Monday, August 4, 2014

Only now does it occur to me... WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S II

Only now does it occur to me...  that I would be remiss if I didn't say a few words about Terry Kiser's masterful, nearly Butoh-style physicality as the deceased title character in this film.

His incredible, nuanced command of body movement (or often the lack thereof) reaches jaw-dropping levels of perfection.  In the context of a less-than-celebrated, rather zany film series, it's hard to imagine that there's legitimately virtuosic work on display, but hey, here it is.  His skill is never more apparent than in the infamous "Conga Line" scene (which launched an international dance craze and remains a cultural touchstone overseas) whereupon a voodoo dancin' Kiser leads an entire party in the "Bernie Dance," a bizarre, head-lolling feat of awkward balance and kinetic energy.  When the rest of the partygoers attempt to imitate Bernie's command of the floor (in a moment that reminds me of the TWIN PEAKS episode where a weeping Leland Palmer inspires a dance craze in the Great Northern's ballroom) you fully see the height of Kiser's artistry: even with a hundred people imitating his exact movements, Kiser is unparalleled.  Nobody can quite do what he does, as well as he does.

It is my belief that We The People ought to demand WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S III.  There's still time!


Jack Thursby said...

I'm pretty sure I read Terry Kiser has chronic back pain from doing the two Weekend at Bernie's films.

I kind of wish they had made a Weekend at Bernie's 3. Can't remember where I read it but I'm sure there was a rumour it was mention to be about Bernie being elected President of the USA. But I might be getting confused with Stuart Gordon talking about a possible Reanimator 4.

Sean Gill said...


I think that if you confused WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S III and REANIMATOR 4, it may be the best thing to happen to both franchises– I now demand a crossover, where Jeffrey Combs is jabbing Terry Kiser with green glo-stick syringes (at the White House)!