A while back, I stated that “when a zombie fights a shark, we all win.” Imagine my surprise and joy, then, at discovering that in Weekend at Bernie’s II, a shark and zombie square off!
Admittedly, it’s not much of a fight. The shark sees zombie Bernie, bites him, then lets go. It’s all played for comedic effect. But it feels like a little sly nod to Fulci, especially since it’s followed by an extended underwater zombie scene. Those scenes are pretty much the highlight of Weekend at Bernie’s II.
Do you really need to know the plot? Okay, the idiots from the first film decide to try to get Bernie’s safe deposit box. A sleazy exec from their company is trying to prove they are embezzling. Some other idiots cast a reanimation spell on the corpse so it comes to life as a zombie (strictly a voodoo zombie that dances, there’s no biting) when music plays. Hijinks ensue!
This is a dumb, dumb movie. It really seemed like everyone involved was going through the motions. It’s pretty sloppy for a Hollywood feature, too (half-assed camera work, cheap sound). That said, it’s still a professional production and, as bad it was, was much easier to watch than some of the SOV zombie epics I’ve subjected myself to.
It’s weird that such morbid humor (two-thirds of the jokes involve a corpse being dragged, dropped, mutilated or abused in some way) powered such a mainstream film, but hey, who am I to judge? The rest of the jokes were slapstick also, just without the corpse element. The slapstick was mixed in with some broad racial humor and one fleeting moment of gratuitous nudity, if you like that sort of thing.
The short was What to Do in a Zombie Attack, another educational film/newsreel style short. While explaining how to defend yourself from zombies (or sacrifice yourself to them for the greater good), it played a lot of broad stereotypes from the ’50s (girls are dumb and hysterical! Men are the supreme beings! Other races and classes are degenerate!) for yucks. It was okay, but it completely lacked subtlety or nuance. Then again, so did real educational films, Â It’s embedded below for you to watch and draw your own judgments.