Larry (Andrew McCarthy) and Richard (Jonathan Silverman) are two jerky insurance company trainees who are invited by their boss (the eponymous Bernie) to his house in the Hamptons for a party – although, in reality, he intends to pin the rap on them for his latest shady deal
Arriving at the beach house, the boys discover that Bernie (Terry Kiser) is dead. He has been offed – via a fatal drug injection – by a hit man.
The boys fear they will be targets for the mob and the police unless they can make Bernie look like he’s still alive for the weekend.
Aided by his two charges, Bernie gives the liveliest portrayal of a corpse in screen history. He can wink, wave, even water ski.
His mistress, Tina (hilariously played by Catherine Parks), even finds Bernie’s sexual performance has improved. Meanwhile, the frustrated hit man tries time and time again to complete the job.
An ill-advised sequel, Weekend at Bernie’s II (1992) begged the question “How long can you drag a dead body around before rigor mortis sets in?” Apparently long enough for two movies.
Catherine Mary Stewart