8 Heads in a Duffel Bag (1997) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
49 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
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.
15 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
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.
15 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
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.
17 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
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.
17 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
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.
13 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
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.
6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
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.
9 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
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.
9 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
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
5 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
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!
6 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
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
4 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
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.
5 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
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
6 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
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.
4 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
Not good, not horrible, but close.
Ezra50130 July 1999
Well, what can I say, it is the first movie in the comedy Isle of my local video store. I have made it a goal to watch every movie in that section, and unfortunately this movie has to be the first one. Actually 6th sense was the first one, but I have seen that one not to long ago so I didn't bother to get that one. Anyways, it was predictable and lame, and if it weren't for David Spade's trademark sarcasm, I would have given it a zero. It had it's moments however, but a few clever lines does not make up for other short comings. Anyways, that how I feel.
5 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
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
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
The oldest gag in comedy refurnished into a fairly entertaining film.
Coventry3 October 2004
The luggage of mobster delivery boy Tommy (Joe Pesci), carrying 8 human heads, gets mixed up at the airport with the luggage of medical student Charlie who's on a vacation in Mexico to first meet his future parents-in-law. Tommy desperately needs his mob-hit proof back and Charlie already has a hard time making a good impression to his girl's parents. These simple basics, that already were the inspiration for many lame comedies, are completed with further slapstick story lines like the hunt for replacement heads (when some of the original go missing), neurotic mothers-in-law and dumbass mafia guys. The first 15 minutes are so filled with delightful black humor and witty one-liners (Joe Pesci is in great shape) that they give you impression you're in for a swell comedy. Unfortunately, 8 Heads in a duffel Bag quickly turns into an overly hectic and unoriginal time-waster, better fit for TV. Joe Pesci can act like his old self again completely and who else could portray a loud-mouthed mob courier? David Spade also gets to reprise his trusted role of college numb nut and he's always good for a few chuckles. The gorgeous Kristy Swanson is a shamefully underused. 8 heads in a duffel bag is ideal late-night TV material, providing you with a few laughs and modest grins. The day after, however, you completely forgot about it.
4 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
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. (**)
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Hmmmmmmm.....
chaplins_charlie27 February 2003
Alot of my friends recommended this movie to me saying it was good and down right hilarious. Well, I decided to rent it, but I was out of luck and couldn't find it in the video store. Anyways, 2 years later I'm in a video store outlet and I find it. Since it was cheap, I bought the video. I must say, that after watching this movie I was pretty surprised!! I didn't find it funny or amuzing. I did like the scene where Pesci breaks the pay phones and the "Mr. Simon" song scene with the heads though!! Those were the only hilarious parts through the whole movie. The movie lacked seriousness and although the plot was good, the acting was alittle too sloppy and silly and that's what made the movie pretty lame. And not to mention non-stop profanity. However, Pesci and David Spade were really funny together. 2 and a half out of five stars!!
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
A pathetic mediocre work to be forgotten
angelps10 October 2002
What does the writter see on inteligent comedy movies? It's obvius that he doesn't understand a word. I amaze there are people proud to sign this pathetic boring poor work, product of an ignorant head emptier than the eight ones in the bag.

And to complete the mediocre job, it contains insulting jokes about Mexico that would deserve my scorn if i'll ever think about this forgettable movie again. And I will not, for sure.
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
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.
5 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Mindless Mafia Farce Loses It Own Head
zardoz-1316 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
You won't laugh your head off at "8 Heads in a Duffel Bag" because this decapitated comedy of errors is about as funny as a frontal lobotomy. Pint-sized Joe Pesci of "Goodfellas" plays Tommy, a combustible, crew-cut, wise-guy who must deliver a duffel bag of eight heads to a vengeful crime boss. Basically, the mob chieftain insists on verifying the contents for himself. Andy Comeau co-stars as a clean-cut college kid named Charlie, with a duffel bag of duds, bound for a weekend in Mexico with his cute girlfriend Laurie Bennett (Kristy Swanson of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer") and her stuffy parents. Dyan Cannon and George Hamilton play Laurie's mother and father Annette and Dick Bennett. Tommy and Charlie take the same flight out, sit next to each other, but don't hit it off. Guess whose bags do the duffel shuffle in all the airport chaos. When Tommy learns he has snagged the wrong bag, he heads off for Charlie's college fraternity house. He tortures Charlie's two pin-headed med school pals Ernie (David Spade) and Steve (Todd Louiso) who cannot tell Tommy a thing because they know nothing about Charlie's plans. How much laughter can you generate from of a scene where a thug snaps a wet towel at two naked frat boys? Meanwhile, in Mexico, David's future mother-in-law, Annette Bennett (Dyan Cannon of "Bob, Carol, Ted, and Alice") discovers the grisly contents of the bag and turn into a basket case. Charlie and his girlfriend try to lose the heads, but nothing they do works. Thieves steal Dick Bennett's truck fro them, and a coyote snatches one of the noggins. Dick winds up in a Mexican hoosegow after two heads show up in his baggage at the airport. Eventually, just as Tommy is about to snuff the frats, Charlie calls. Charlie and Tommy agree to get their heads together. By this time, writer & director Tom Schulman has devoted half of the movie to time spent in Mexico on the labored comedy of characters up to their ears in head games. The lowbrow plot gets even more complicated and less humorous. Tommy finds out that Charlie might have let a couple of heads roll, so he forces Ernie and Steve to help him come up with two replacement craniums.

While all of this is happening, two more mob guys trail Tommy across the border. It seems that the headstrong crime boss is pretty head up waiting for his heads. Bennett's mother, a chain-smoking battle ax, shows up, too. The trouble with "8 Heads" is that Schulman spends too much time bringing Tommy and Charlie together. A good comedy of errors depends on nimble timing, witty humor, and a snappy story. "8 Heads" squanders too much time on plot filler and gets a little too mean-spirited, particularly when Tommy spews profanities galore. The confusion that guillotines the best laid plans of the heroes rarely elicits a laugh. Tommy looks like a headbanger who wandered in from a Martin Scorsese bloodbath.

You know you're in trouble at a comedy when the movie allots more time to the exposition than the gags. You know you're watching an empty-heded comedy when the movie characters resort to jokes about the film. You know the movie-makers are desperate when the resort to a dream sequence. They have the heads warble a tune in Tommy's dreams, while their headless bodies attack him. Pretty soon you notice, too, that the laughs get to be fewer and far between. When one of the characters suggests a better plan than what the writer gave to the star, you know you're in a bad movie. Charlie criticizes Tommy for not flying the heads out on a privately chartered jet. Sure, the heads would arrive intact, but there would be no comedy. Anyway, it shows what a numbskull Tommy is. You'd at least mark your bag if you were toting around severed body parts, right?

Compared with the wise guys that he impersonated in "Goodfellas" and "Casino," Pesci's errand boy Tommy is just plain cranky. He loves to smash phones and brandish his giant automatic pistol. Tommy makes a terrible hero because he's never sympathetic and he is much too stupid. Indeed, it is fun to see a couple of 1960s era stars like Cannon and Hamilton co-star in a 1990s film, but they're wasted in stereotypical supporting roles. Hamilton phones in most of his lines to his mother, trying to persuade her not to visit their motel. Spade sleepwalks through a role that demands very little of his enormously dry talent.

"8 Heads in a Duffel Bag" belongs to the corpse comedy genre. Even "Weekend at Bernie's 2" was one head and one body about this multi-cranical farce. Pesci fans will wonder why he gave his nod to this skullduggery.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
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.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
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
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed