8 Heads in a Duffel Bag (1997) Poster

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6/10
Switch of your brain for once and enjoy.
philip_vanderveken8 October 2004
Before I watched this movie I already read the reviews on IMDb. Almost everybody says it is an awful movie. Well, I'm in a good mood today and I'm not going to follow everybody's opinion. I liked it, not all the time, but it was OK.

Joe Pesci is a mobster who has two days to deliver 8 heads of other criminals to his boss. If he fails his head will be the next to be cut off. Of course on the airport his bag is switched with another one.

Not all the gags and jokes are good. There are some very predictable and embarrassing ones. Not only embarrassing for a great actor like Joe Pesci, but also for the guy who came up with them. However, there were some terrific ones as well, the best perhaps is the dream sequence. I'm not going to tell what happened, but it is really hilarious.

Overall I would call it an enjoyable movie when you are able to switch off your brain for once. I gave it a 6/10, which isn't bad for this kind of movies.
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6/10
A Pleasant Surprise
tohu16 September 2006
The rest of the IMDb reviewers have got it about right. This is a good film. Nothing special or brilliant, but it does what it sets out to do which is to make you laugh - and it does so much better than most films of its kind.

I started watching this expecting to change channels quite quickly. I only gave it a chance at all because Joe Pesci was in it - which is never a bad asset for a film. What happened was I found myself smiling quite a lot, and then laughing quite a lot. Not uproariously or uncontrollably. But out loud, and more than once.

Pesci is good - but so is just about everyone else. And the script is wickedly funny too. It's much less predictable than most of its kind, There are twists which are genuinely surprising and interesting, and the film stays pretty fresh (even though in truth it's probably 20 minutes too long).

I'm quite a harsh marker, so a 6 from me is quite a compliment for a film like this. Well-written, nicely-paced, silly without being annoying, and containing some funny performances and a lot of good moments, you will like this one if you give it a chance.
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7/10
A pretty entertaining comedy of errors
Mike-DD24 August 2000
Quite a load of laughs in this movie. Funny and entertaining, as well as maintaining interest by throwing in a few surprises and twists. Fine acting by most of the actors, in the sense that they manage to capture the uproarious mood of the movie throughout, with its series of laugh-invoking antics designed to prevent innocent people of knowing what's in the duffel bag, while seeking to try to either get rid or exchange for the correct bags. Not a classic comedy in any sense, but one which will keep you laughing and smirking throughout, without resorting to gags all the time to make you enjoy.
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7/10
A crude but funny film
rob-23617 May 1999
I went in to this film with absolutely no expectation at all and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. It is in some parts so daft that you just can't help but snigger. Joe Pesci is great as a Mafia man assigned to bring back the heads of 8 'hits' he has made on the West coast. Enter a medical student, with a similar looking bag, his girlfriend and her family and you have the recipe for good crude comedy. Worth checking out if you are in the mood for a chuckle.
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10/10
Great cast, great comedy.
nfiz23 July 2006
8 Heads in a Duffel Bag is a great example of a perfect situation comedy film. The events and(especially)the reaction to those events is comedy at its best. The directing conveys the humorous, yet dangerous tone of the film in a very superb way. The writing tells a story full of insane circumstances happening to normal, everyday people. The acting of the film, most notably that of Joe Pesci and David Spade, is such a huge part of the comedy that the film definitely couldn't have had otherwise. All in all, perfect writing, perfect acting. Watch and laugh.

Travis.
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6/10
Second best "head in a bag" movie ever .........
merklekranz18 November 2009
Perhaps inspired by the Warren Oates classic "Bring Me the Head of Alffredo Garcia", this heads in a bag comedy has a strong opening, and a somewhat ridiculous finish. The actor's do quite well with what is essentially a one joke movie. "8 Heads in a Duffel Bag" starts as black comedy, but eventually morphs into nothing more than slapstick. The ending at the airport is especially weak, as any idea of how to conclude the film seems to have been lost. Nevertheless, the strong, "dark" first half, along with above average comedy material saves the movie, and compared to some of today's lame comedies, I can recommend seeing "8 Heads in a Duffel Bag." - MERK
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4/10
so many unlikeable characters
SnoopyStyle1 August 2015
Tommy Spinelli (Joe Pesci) is a mob guy transporting 8 heads across the country as proof of deaths. Charlie mistakenly picks up his bag. He's on vacation with his girlfriend Laurie Bennett (Kristy Swanson) and her parents (George Hamilton, Dyan Cannon). Laurie wants to break up. The mother is a recovering alcoholic. When she finds the heads, everybody thinks she's drunk.

Joe Pesci is aggressively hateful and not in a funny way. Charlie is pathetic and the actor lacks charisma. Laurie is unlikeable. Nobody is likable. Also they are boring. The family slapstick is bland and weak. At least Pesci isn't boring. However the whole movie is unfunny.
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3/10
The title says it all
=G=31 May 2002
"8 Heads in a Duffel Bag" is a lame comedy built around a duffel bag which contains 8 human heads and all the nonsensical things which can happen to 8 heads. Except for Pesci, the film has a bunch of second rate acting talent involved in a silly make-it-up-as-you-go story about a gangster who's transporting the duffel bag and, of course, gets it mixed up with a similar duffel bag in airport baggage claim (how original) and....blaa, blaa. Bottom line; this no brainer offers marginal entertainment for the hard up couch potato and little else.
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2/10
Good Start, But Goes Downhill Fast
ccthemovieman-113 August 2007
Well, I have to admit the title of this film caught my eye, enough for me to check out the VHS back in the late '90s. I also was encouraged by the beginning of this film. It starts off very promising with a funny premise and some really good humor.

But - wow - does terrible acting start to take over by the two leads, Andy Comeau and Kristy Swanson! No wonder these two never made it as film stars. The overacted so badly, it was embarrassing to watch. George Hamilton did a poor job, sounding very wooden.

Only Joe Pesci and Dyan Cannon gave any kind of acting performances in this dark comedy. Often, I love black comedies but this movie was just so poorly executed, so convoluted and overly mean-spirited, it was a waste of time. You want to just take a bath after watching (and listening to over 20 abuses of the Lord's name in vain) this and hope you forget the 90 minutes you just totally wasted. As mentioned, the best thing about the movie is the title.
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7/10
"Don't ever f--- with a guy looking for heads."
classicsoncall28 June 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I've read quite a few books about the Mafia but I don't recall that bringing back the head of a mob hit was ever a requirement to prove the job was done. I guess you just have to go with the concept here the same way you go in to see something like "Snakes on a Plane" or "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter". The idea is just so far fetched that you have to see it through to see how it all plays out. Joe Pesci is the right guy to pull off something like this, he's a lot like the character Tommy DeVito he portrays in 1990's "Goodfellas". His name is Tommy here too, so maybe he's the same guy, who knows? He's got a scene here that reminds me of yet another oddly titled flick, "Throw Momma From the Train" when he heaves George Hamilton's mother out of the car for being a bit overbearing. Look, no one's going to confuse this with being a great movie in any way but it's relatively entertaining if you like Pesci and his wise guy manner. With George Hamilton and Dyan Cannon both pushing sixty when the film was made, you have to admit they made a fine looking couple. Story continuity takes a bit of a beating as the picture progresses but I don't think that's what one looks for in a picture with a title like this. So don't even bother wondering what ever happened to George Hamilton when the picture ends.
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8/10
Wow.
cjase220077 May 2018
This movie is such an under rated gem. Great writing and great cast. From one of the producers of Dumb and Dumber, it totally works as a comedy. Very fun. It's a little over the top, but very funny. Great for a Friday or Saturday night with the guys. I just found my favorite movie!
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5/10
Funny, but that's all.
SwatchDog6 July 2000
Why wasn't this film given a cinematic release here in Australia? "8 Heads in a Duffel Bag" is a hilarious goofball comedy in the tradition of Weekend at Bernies, Billy Madison, There's Something about Mary, Dumb & Dumber, The Stupids, etc..

Who really cares about plot - look at the title?? Were you expecting Schindler's List? I was roaring with laughter from start to finish. Joe Pesci was fantastic as the hitman. I loved the airplane scene hehe ("Sure make conversation, just do it in sign language"). The rest of the cast performed nicely as well. I particularly liked Dyan Cannon as the recovering alco. I laughed my head off when she found the head, same for when Kristy Swanson found them ("You got me a present!"). When the heads broke out into song ("Mr Sandman") I was laughing tears.

David Spade annoyed me but this minor flaw can be discarded by screaming "Up Your Ziggy with a WahWah brush" everytime he comes on screen - helped me relax!

Entertainment Scale: 8/ 10

Overall: 7/10
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8/10
Much better than I expected...
tunafish-219 May 2002
You wouldn't watch it with your mother, but it's really quite funny. Joe Pesci's character is so utterly repugnant that you kind of watch him with a sense of awe and wonder if he's really as bad as he seems. See it and find out

A special mention to Dyan Cannon who has some of the choicest scenes and the best line of the whole movie.

8/10
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10/10
You'll laugh your head off!
Nomad-728 November 2002
Sure, there's nothing funny about a bagman carrying the heads of eight murdered men across the country, but this movie is a scream. Pesci is wonderful. The story is obvious--swapped luggage--but it's never been done like this before. You won't believe that you could laugh so hard at something this unfunny, but you will!
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1/10
Stick This Film in a Duffel Bag.
anaconda-406584 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
8 Heads in a Duffel Bag (1997): Dir: Tom Shulman / Cast: Andy Cameau, Joe Pesci, Kristy Swanson, George Hamilton, Dyan Cannon: This film couldn't be any worse if it was scribbled on toilet paper. Catchy title but for what extent? That there are sick people out there? For whatever reason Joe Pesci must deliver eight heads in a duffel bag to his boss but on a plane the bag gets in the possession of Andy Cameau who is on his way to Mexico to see his girlfriend and meet her parents. Pesci tortures two of Cameau's college buddies while Cameau and his girlfriend deal with the eight heads. Plot boils down to chasing about eight heads and attempting to replace them. Director Tom Shulman seems to be quoting from old style comedies but fails to provide a payoff. A dream sequence involving singing heads is inventive but perhaps another director could have brought greater substance to it. Pesci is a capable actor but his satire take on his gangster roles are hardly inspiring here, and the ending painting him as some sort of nice guy is revolting. Andy Cameau is embarrassing as he and his girlfriend, played by Kristy Swanson run about aimlessly to solve this sick dilemma. George Hamilton and Dyan Cannon play her parents and this is a major step down in their once flourishing careers. Pointless screenplay should be placed in a duffel bag and lit on fire. Score: 1 / 10
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3/10
One Joke Turkey
Mitch-387 May 2000
Essentially a one-joke movie dragged on from start to finish, EIGHT HEADS IN A DUFFEL BAG is not especially good. The film's notion is to be a farce, but the timing is so poor, most of the jokes flop...and I do mean badly. Joe Pesci, in another self-parodying role, starts looking bored after the first twenty minutes or so. That expression magically mirrored the audience, as well.

A couple of gags came off well, including Pesci's dream sequence, which I'd have to say is ahead of its time. The rest would bored overactive children to sleep.
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One of my favorite comedy
AlexanderExtazy4 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Forget about those silly low ratings. This is one of Joe Pesci's best movies.

He sure can play a terrific hit man is all I got to say!

The story from start till finish doesn't have any second with boredom in it.. every part and every minute is as interesting as the second coming!

The whole Mexican vacation setting is very lovely, and the comedy in it (especially the two dorky roommates) was hilarious.

It's hard to find a good comedy to laugh on these days, with all the rubbish being produced nowadays.

This ladies and gentlemen is a comedy classic, and I can surely vouch for any comedy lover to watch it .. at least once!
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8/10
good movie for people with good senses of humor
vlvetmorning9821 February 2004
I saw this wonderful movie during its theatrical release, and everyone in the small theatre, including myself and my mother, loved just about every scene. Watch it with an open mind and you'll be very pleased. Joe Pesci, Kristy Swanson, and especially Ernestine Mercer, are absolutely hilarious. Even David Spade doesn't completely suck! Nice surreal touches as well.
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When this movie was over, I needed a different kind of bag...
Monkasi26 May 2002
Warning: Spoilers
I rented this movie from the local video store when I was seventeen years old. At this young, tender age I innocently believed that all comedies were created equal. If a film wanted to make me laugh, it would make me laugh - no questions asked. Truth be told, I can't even remember why I rented it. Perhaps it was because Joe Pesci was in it; if he was funny in HOME ALONE, then surely he'd be funny here. And the movie would be a blast as well.

As it turned out, I was right on only one count. Pesci is wonderful in 8 HEADS IN A DUFFEL BAG, playing his sadistic mobster shtick to the hilt. However, a little bit of Pesci goes a looooong way: halfway into the picture, I realized that his brand of dark comedy had seeped into every comic situation, rendering the movie a sordid mess.

I have nothing against dark comedy, but 8 HEADS IN A DUFFEL BAG doesn't so much push the envelope as rend it asunder. There is so much vulgarity and mean-spiritedness that I actually began to pity the characters, trapped as they were in their little 1950s sitcom universe from Hell.

Joe Pesci notwithstanding, every character in this movie is a loathsome stereotype. We have the naive young man, the squeamish girlfriend, the clueless father, the ditzy wife, the crotchety old grandma, etc. And let's not forget all those hot-blooded Italians and sneaky Mexicans.

There was one - only ONE - point where I really surrendered myself to gales of joyful laughter. It was the great comic set-piece wherein Pesci's mobster is asleep and dreams that the eight severed heads of the movie's title come to life and begin singing "Mr. Head Man" (to the tune of "Mr. Sandman") like seasoned recording artists. Then their headless bodies crash through the wall and begin to strangle our hero. I laughed my proverbial butt off at this surreal comic masterpiece. Then the scene ended - and I went back to being not amused again.

At the end of the movie, one of the characters tries to make up for nearly two hours of bleak vacuum by spouting a barrage of "head" puns ("Stop a-HEAD," "Anyone need to use the HEAD?", etc.) and other corny jokes, some of which were, admittedly, quite clever. But, as they say, it was too little, too late.

On a scale of 1-8 heads, I give 8 HEADS IN A DUFFEL BAG a small section off the smaller ear of the smallest head in Tommy Spinelli's bag.
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10/10
So Ridiculous It's Hilarious! lololol
Ainsley_Jo_Phillips28 June 1999
There are two main kinds of ridiculous movies, in my opinion:

(1) movies that are ridiculous because they have too many flaws in one or more of the following areas: (a) overly hyperkinetic (b) overly draggy (c) merely vehicles for displaying shock (e.g. violence, gore, profanity, nudity) (d) movies with such an obvious lack of focus and direction as if they're trying to be all things to all people and pleasing nobody (e) Movies that try to appear to be deep and intellectual by presenting a bunch of meaningless mishmash

(2) Movies that are ridiculous, because that's what they're

intended to be (Think: THREE STOOGES)

In my opinion, 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag, falls into this last category of ridiculous movies! It's a scream! Such an interesting and original plot! It's not a message movie (unless it's to tell people to check their luggage more carefully before getting too far from the airport). It's just for laughs--and it certainly made ME laugh! If you just want to have a good laugh, check THIS one out!
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Not horrid, not great, somewhere in between
cofemug18 August 2000
Warning: Spoilers
The movie is trying oh so hard to be a dark comedy that is not that dark. It has many moments that it plain slapstick, as well as many moments to gross the public out. The movie, therefore, was too light for a good dark comedy (give me Very Bad Things, or Dr. Strangelove any day of the week), and too dark to appeal to the mass audience. It will only appeal to a small segment of the population.

For instance, when the heads start singing "Mr. Sandman" in a dream sequence, it is too ridiculous not to laugh, yet too disgusting for many. Another aspect of the movie that I did not like was Pesci's character had a conscience. He is supposed to be this hard-boiled criminal, but has a heart of gold? What is up with that?

The best part of the movie was the grandmother. She was just droll and hilarious compared to the rest of the movie. **Spoiler****Spoiler** It was really hilarious when Pesci throws her over the cliff, and Cannon says, "I thought the old battleaxe would never die."

The rest of the movie did not deal with disgusting events, with a couple exceptions, and just was too silly for a dark comedy. Therefore, it was not that enjoyable. However, it did have some down and out-right hilarious moments. And, it had many elements of the dark comedy genre, so extreme fans of the genre should see it just to see how not to do stuff if they want a mass appeal.

6/10
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3/10
this sucks
hanselmerchor14 January 2003
one of the worst movies ever. Pesci, who is usually good, reminds us that he is nobody without DeNIro and Scorcese. Avoid this at all costs, the plot the acting and the dialogue is beyond pathetic. Nothing good, it is not funny, if anything it will upset your stromach.
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1/10
A piece of crap
FALinhares14 July 2002
This film is a piece of crap and a bag full of prejudice over south American countries.

First of all the boy trying to be "Tom Hanks", sai that he cannot call the police over Mexico because there are no laws in Mexico and he would be fried. Later the girl has a brilliant idea of FEDEX 8 heads to USA, then the stupid guy said again that there's no FEDEX in Mexico. The guy that made the film doesn't even know about one of the biggest companies in USA... Later an American is arrested in Mexico and their Mexican lawyer said that he had good and bad news. The good one was that the American was over only mild torture???? The bad one is that he was sentenced to death??? Later after having their car stolen in Mexico the same stupid boy "finds" the car available for rent in a car rental store. One stupid ridiculous joke after another.

The people who worked on this film should ashamed on theirselves
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7/10
Headed in the right direction
bkrauser-81-31106427 October 2011
The film begins auspiciously enough; Tommy (Joe Pesci) a middleman for two assassins is hired to transport eight severed heads to their mob boss to prove their owners are dead. This would be his last job before his retirement so to play it safe, he packs them in a duffel bag and takes a plane instead of driving because, you know, airport security was less stringent in 1997. While on board the plane, Tommy meets Charlie (Andy Comeau) a college student set to meet his girlfriend (Kristy Swanson) and her parents (George Hamilton & Dyan Cannon) in Mexico. Naturally Charlie's duffel bag get switched and madness ensues.

If you're interest was peaked by that small synopsis you're in for a mixed bag. The story unfolds somewhat predictably though definitely not without energy. Joe Pesci who has been able to hone-in on his inner Guido since Goodfellas, barks, snaps and growls to the point where every scene he's in is utter magic. Even with a situation as cliché as being on the phone while an impatient extra circles behind you is done with panache. His costars however play their parts with less success. Andy Comeau has the appearance of your typical rube but he doesn't have the attention to detail more experienced actors have. Playing it safe he seems frazzled when he should be panicked. David Spade and Todd Louiso who play Charlie's college friends and are shoehorned into the series of unfortunate events fare better but get a little annoying towards the end. Aside from Pesci, the only person who really hits a home run is Ernestine Mercer who plays Swanson's no-nonsense grandmother.

"8 Heads" however, is a fun time waster and manages to keep things light despite its dark subject matter. Writer/Director Tom Schulman who also wrote "What About Bob?" and "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" manages to keep the pace of your average farce without reinventing the wheel. And yes, there are head puns in this film but the groaner aren't the only thing this film has going for it.

http://theyservepopcorninhell.blogspot.com/
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5/10
Not recommended.
gridoon2 August 2003
The premise of eight elusive disembodied heads is promising, for a black comedy at least, but the rest of the script is way too convoluted, with way too many characters. The entire cast tries hard (in Dyan Cannon's case, TOO hard), and there are some sporadic laughs, but overall this is a pretty desperate - not to mention appallingly racist - comedy. Terrific makeup effects, though. (**)
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