Drop Dead Fred
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Phoebe Cates stars in this bizarre comedy that wants to be the kind of stylish comic fable the likes of Tim Burton's Beetlejuice and Pee-wee's Big Adventure but ends up looking like a shabby burlesque about schizophrenia. Cates is Elizabeth, who has recently separated from her philandering husband Charles (Tim Matheson) and moved back home with her harridan mother Polly (Marsha Mason). Back in her old little-girl haunts, she regresses into childhood and recalls her imaginary childhood friend Drop Dead Fred (Rik Mayall), a nasty, ill-tempered sociopath. As a child, Elizabeth created… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 9%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Drop Dead Fred is an erratic stab at making madness sensible, a slapstick nightmare that goes too sane, that tries too hard to be both good and rotten."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Los Angeles Times
"The movie is no comic masterpiece, but it is consistently amusing in a way that sometimes reminded me of a kiddie picture and at other times of a more sophisticated comedy."
‑ Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel
"That any of it, however, should suddenly, melodramatically lead to Elizabeth learning to assert herself is, to say the least, unpersuasive."
‑ Angie Errigo, Empire Magazine
"It's particularly irritating if you've seen the much better Harvey."
‑ Peter Freedman, Radio Times
"Just a strident celebration of booger jokes."
‑ Dan Webster, Spokesman-Review (Washington)
"This is easily one of the worst films I've ever seen."
‑ Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune
"It tries too hard to mimic Beetlejuice, especially in British comic Rik Mayall's frantic performance as the title character -- Mayall is no Michael Keaton -- but it has a whimsical comic energy."
‑ John Hartl, Seattle Times
"It's rare that a movie so cleverly conceived is so poorly executed."
‑ Gary Thompson, Philadelphia Daily News
"A charmless, irritating psychological fantasy that can`t decide whether to aim at kids or adults."
‑ Candice Russell, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"[A] shrill, repulsive venture into kidsploitalion."
‑ , People Magazine
"The episodic flashbacks are cast in an unfunny Freudian light -- domineering mother, helpless hubby, the tragically withdrawn child. What a laugh riot!"
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Drop Dead Fred is a movie for people who like the sound of fingernails on blackboards and the feel of a drill bearing into a bicuspid."
‑ Johanna Steinmetz, Chicago Tribune
"The film is in desperate need of flow. It plays like a collection of bits, skits that have been thrown together with little eye to continuity."
‑ Lou Cedrone, Baltimore Sun
"Drop Dead Fred is a therapeutic fable for people who believe that by becoming an adult, one inevitably loses the capacity to have fun. But the alternative it suggests is nothing short of horrifying."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Slapstick '90s comedy is filled with crass humor."
‑ Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
More reviews for Drop Dead Fred on Rotten Tomatoes

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