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Premier March 1998

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Premier March 1998

Rose O'Donnell

Christian Slater, Bachelor-Party Animal

On a palm tree-covered hillside in a Los Angeles cemetery, a burial is under way. A rabbi drones on until a grief-stricken mourner ('Grosse Pointe Blank's Jeremy Piven) throws himself on the flower-adorned casket that holds his brother. He wails uncontrollably, grabs fistfuls of long-stemmed roses and tosses them in the air as if he's preparing a salad. His dark-suited buddies, played by Christian Slater and 'Swingers' Jon Favreau, try to shake some sense into him. The crewmembers nestled among the gravestones suppress the urge to laugh out loud, for Very Bad Things is in fact a comedy -- a pitch-black one about a bachelor party gone awfully wrong.

'This is like the "Fatal Attraction" of bachelor parties,' Slater says a few weeks before his jail sentencing for scuffling with his girlfriend at a real-life party gone awfully wrong.

'When a guy says, "Honey, I'm going to a bachelor party," she'll say, "Remember '"Very Bad Things?"'"'

As groomsman Robert Boyd -- the kind of guy who doesn't need the Yellow Pages to find a stripper -- Slater returns to his dark roots. 'This is the kind of movie people want to see me in,' he agrees, recalling his kill-happy character in Heathers, 'and I want to see myself in.'

First-time director Peter Berg penned the script while filming his role in 'Cop Land', but he felt the project needed further research, so he went to more than ten bachelorhood send-offs -- for observation purposes, of course. Setting, for him, is key. 'A bachelor party that's not in Vegas is bullshit,' he says. 'You've got to have the right hotel suite, really gaudy, with a huge-screen TV and an amazing stereo system. You've got to have tequila. You've got to have the right number of guys -- I'd say six to twelve. You want focus. You've got to have gambling money, very aggressive strippers, and a couple of chainsaws.'

Thanks Venita!

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