Drop Dead Fred
May 04, 2010
The Nostalgia Critic is checking his clipboard when he sees the audience.
NC: Hello, I'm Doctor Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. Today's film is a very tragic case. It is a sad movie that is under the delusion that it is, in fact... (checks his clipboard) "Funny, charming, whimsical and filled with a lot of heart." The reality is that it is a vile, vomit-inducing shitfest that should never be seen by man. The name of this movie is simply Drop Dead Fred.
Clips of the movie are shown.
NC (voiceover): What a depressing case this is. This movie doesn't know if it wants to be for adults, children or the mentally handicapped. It is unpleasant, unfunny and quite frankly unwatchable.
NC: What are its symptoms, you may ask? Well, let's take a closer look.
The movie begins.
NC (voiceover): We start off with a girl having a fairy tale read to her by her mother.
Young Elizabeth Cronin (Ashley Peldon): Did they live happily ever after?
Polly Cronin (Marsha Mason): Of course, Elizabeth.
Young Elizabeth: How do you know?
Polly: She was a good little girl. If she had been naughty, the prince would have run away.
Young Elizabeth: What a pile of shit!
NC (voiceover): Well, we're off to a good start as we cut to our credits that "surprisingly" are written in crayons. We see that this movie stars... (the credit "Phoebe Cates" is shown) Phoee-bey Cates... Phoey-bey... Phoee... that chick from Gremlins, and is accompanied by ("Rik Mayall") Rik... May-all... Maiall... Mayaiall... that guy from The Young Ones, and is directed by... ("Ate de Jong") Oh, fuck you. Let's just jump to the movie. We cut to a mere 21 years later as we see the girl has grown up into an insecure woman named Elizabeth. This "hilarious" comedy pulls all the comedic stunts, like having her husband be an adulterer, having him leave her, having someone steal her purse, a totally different person steal her car, resulting in her being late to work, and ending up losing her job.
Judge Dubben (Bob Reid): You're fired.
NC: But that's nothing. Wait 'till she finds out that her cousin burned to death in a fire...in a church.
NC (voiceover): So while leaving her job, she comes across an old childhood friend named Mickey, who "somehow" recognizes her as an adult.
Mickey Bunce (Ron Eldard): Used to live down the street from you when we were kids. We were little kids. Don't you remember what you did to my grandmother?
Elizabeth (Cates): I didn't do anything to your grandmother.
Mickey: (chuckling) You said the same thing back then. You said that Fred did it.
Elizabeth: (reminiscing) Drop Dead Fred.
(flashback to her childhood)
Young Elizabeth: (offscreen) Oh, Grandma Bunce!
Grandma Bunce is splashed with yellow paint; the film returns to the present.
Elizabeth: (seemingly pleased) Drop Dead Fred. (she then makes a weird face)
Mickey: I used to pretend I had an imaginary friend.
NC (voiceover): Whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait a minute. (the film rewinds)
(Close-up of Elizabeth's weird face)
NC (voiceover): What is up with that face? That's the "horse that just passed gas" look.
NC: Okay, ladies. If you want your men to stop looking at that chick from Gremlins, just get them a poster of this.
Cut to a close-up of Elizabeth's weird face with the Critic making dumb, childish sounds.
NC (voiceover): So they take a stroll down Exposition Street as she comes across her close friend named Janie, played by Carrie Fisher.
Janie (Fisher): Now I want you to do some affirmations with me.
Janie: Come on, just do it. Repeat after me: "I don't need a man to complete my life."
Elizabeth: I don't need a man to complete my life.
NC: Uh, no offense, but I wouldn't take any self-help advice from Carrie Fisher. Have you seen the cover of her book?
Cut to an image of Carrie Fisher's novel Wishful Drinking.
NC (voiceover): So Elizabeth's overbearing mother comes in and forces her to stay at her house. Why? Because she's overbearing, not logical.
Polly: I made up your bed.
Polly: Oh? That's all you say to me is "Oh"?
Elizabeth: Thank you, Mother.
Polly: That's a good girl.
Elizabeth comes to her room. She turns the light on. The room is bright pink. The sound of a lightsaber is superimposed in the scene to emphasize the brightness.
NC: (covering his eyes, in pain) AAAAHHH! Too much pink!
NC (voiceover): So as she falls asleep in her old bed, it turns out mommy built her room with a flux capacitor, as she goes back in time and remembers when she was a child.
During the flashback of her childhood, the ceiling light suddenly turns on and... a hand comes out from under Elizabeth's pillow to stressful music.
NC (voiceover): Oh, my God. Freddy Krueger is out for revenge.
The hand taps young Elizabeth's head and retreats under the pillow.
NC: That's nothing. You should see the deleted scene.
Cut to a scene from A Nightmare on Elm Street, passed off as the "deleted scene", when Freddy Krueger swallows Glen Lantz through a hole in a bed (overdubbed with a girl's scream)... before the hole spits out a geyser of blood. We then cut back to the actual movie.
NC (voiceover): No, that's not Freddy Krueger, but out of an old jack-in-the-box, something even more wicked this way comes: annoying British humor.
"Drop Dead Fred" (Rik Mayall): Boo! Hamster face! (suddenly disgusted after seeing Elizabeth) Yeugh! What happened to you? Look at you. You're all older. You're even uglier. Uck!
NC: Please tell me that's not the performance you're going with.
Fred: (voicing a plush) No, no, no. (normal voice) Yes, yes, yes.
Fred then starts violently ripping the plush to shreds while screaming.
NC (voiceover): Oh, wow! This person needs to die.
Fred: (taking Elizabeth with him) Come on!
Fred is then seen sliding down the banister and hits his crotch against the newel post.
Fred: (in pain) Who put that there? (realizing, to Elizabeth) Oh. I forgot to give you something.
He then picks his nose and wipes the snot on her face.
NC: You know, there's a thin line between funny and godawfully horrendous. (pause) Luckily, he comes nowhere near that line. He's just godawfully horrendous.
Fred comes back in the house walking on his hands, because he stepped both of his feet in dog dung.
Fred: Mind your backs. Ooh! Careful, careful, careful...
NC (voiceover): Have you realized she's taking this crazy madman in her house just a little too well? HOW ABOUT A REACTION TO ALL THIS?
Fred: Let's write, "Mother sucks!"
Elizabeth: I have a better idea. Let's play a game.
Fred: A game?
Elizabeth: How about Hide and Seek?
Fred: Great! I LOOOOVE (NC winces at the yell) Hide and Seek!
NC: (frowns) You are the anus of comedic laughter.
Fred: I'm gonna hide in a place where you'll never, ever find me. Bye-bye!
NC (voiceover): So she tricks him into going away as her mother is not pleased with what she finds the next morning.
Polly: I didn't want anybody to walk on my carpet.
Elizabeth: Yeah, I know.
Polly: But, here I am, scrubbing away at what can only be described as dog... mess.
NC (voiceover): But unfortunately, the devil's ball-sack appears for "more hilarity".
Fred: (surprised) Oh, my God! Is it? It is! The Megabitch!
NC (voiceover, impersonating the Riddler): Riddle me this, Batman! What do you get when two talented actors are given a script written by a horse's scrotum? THIS MOVIE! Ooohooohooohooooooh!
Fred stands near Polly's face, unknowingly to her.
Polly: (speaking to her daughter) It is a lovely day for it.
Fred pretends to choke heavily on Polly's breath.
Fred: The Death Breath! She killed me with the Death Breath! Be gone, evil one!
NC: (while chewing a box) Mm. Mm. This scenery is wonderful. Mm. Mm. Oh, hey. There's even more background I can chew. (gets up from his chair and goes offscreen)
Fred: (going toward the fridge) Maybe there's a stake in there! We can drive it right through her heart.
Polly closes the refrigerator door on Fred's head. He then tries to get his head out of the fridge, much to Elizabeth's shock. When he succeeds to get his head unstuck, it's as flat as a pancake.
NC (voiceover): And now you know where the whole budget for this movie went: into that one stupid effect. Was it worth it, film? Was it?
Fred then looks up Polly's skirt.
Fred: (whispers) Wow! (to Elizabeth, while pointing up) Cobwebs.
NC (voiceover): Yeah. I remember the last time I laughed at my mom's cooch.
Elizabeth: (talking to Fred) Piss off!
Fred: Gotcha! Those weren't the magic words.
Polly: (thinking her daughter insulted her) What did you say to me?
Fred: She told you to piss off. What, are you deaf?
NC (voiceover): So, if you haven't guessed yet, Elizabeth is the only one who can see her imaginary friend, which would suggest that she's absolutely insane.
Polly: She's absolutely insane.
NC (voiceover): But the movie suggests that Fred is there to help her. As you can plainly see in psychological healing scenes like this one.
Elizabeth: You’ve never helped me out.
Fred: Excuse me?? Yes, I have!
Elizabeth: You did not.
Fred: Did so.
Elizabeth: You did not.
Fred: I did!
Elizabeth: You didn't.
Fred: I did!
Elizabeth: You did not.
Fred: Yes, I did!
Elizabeth: (simultaneously) Did not, did not, did not, did not, did not, did not…
Fred: (simultaneously) I did! I did! I did, I did, I did, I did…
NC: (bellows in a deep voice) SHUT UP!!!
Fred: (stands up) That’s it! I hate you! (He kicks Elizabeth before running off.)
NC (voiceover): If this is psychological healing, then Michael Myers is the poster child for mental health! So after he gets run over by a…1940's fire truck, we have another flashback to Elizabeth’s childhood.
Fred: (shakes the sleeping Young Elizabeth) Wake up!
Young Elizabeth: (wakes up) What is it?
Fred: It’s time to play burglars. (cut to him and Young Elizabeth in the kitchen) We'll steal gold, and we’ll steal silver and we’ll steal jewels and we’ll hide them all in a place where no one will ever find them.
NC (voiceover): Okay, this child has some serious mental health issues! Drop Dead Fred isn't a charming figment of her imagination; he’s a psychotic repression of some dark part of her brain!
(Police cars arrive at the front of the house.)
NC (voiceover): So the police come and arrest her father—I don’t know; it’s stupid—as we cut to our present day reality and realize there was no point to that flashback.
Elizabeth: (to Polly) Can we talk about when I was little?
Polly: I haven’t got time for that. We have to get you back with Charles, and I’m the one to do it! Now, let’s go!
NC (voiceover): Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that Elizabeth’s entire goal through this movie is to get her husband Charles back, which is also bat-shit crazy. I mean, this is the guy who said…
Charles (Tim Matheson): The best thing is for me to go, go and live with Annabella.
NC (voiceover): And…
Charles: I couldn't help myself. I've been smitten by Annabella. I've been bewitched by her.
NC (voiceover): So why is she trying to get him back? Why are all her friends and family encouraging her to get him back? She may be insecure, but I don’t think she’ll have a problem finding another guy.
NC: You know, unless she makes this face.
The image of Elizabeth making the buck-toothed grin is shown with NC making a goofy laugh.
NC (voiceover): So it turns out that Charles has sent her a letter saying he wants to get back together. But who should show up at the meeting spot?
As Elizabeth gets ready by standing in front of a mirror, Fred magically appears, scaring her and making her scream.
Fred: I better go then, haven’t I?
Fred: There’s just one little problem. Charles isn't coming.
Elizabeth: What do you mean?
Fred: I wrote the note. (he laughs before running over to a different spot and teases her) Haven’t got a husband! Haven’t got a husband!
NC (voiceover): He is so delightful. It’s like having a stand-up comedian at the Holocaust.
Fred: What’s so special about him?
Elizabeth: I love him.
Elizabeth: He…he sends me flowers, brings me wine…
NC: (as Elizabeth) Cheats on me, says how he never wants to be around me… (his phone rings, and he picks it up to see who the incoming caller is) Oh, hey, it’s reality! (he answers the phone) Yes?
Reality: (on the other end of the phone) HELLLLOOOOOOOOOO! (NC recoils his head away from the yelling)
NC (voiceover): So she (Elizabeth) goes to Carrie Fisher’s houseboat—because people in movies always, for some reason, have houseboats—and asks if she can spend the night because she’s afraid of her imaginary friend. Fisher doesn’t even bat an eye at this and says “Okay.” So as Fisher goes to work the next day, Elizabeth swears that she sees Charles on a boat and decides she wants to follow him. Well, as stupid as this scenario is, at least we don’t have to deal with that obnoxious—(Elizabeth uses a pair of binoculars to follow the boat until it rests on Fred, who surprises her with a yell of 'PIRATES!') AH! Cocksucking damnit! So he comes aboard dressed as the bastard child of Cap’n Crunch and Lucky Charms as they try to chase after Charles’ boat.
Fred: Aye-Aye, captain! (He somersaults across the deck) Drown the fishes! (He breaks numerous things on board the house boat, then stands at its prow) Captain Fred’s in chaaaaarge!
NC: (beat) Yyyyeah, where are we on the Annoying Meter, anyway? (an accompanying scale graphic appears onscreen, featuring Michael Moore, Short Round and the dog from "Duck Hunt", along with the following as Fred’s head passes the scale left to right) Mmm-hmm, we've passed Edward from Twilight, uh, the racist robots from Transformers 2, which means we’re right between… (a “Ding!” sound is made after Fred’s head makes a stop) Chris Tucker and Jar Jar Binks! That’s quite an accomplishment, movie! That’s quite an accomplishment! (beat) Shoot yourself!
NC (voiceover): So we see that Fred sinks the houseboat as Elizabeth has to tell Fisher that she’s lost everything that she owns.
Elizabeth: Well, remember your house?
Elizabeth: It sank.
Janie: (sighs) Oh, everything I own is on that boat.
NC (voiceover): Uh, no. That is the wrong reaction. You don’t act like someone just got dirt on your rug. YOUR FUCKING HOME IS GONE! The correct response is: “Bitch, I kill you and your goddamn crazy imaginary friend! Here is the number of a mental hospital. You are dangerous!” But instead, she actually convinces Fisher that Fred is in the room, and… (stutters) And-and-and-and-and she believes her! She fucking believes her! She actually totally believes what she’s saying.
As Janie seems to fight against invisible Fred around an office chair in the middle of a hallway (while Fred and Elizabeth are actually standing by watching all this), several executives come out to see what is going on.
Executive: What are you doing, Miss Sharu?
Janie: I’m running for Congress! What does it look like?
NC (voiceover): I-I-I-I don’t get it! I really don’t! How come nobody in this movie is sane? The idea for this comedy to work is that fantasy meets reality, not fantasy meets bat-shit craziness! There is no fucking logic here!
Janie: It’s very hot in here, isn't it?
NC (voiceover): But it's okay. She (Elizabeth) meets up with that Mickey guy we saw earlier. Hopefully, he can snap some sense into her.
Fred is kneeling beside Elizabeth at the table and she picks up a glass of water to drink from it.
Elizabeth: I’d like to know more about the grownup Mickey Bunce.
Fred grabs the glass and shakes it, making her spill water a little.
Mickey: Okay, I— (notices the water spilling, but continues talking) After mine, I had to, you know, get back in the whole dating… Elizabeth spills her water onto her lap (presumably done by Fred, who we don’t see in the shot).
NC (voiceover): Okay, I’m convinced. This was meant to be a horror film, a horror film about a young woman who suffers from insanity in the form of a psychotic serial killer.
NC: I mean, watch this scene with different music and tell me you don’t get freaked out!
Cut back to the restaurant scene with a demonic choir singing Ave Satani (from The Omen) in the background (put in by NC).
Mickey: I hate the word “divorced,” but after mine, I had to, you know, go back in the whole dating…
Elizabeth spills her water onto her lap (presumably done by Fred, who we don’t see in the shot); Mickey smiles before we see her right hand twitch around (done by Fred) and knock a glass off the table.
Mickey: Why did you do that?
Fred gets behind Elizabeth and makes her cover her face with a napkin; she resists and removes the napkin to brush her hair aside; cut next to Fred picking up her plateful of food (which she holds), and she calmly puts it down before surprisingly throwing the plate behind her toward a window, to which a dining patron screams in reaction to the thrown plate.
NC: Yeah! Fucking spooky, isn’t it?
NC (voiceover): So finally, someone has to confront her on her odd behavior and snap some sense into her.
Mickey: Why did you do that?
Elizabeth: …I’m crazy.
NC: THANK YOU! The truth finally comes out! Now all we need is this guy to get her some psychological help, and we’ll all be—
Mickey (positively): You’re crazy in the most wonderful way!
NC: NOOOOOOOOOOOOO, NO! NO! NO! Eh, NO! NO! No, no, it—No! No! Eh—No! (shrugs a bit) No. Nope. Nope. (speaks quietly) No, no, no, no, no! No! No! NO! No, no, no, no (laughs a bit), nope. Nope. Noo. No. (starts raising his voice into a yell) No, no, no, no, no, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO! NO! NO-HO-HOH! NO, NO, NO-NO-NO-NO-NO! (starts flicking his right hand at the screen) NO! NO! NO! I’m projecting my “NO” onto this! NO!
Mickey: God, I-I wish I could be like that! I wish I could do those kinds of things!
NC (voiceover): Okay, nobody is well, nobody is sane, and nobody is mentally sound! Everyone in this movie is just fucking nuts! It makes no sense, it’s not funny, but that’s what they’re presenting to us! Hippity-fucking-ray!
Waiter: (to Mickey) You don’t throw spaghetti in my restaurant.
Mickey: Okay, okay, fine. (he stands up) You do it! (He brings his hands upward under the waiter’s plates to make him spill his plates behind him and dances gleefully)
NC (voiceover): Well, I hope you’re happy, Elizabeth. You just broke a man in every meaning of the word. Truly, Drop Dead Fred has brought joy and wonder into the hearts of the world!
Cut to Elizabeth and Fred at a mall in the center of a classical music performance.
Elizabeth: (to Fred) You are ruining my life! (The violinists notice this but continue playing) You know what? I don’t want an imaginary friend anymore. (Cut to her speaking alone) You see what you’re doing to me? You see me talking to myself? You’re driving me crazy.
NC (voiceover): (as the female violinist) Oh, I thought Carrie Fisher would be in that role.
Fred: Bye. (he magically disappears)
(Cut to Elizabeth watching the performance in the audience and hears a bad violin playing, and from her perspective, she sees Fred poorly playing the violin where the female violinist was standing; as she gets up to approach him, we hear Ave Satani being sung again.)
Elizabeth: I asked you nicely. (She smacks the violin off Fred’s hand; we see the violin break upon impact with the floor before the camera pans up to show Elizabeth brutally beating the female violinist with her handbag; realizing her mistake, she apologizes) I’m so sorry.
NC (voiceover): So, FINALLY, at the 50-minute mark, somebody takes her to see a psychiatrist! But to be fair, I think everybody in this movie should see a fucking psychiatrist.
Cut to the waiting room of the psychiatrist’s office.
Mother: (referring about the psychiatrist) He’s very good with children.
NC (voiceover): But then, here’s a weird twist: Fred comes across other people’s imaginary friends, and apparently, only he can see them.
NC: Well, that’s odd. The imaginary friend has imaginary friends? (beat) Well, what does that mean? Is it…trying to blur the line between Elizabeth’s madness and the possible existence of the character?
NC (voiceover): Maybe it’s supposed to symbolize that even madness can have madness of its own.
The Other Guy: (pops his head in from camera right) Maybe they’re suggesting there’s another world outside of our reality.
Bhargav: (pops in camera left) Yeah, maybe he’s the only real character in the imaginary world.
Victoria Turner: (appears behind NC) Perhaps they’re saying that crazy people have a connection on a higher plane.
NC: Yeah, or maybe madness begets madness.
Victoria Turner: …Maybe it’s just a pile of shit!
Bhargav: (simultaneously) Yep. Yep. Yeah, let’s go with that.
NC: (simultaneously) Yeah, yeah, that’s a good way to put it.
The Other Guy: (simultaneously) Yeah, yeah, it’s a…pretty shitty movie. (sighs)
NC: (quietly) Shit.
The Other Guy: (whispers) Crap.
NC (voiceover): So the doctor gives her pills to help Fred go away as we cut to yet ANOTHER FLASHBACK. But this one actually has a point. We see that after Fred and Elizabeth destroy the living room—for the sake of destroying the living room—her evil mother traps Fred in a Jack-in-the-box, and that’s where he’s been all these years.
Nigel Cronin (Daniel Gerroll): (to Polly while hugging Young Elizabeth) No, I won’t. I don’t want anything to do with it. It’s not right. (Polly starts taping up the jack-in-the-box before he gets up to speak face to face with her.) It’s not right!
NC: Yeah, how dare you cure her of her violent neuroses!
NC (voiceover): So while her mother and a nurse try to, you know, make her sane, she escapes from her house and goes to a party where Charles is, because, yes, she still wants him back.
Fred: (dressed properly) Where is he?
Elizabeth: I don’t know.
NC (voiceover): Look at him; he looks like a Conehead on fire!
Charles and Annabella embrace before he notices Elizabeth.
NC (voiceover): So she finds him, hugs him, and then leaves him. Odd strategy, but then again, everyone in this movie is a moron, so I bet it’ll work. (cut to Charles’ apartment with Fred and Elizabeth being there before they see Charles open the main door into the apartment) Hi-yo!
Charles: (to Elizabeth) You look fabulous.
NC (voiceover): So Dumb and Dumber are back together, but wouldn’t you know it? She finds out that he still hasn’t left his other girlfriend. So you’d think THIS would be the final straw, right—? Oh, you know the answer.
Fred: (is on the floor) Leave him.
Elizabeth: (speaks softly) I’m scared to be alone.
Fred: Come with me.
Elizabeth collapses onto Fred, merging within him.
NC (voiceover): What? I…what?
Fred teleports into a fantasy world, starting with the camera flying through some clouds.
NC (voiceover): (as an announcer) And welcome to Officially Snapped! You didn’t have much sanity to begin with, but now you don’t have to deal with any part of reality for the rest of your life! Enjoy your everlasting madness!
Elizabeth has entered a mock-up of her childhood house and the door shuts behind her before she admires everything in it.
NC (voiceover): Why do I see this movie ending with the line “I always depended on the kindness of strangers”? (Elizabeth continues looking around) Yes, apparently, she’s entered Tim Burton-land! Look! He’s remaking something that had black in it! (a red car with Imaginary Charles driving it approaches her) So I guess this world is supposed to be in her mind, where she confronts all the things she was afraid of before.
Imaginary Polly: (stands in the way of Elizabeth in a doorway) Just where do you think you’re going? You can’t go in there.
NC: (as Joan Crawford from Mommie Dearest, shakes his fist in the air) No more wire hangers!
Elizabeth: I’m not afraid of you!
Imaginary Polly disappears in a burst of flame.
NC (voiceover): She comes across her younger self taped to a bed and finally frees her.
Elizabeth: You don’t have to be afraid anymore. (she and Young Elizabeth hug each other)
NC (voiceover): Aww, so this was all Fred’s attempt to make her come to grips with her childhood. YOU KNOW, THERE WAS A MORE SUBTLE NON-DESTRUCTIVE WAY OF DOING THAT, YOU JACKASS!
Elizabeth: (to Fred) Let’s go.
Fred: No. You have to go alone. I can’t get back now.
NC: (as Elizabeth) But who else will almost ruin my life?
NC (voiceover): So she gives Fred a hug, goes back to reality, and stands up to all her fears. She even drops by to visit Mickey and his daughter. But it turns out the babysitter is having some issues.
Babysitter: (to Mickey) She’s made a terrible mess in the kitchen, and she expects me to believe that some pretend friend did it.
Natalie (Mickey’s daughter): He’s not pretend! He’s Drop Dead Fred.
As Elizabeth looks on with a smile to see Natalie giggle and hold up her pinkie finger, we hear Ave Satani one last time before the film fades to black.
NC (voiceover): What a horrifying film.
NC: My diagnosis? Stay away from Drop Dead Fred for as long as you can!
Clips from the movie play again as NC gives his closing summary.
NC (voiceover): It’s an ugly hate-filled movie that doesn’t know what message they’re trying to get across, who they’re trying to get it across to, and what’s the best way to deliver it. The psychological ramifications are just disturbing! It’s trying to be like Alice in Wonderland but it’s more like Wonderland in Alice. It’s just creepy!
NC: My final conclusion? Stay away from women with imaginary friends. (beat) Especially ones who look like this.
The screenshot of Elizabeth’s goofy grin is shown once more with a horse neighing in the background.
NC: I’m the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don’t have to. (He gets up to leave with his clipboard)
Channel Awesome Tagline—Mickey: You’re crazy in the most wonderful way!