead Fred was a career-ending disaster!  It was Gigli!  It was Ishtar!  It was HORRIBLE!


  1. I would put this as the worst movie ever. Like Rik but hated every minute of this fucking shite. Gave up about half way.....WHY ????

  2. I believe it was the result of bad American filmmakers, pressured by suits, to attempt (and dreadfully-fail) to create English comedy..? I think the idea was to make him an animated childlike figure, but unfortunately seeing that sort of performance out of an adult is pretty much always creepy.

    Thanks for reading! I need to get back in the habit of writing more. Work is just overwhelming.