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Drop Dead Fred [VHS]
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Product Description

This not-quite-black comedy was probably a laugh riot on paper. The translation almost works, but the execution is flawed. Phoebe Cates is a recently separated young woman who suddenly begins to see her supposedly imagined childhood friend (Drop Dead Fred) after moving back into her mother's home. Is he a manifestation of her secret desires to ditch the boorish spouse? Or was he real all along? Rik Mayall is a limber, carrot-topped Brit with the lamentable assignment of trying to make us laugh with vulgar, sophomoric trickery. He is supposedly the repository of Cates's fastidious repression but is more annoying than cathartic. --Rochelle O'Gorman

Customer Reviews:

  • unusual? no it's just fred
    This is a must see film. Not only is it humours, clever and dramatic through out the whole film it is that kind of weird, yet stupid humour. The director couldn't have picked a better actor for this film than Rick Mayall, I mean one look at the guy with his tossed and tattered ginger hair, his green pinstripe jacket, his yellow trousers(which are too small for him!)and not to mention his red shoes your already thinking were did he come from?! Pheobe Cates was ofcourse her serious self but still was a excellent performer! Rick Mayall you laugh before you see him and your already in stiches when you do! an excellent film! Two thumbs up from me!...more info
  • I sympathize with the cast and the scenery
    I enjoy watching this movie. It is comic, with mildly romping music in the background for a few funny bits. If you subtract the comedy, you are left with a cast of five major characters, plus two little girls, a few marriages breaking up, psychological problems for which the main character is supposed to take some green pills, and scenes shot in the Twin Cities, where the Mississippi River has some boats, one of which has two red paddlewheels. Drop Dead Fred wants to play pirates on that boat, which is the biggest catastrophe in the movie.

    Except for the scene in the shrink's waiting room, only one character in this movie is playing a mother, but she dominates the early scenes. It is amazing how well a few lines can capture the mother and daughter situation:

    I'm perfect the way that I am.

    Don't disagree with your mother.

    Now that we're home, everything is perfect.

    As crazy as some of the situations get, things resolve reasonably well for the daughter. Drop Dead Fred has been locked up in a toy since the main character was a little girl, and Fred is not prepared for the sexual approach when her husband suddenly wants to make up, make out, or something. As he says, This isn't how the pigeons do it.

    During a *what a lovely dress* conversation, Drop Dead Fred even feels like he is with two girls. The guys in this movie seem more clueless than usual, and they don't get much respect in lines like:

    What are you doing?

    I'm running for Congress! What does it look like I'm doing?

    The cartoon credits at the beginning of the movie has some cute moves. A fisherman in a boat during the credit for casting might even remind some people of Minnesota. The Director of Photography credit should remind people of making sausage. The special effects whenever someone sneezes because of the gladiolas in a few scenes are funny enough to remember after you see them a few times. Even though they named this movie for Drop Dead Fred, he could easily be considered the worst part of the film. Really, whoever went after a bunch of pigeons with a shovel because an old friend got married?...more info
  • At its heart, this is a movie about self empowerment.
    On the surface, "Drop Dead Fred" is a comedy. And as a comedy, it's a great one. Rik Mayall, of course, if very funny. Phoebe Cates displays a genuine talent for physical comedy in several scenes - at the restaurant, at the classical music concert, and at the wine tasting party. And I just LOVE the scream that Cates lets out when Fred scares her while she's standing in front of the mirror wiping the makeup off of her face. Carrie Fisher is also very funny as a super-rigid super-serious lawyer.

    However, at it's heart, this movie is a drama with some very serious issues and some very serious messages. Ultimately, this movie is about standing up for yourself. It's about taking control of your life. It's about standing up to defend yourself from the people who are tormenting you. Anyone who's ever been bullied stands to benefit from seeing this film. It really is a good form of therapy. You'll know that you're not alone. You'll know that there are other people who know how you feel. And that's one of the reaons why I love this movie so much.

    Of course another reaosn I love this movie is Phoebe Cates. Her characer here is so sweet and wonderful. How can any guy see this movie and not think he's in love with her? And honestly, I think she's a better actress when she keeps her clothes on, as she does here. Throughout the course of the movie, Cates displays just about every emotion that there is. She's truly a great actress.

    Kudos also go to Ashley Peldon, who does a remarkable job as the child version of Elizabeth. Tim Matheson does a perfect job portraying the jerk husband. Marsha Mason is fantastic as the evil mother. All the other actors do their jobs very well. Every role is cast perfectly.

    Every scene in the movie is necessary. Nothing is wasted. Every line of dialogue counts. The flashbacks to childdhood are integrated perfectly into the rest of the movie.

    There are some interesting camera angles here that I've never seen before. For example, in the flashback to where the mudpie gets made in the dining room, young Elizabeth is sitting on the chair, shaky and scared because her mother had just yelled at her. While the camera is focused on her, the camera pans 90 degrees, and then her face lights up with a smile and she says, "Hi Fred!" I've never seen that particular kind of camera shot before. I also like the way, later on when grown up Elizabeth is making the salad, the camera is *under* the pepper grinder. And during the end of the dream sequence towards the end of the movie, the various lighting and camera angles suggest a play that is being performed live on a stage.

    The low budget cheesy special effects give a nice, old fashioned touch to the film. For example, the cheap physical effects of gears and other things that are shown when Velcro Head's head explodes simply would not have had the same charm if it had been done in expensive CGI.

    The movie is timeless. The only real clue to when the movie takes place is that in the flashback to the breakfast scene, young Elizabeth's father is reading a newspaper with the heading about the first man on the moon.

    The best part of the movie, in my opinion, is the dream sequence, and everything that comes afterwards. The last 25 minutes of this movie are what really elevate it to what it is. This is the part that really moves me the most. Of course, in order to understand it, you need to see the entire movie. And that's a good thing, because the entire movie is worth watching.

    This is a movie for anyone who remembers what it's like to be a child, and for anyone who has a sense of fun and a love of life, and for anyone who's ever been hurt because of bullying. This movie has a big heart, a big sense of fun, a big sense of humor, and a big love of life....more info

  • Our Childhood Comes to Life Again
    This movie is the most identifying film I have ever seen about childhood and how we still hold on to it even as we get older. Phoebe Cates did such a wonderful job as Elizabeth and Drop Dead Fred brought to life every dream we had of that imaginary friend. I know I relate to him and would recommend anyone to watch it just once. You'll be laughing and crying throughout....more info
  • black comedy
    i love it when a movie makes me laugh one minute, and cry the other. or at least get sentimental a bit. i agree with one of the reviewers, its a movie to watch over and over and over... absolutely great! wish i had my own imaginary friend for life!...more info
    Drop Dead Fred is a movie about growing up as a empowered person in this case an empowered woman. The core premise of this movie is you must take full responsible constant ownership of your self and YOUR LIFE or else suffer the humourous and or disasterous consiquences!

    The main character now a young lady starts off the movie a child in an adults body. She was not a grown up in heart for she was not an empowered woman at all she was slave to her mother, husband and freds every whim for she had no backbone. She had a lamer playboy disrespectful skanktrap cheating husband who functioned as a father figure she lost earlier in life. She had a domineering mom who did everything to give her daughter the appearance of respect for her decisions in adulthood but in truth merely paid lip service to loving her daughter while ordering every aspect of her childs existence.

    From an early age the young lady invested all her pains angers confustions and child like fantasy's into a special world. These unresolved issues took the form of Drop Dead Fred this YES sick twisted rude ego-centric totally self absorbed endlessly playful child like being in a weird carrot topped male adult body. A child is not polite or nice their fantasy's are annoying and crude which is just what Fred was, I find his nerve wrecking style in this protrayal to be perfect and accurate.

    Well once her childhood inner friend only she can see by the way is rediscovered Drop Dead Fred is released and instantly takes the young lady in the picture on a mad childish romp through polite society. The moral of this story is simple you must always be master of your destiny or by default someone else is using you for their purposes.


    This film tells you that in childs play sometimes their is the greatest of adult wisdom. No matter how complex, intelligent and sophisticated the adult being their must always in life be room made for the simplicity of play. The movie shows that if the basic human need for play is not met consciously it will satisfy itself unconsciously. This movie just lets us have a histerically funny peek into the wild psyche as this mad romp to play comes forth to rescue the young lady in the picture from herself. In the end she finds her backbone and becomes an empowered woman.

    Trust me their is nothing on earth more beautiful to behold than a person who owns themselves because they are fully empowered to love both themselves and others in a spirit of unending fun and joy! This movie teaches empowerment in such a way that me a dull witted old thing me caught the movies empowering message real good. I like the heavy handed way it hits I understand bluntness and you can't get any more blunt or fun than this movie!

    This is the wisdom this movie shared with me when I watched it on VHS....more info

  • This is Awesome...
    I loved this movie. It is one that you can watch over and over and never get sick of. It is so darn funny that it will have you rolling off the couch and all over the floor....more info
  • Missing Childhood
    I loved this movie as a kid and I still quote from it every know and then. Quite a funny movie for anyone to watch...I'd love to see it come out on DVD...I'd buy it in an instant!...more info
  • Great movie!
    If you're a pheobe cates fan, you'll love this movie. She's absolutely gorgeous in this movie and as the movie progress, she gets even prettier! This movie is really funny also. I was cracking up!

    Also, go get "princess caraboo". She rarely speaks in this movie, but she has alot of charm which made it unnecessary for her to talk. Great music also!

    Not a kid movie!

    I bought this movie becuz I need a good movie to help me sleep! This is one of those movies that I will play in my VCR often!...more info

    Drop Dead Fred is a hilarious movie! It was my favorite movie as a child. With our satellite I would watch it 3 times in one day!

    I realize that it may not seem appropriate for children, BUT when I watch it now, I catch "dirty" jokes and sexual content that I had not noticed when I was little. I just loved the parts with Fred in them - I didn't pay attention to the other characters as much or what they were doing. So you may want to monitor your children watching it somewhat, but then again, they probably won't notice anything nasty.

    Please, let's get it on DVD!...more info

  • i love phoebe
    this movie should be on everybody's watch list. drop dead fred is very funny. I have seen most of phoebe's movies and have a crush on her. She quit making movies to raise a family but she did leave a few that are worth watching. Fast times was the one that she is known for. But she made Gremlins Shag and this one. Why this movie is out of print is beyond me.
    I miss Phoebe on the screen for years but I understand family. Watch this movie it's very funny and has a good message. Love you Phoebe......It brings out the kid in all of us.
    ...more info
  • Snotface!
    Perhaps I love this movie because my big brother, who happens to be my favorite person on this planet, took me to see it in the movie theater when he came home from college on break. Or perhaps it's because this movie is so over-the-top silly. For argument's sake, I'll go with a combination of the two. Drop Dead Fred is a great movie for when you're in one of those moods to experience something ridiculous. I never had an imaginary friend (thinking about making friends with one though...). Despite it's overall wackiness, this movie makes an excellent point: that you should be true to yourself and stand up for yourself because no one deserves to be walked all over. ...more info
  • Hilarious despite criticism
    Some say that this was the worst work ever of its director, But I beg to differ. This movie is not only for children, as one might think considering it's main theme, but it's really a movie for the whole family, if your family is a little bit on the strange side. I've watched it again and again and never tire of it....more info
  • Hilarious comedic romp!
    I love this movie! I grew up watching it and it's where I get probably half my personality from. It's fun, imaginative, raunchy, and weird. All together equals one great comedy. The only thing that I don't like about this movie is Fred's British accent gets annoying after a while (sometimes you can barely understand him)....more info
  • Drop Dead Fred
    I think this movie is hilarious. It takes you back to when you were a child and no one understood you. I watched it as a child and now im buying it for my child....more info
  • Hilarious! A MUST SEE!
    Ever since I was a kid I loved this movie. Here it is 18 years later and I still enjoy watching it. I believe that this movie is a classic and should be in everyones living room. This movie shares an important message of how we need to think independently as we enter adulthood. A very inspirational movie and it also brings out the child in all of us! If you love a good comedy and comic relief this movie is for you!...more info
  • Drop Dead Fred IS AWESOME for the whole family!
    This is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. I've only had it a short time but have watched it 3 times already with my nieces and nephews. They love it. This movie is a classic and everyone should watch it once. Though it's a little slow to start, once Drop Dead Fred appears the laughter will continue thru out the movie, except near the end where you are sure to shed a few tears.. but again, it doesn't end there like you think and the ending is PERFECT! ...more info
  • Wonderful movie for a 10 year old girl!!!!
    This movie has been a favorite of my daughter for a couple years, she adores the whole thing,(a few curse words but you can overlook them with the great story line that plays out).The actors are wonderful. I love watching this one also, can't go wrong if you have a child with a wonderful imagination. Craftmomdi in Ohio...more info
  • Okay, it's not Shakespeare, but neither was Shakespeare
    Various points have been brought up about this movie. Point One: Letting your kids see it. I don't have any kids, but I do have a little sister and a neice and a nephew, and there is no way they are getting their hands on this movie until they show some signs of maturity. My sister walked in on the part at the party and I really, REALLY regret it. Point Two: Phoebe Cates. Yes, she's a bit blah, but I think she was supposed to be. She still turned in a solid performance. Point Three: Rik Mayall. Yes, he is incredibly noisy, and irritating at first, but I got used to him pretty quick and started perking up anytime I saw that green suit and the ginger hair. Also, the reason he's so loud is he was trained on stage, and you have to be loud on stage, right? So maybe he wasn't fully adapted to movies yet[...] The thing is, you out there with your "maturity" won't enjoy this at all. This is a movie that appeals to children--- unfortunately you can't let your kids watch it, for fear they'll wipe snot on you instead of giving you a goodnight kiss. But it is dark and funny, even if it does turn all sentimental in the end, I forgive it for that. I love it very much, and so does my best friend, and a friend of mine who is in his fifties, and a lot of other people, too....more info
  • One of my favorites...
    I couldn't disagree more with's official review. This movie is so fun and so funny. Rik Mayall being annoying is part of his charm. His silly antics as Drop Deap Fred are out of hand and hilarious... the sort of hiliarous that makes you snort when you laugh and blow your drink out your nose! It's not meant to be taken seriously or as a "black comedy", it's simply funny, a real feel good movie too. Watch it... buy it... love it....more info
  • Buying the movie to save money on renting it for my kids!!!
    My girls, ages 10 and 7, LOVE this movie. they laugh every time they watch it. We've probably rented it at least 7 times. That's enough for me to go ahead and buy it. I'm sure I'll have to replace it with a DVD version later. It's a wonderful movie for kids... one that they'll enjoy over and over again!!...more info
  • Still love this movie
    This is the funny and childish tale of a girl who is now all grown up and is once again being "haunted" by her childhood imaginary friend Fred. Fred craetes nothing but drama and disaster in Lizzy's life. He means well, but all turns out wrong. In the end Fred really does help her over come a fear that has followed her into her now adult life, her mother.I loved it as a kid and years later I still feel the same. A definate must see for all ages....more info
  • Drop Dead Gorgeous.
    I think I was 6 years old when I first saw this film. From then onwards, I rented it nearly everytime we went to the video store. Ask my mother, I'm sure she can recite the film word-for-word.
    This film is probably what started my love affair with British comedy, and although, being an American film and having some soppy and serious moments, I think the film is purely based on the comic genius of Rik Mayall - his facial expressions, his constant stamina, and just the way he approaches each situation. In his live performances of Bottom, with Young Ones co-star Adrian Edmondson, all these attributes are evident.
    So, if you want a laugh and you're not afraid to let go to stupid childish humour, ( "Snotface! Yuck, what happened to you? You're all older! You're even uglier! I'm sorry, I'm going to have to be sick all over you immediately. Lie down.") then bloody go for it. Trust me, in 500 years time, this film'll be in the Hall of Fame....more info
  • Drop Dead Fred
    I thought it was excellent. It was funny but also very moving. There was a very strong theme under the comedy. It's the first film that both my little brother of seven, and my mother were laughing. My mother was crying at the end, my brother didn't. I recommended it to everyone in me highschool class....more info
  • good kids movie
    I always enjoyed this as a kid. Watching it years later I was surprised to find out again it is such a touching story. Drop Dead Fred almost made me cry today. A movie for kids and adults, just don't take that pill!

    And of course I was absolutely in love with Phoebe Cates after seeing this. ...more info
  • An uproariously hilarious movie!
    When Elizabeth (played by Phoebe Cates) finds her marriage to a manipulative, two-timing husband (Tim Matheson) on the rocks, to her chagrin, her mother moves her back home and takes control of her life. But then she makes a strange discovery, in the back of her old closet is her old jack-in-the-box, covered in the tape her mother had put there to lock in her imaginary friend, Drop Dead Fred. Opening the tape, who should pop out? Not jack, but Drop Dead Fred (Rik Mayall)!

    Fred is stark raving mad, and out to cause as much mayhem as possible, but no one can see him but Elizabeth, so who still gets the blame after all these years? But Fred is back, because Elizabeth is terribly unhappy. In his own weird and wacky way, he is out to set Elizabeth on the right track, and everyone needs a friend.

    This is a very funny movie, an uproariously hilarious movie! Rik Mayall (Rick from The Young Ones) does a great job of taking Fred over the top, and off to the outer reaches of wackiness. His gross humor (lots of doggy-do, nose-picking, hits to the head, and so forth) may turn some off, but is sure to please any connoisseur of craziness.

    Now, is this a family-friendly movie? Well, not exactly, there are some off-color remarks and adult innuendo, but not much. The big problem is that there is one scene where you see a naked man from behind. But, other than that it is pretty good. I showed it to my kids, and they loved it. I liked that it also had a lesson of finding happiness inside yourself.

    So, as for my family and I, we loved this movie, and highly recommend it to you!...more info

  • imaginary friend vs schizophrennia
    the characteristics of the girl in this films problems look a lot schizophrennia.they call it a imaginary friend.a horrible mother mistreats her daughter emotionaly and even "trapped" her imaginary friend in a box when she was small.then she grew up and her life got all out of whack and her friend came back.his name is drop dead fred.he does gross and outrageous things to help the girl deal with her overbearing mother.the kids will love this one.there are a gross part or 2 but nothing like all the nasty things on tv everyday.the main chick is sexy in a girl next door-her own kind of person-do now think later kind of way.her mom as fred so lovingly describes truly is a mega-bitch!shes over the top annoying.anyone that annoying should be put to sleep as a opener to the actual movie.this IS a kids movie despite its less than kid friendly let the little jokers watch it and dont get your panties in a watch a sequel....more info
  • An element of transformation
    I remember watching this movie with my little brother, or should I say, when my brother was little.

    Overall, this is a fun and enjoyable movie. I love the chemistry and interaction between the characters of Phoebe Cates(Elizabeth) and Rik Mayall(Drop Dead Fred).

    However, the really enjoyable part of the movie for me came when Elizabeth was able to travel to her past and free her little girl version. Thus she was able to transform a part of her that was stuck for a long time.

    This movie is definately a little gem.
    ...more info
  • More than just a comedy movie
    This is a comedy film, definitely. However, there is far more to this movie than just Rik Mayall going crazy - which is great. There is a much deeper meaning and story to the movie.

    The abusive mother, the cheating and controlling husband and the girl that is held captive by all of it - it's all here.

    If you had an abusive relationship with a parent, this is a good movie with a message. It is possible not to be the abused child all your life. It is possible to break free of that trapped, abused child. It takes courage to tell that abusive parent that you are free of them. Drop Dead Fred (Mayall) helps Elizabeth (Phoebe Cates) find that courage.

    There is an un-credited cameo in this movie by Bridget Fonda. The girl that Charles (Tim Matheson) is having an affair with is named Annabella played by Bridget.
    ...more info
  • This movie just SUCKS!
    This is one of, if not the worst movie I've almost seen. I got up and walked out of it and got my money back. Cates gives me serious wood but even that couldn't keep me watching it. DO NOT waste your money! I would, if I could, give it a negative star rating, one star is way too good for it....more info
  • perfect seller
    the video was in perfect condition and it was sold as near new.
    the delivery was incredibly fast
    nice seller
    would recommend...more info
  • Great movie!!!
    I like this movie a whole lot. It is dumb, of course it is, but this is exactly what one need from time to time, just some lazy, easy, uncomplicated entertainment. Just sit back and enjoy without high expectations!!! In a world so hectic, some easy laughs are always welcome. ...more info