So, anyway, the guys are having a surprise blow-up dolly, drinks, strip-o-gram sort of stag night for their best buddy (John Stockwell), when something goes horribly wrong and things start to unravel badly. That’s the first 25 mins or so, the “interesting” bit, of this otherwise predictable drama whose most notable feature is its cast – Ben Gazzara and Mario Van Peebles in the same film? Strange. Kevin Dillon, William McNamara? Plus a couple of people you might not know (John Henson, Taylor Dane). They certainly don’t feel like a “brothers to the death” stag group of old buddies. But that’s because the cast has been hired for its ability to suggest a broad stereotype (yuppie, closeted gay, former soldier and so on), which is bizarre considering the writing is doing that already. In fact once the dying is over – I didn’t mention the two corpses… the lucky ones – the screenplay does little more with its characters than have them shout at each other, each utterance being either a profanity or some nugget of skull-bangingly obvious character exposition. Our token girl, Dane, remains bound and gagged throughout. Being charitable, let’s call Stag a millennial examination of the role of the male in a post-industrial society. Because an effective drama it certainly is not. I finished this film, on assignment, waiting for it to end. Remember: I watched it so you don’t have to.

© Steve Morrissey 1998



Stag – at Amazon




4 thoughts on “Stag”

  1. I actually saw this after "Very Bad Things" and realised where "Very Bad Things" may have gained the basic ideas from. This is actually a more superior film than "Very Bad Things" as it does take the issue seriously and making it seems like it could happen to anyone.

    The large cast, unfortunately, makes it difficult for specific character developments to arise. Even though at the end of the film we do feel sorry for Taylor Dayne’s and Kevin Dillon’s character. The acting in the film is quite decent too with Dayne holding herself quite well among the other performer. Kevin Dillon comes close second for his portrayal as a man who painfully tries to do the right thing. The ending, while a little dark, could not have been better executed. Overall, 7.5 out of 10.

  2. Stag came out first before Very Bad Things. What is better about Stag is the dark elements it has: a bachelor party disaster, nobody walking out alive, and who is going to die first. anyway, very bad things ripped off the idea of a dead stripper falling flat on her face, but what I liked about Stag is that it wasn’t too much of a dark comedy, but a normal thriller that should’ve been in the theaters. So I’m going to give it my thumbs up.

  3. This film was great. If you’ve ever been to a bachelor party or heard stories about bachelor parties, this movie is for you. I’m a married woman and have heard scores of stag party anecdotes, both funny and lewd. This movie shows what can happen to perfectly normal, decent, middle to upper-middle class guys when things go terribly wrong and spiral out of control. As the movie progressed I just kept thinking: "I KNOW these guys, this could happen to people I KNOW." Basically, it shows how bad things happen to average, normal people and how we all have a dark side that can come out when pushed to the wall. Watch this movie, with an honest, open mind, and see if there’s someone you know up on screen. By the way, is it just me or is the new movie Very Bad Things a rip-off of this one? I’ve only seen the trailers, but it looks like the same movie. We’ll see…

  4. **SPOILERS** An anything goes wild stag party turns into a nightmare for all those involved with half of the participants ending up dead, from gunshots beatings suicide and even a heart-attack, and the other half having their lives ruined forever.

    It didn't have to happen this way it was just to be an evening of good natured fun for the person that the party was being thrown for "Entrepreneur of the Year" Victor Mallick, John Stockwell. Victor about to get married had everything going for him in both business and marriage but that went down the drain together with his freedom by the time the night of horrors ended. Victor now faces some seven years behind bars with his good friend and business partner attorney Michael Barnes, Mario Van Peebles, turning states evidence against him.

    As for that slick and slimy shyster, who's running for city council, Michael Barnes all his back-stabbing and legal maneuvering in the end will not only have his license to practice law revoked but have him end up as Victor's cell-mate. Michael as smart as he was, in saving his lousy neck, overlooked an object that recorded the entire sleazy cover-up that he orchestrated. A good old video camcorder that was accidentally left, during all the confusion, on record mode!

    The party at first was going as expected with everyone getting juiced on booze and drugs until two, paid for their services, strippers Kelly together with her older sister Serena, Jenny McShane & Taylor Dayne, and their friend Stoker, William Parel,unexpectedly dropped in. Dressed as policemen the three, Kelly Serena & Stoker, ended up setting off the by now out of control and excited party-goers to the point where Kelly ended up dead with her spine broken.

    Trying to cover up Kelly's death, which in fact was accidental, the stag-party goer made things a lot worse in trying to protect their careers and reputations by acting like criminals more then just someone, or someones, who're victims of circumstances.

    A lot like the movie "12 Angry Men" we get to see the guest of honor Victor and his drinking and partying buddies try to justify their actions that lead to Kelly's death. In justifying their actions Victor & Co. do things far worse, and with full knowledge of what their doing, then what they did to the deceased Kelly by accident! What we get is a night of planning conniving and executing crimes that in the end would put the entire cast of characters, with the exception of those who ended up dead, behind bars for up to fifteen years.

    The film "Stag" shows how a group of totally innocent and, with the exception of the stag party's drug supplier ex-con Pete Webber (Andrew McCarthy), upright citizens can in their unfounded fear be whipped up to commit a number of major crimes in a frantic effort to save their jobs freedoms and reputations. Webber, the drug dealer, being a career criminal was anything but concerned in murdering those who can implicate him in Kelly's death. It was fascinating to see Webber's, who should have known better, plan since the worst that he, having really nothing to lose, could get is breaking his parole not losing a six figure job in the business legal sports or entertainment world.

    ***SPOILER ALERT***The person at the party who was just there because he was Victor's good friend, not that he was a big success in anything, Gulf War Vet Dan Kane, Kevin Dillion, was the only one who seemed to have his head screwed on straight. Trying to do the right thing Ken almost gets himself shot by non-other then Victor, in trying to save his a**, who didn't know who his friends really were until the police put the cuffs on him. Victor trusted his good friend and business partner Michael Barnes who's testimony sent him up the river without a paddle and, when he was to be released, job to support his very expensive lifestyle.

    P.S What a difference things would have been for Victor, as well as those at the stag party, if he just listened to his friend Ken. Ken, unlike Michael Barnes, looked after Victor's best interests not those of his own. In the end the almost invisible, to those at the party, camcorder, and what it recorded, was the evidence that got Ken off the hook as well as hooked Victor and his friends into the sate penitentiary.

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