8 Heads in a Duffel Bag

Watch 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag

"A mindless comedy."
  • R
  • 1997
  • 1 hr 35 min
  • 5.4  (11,004)
  • 15

In "8 Heads in a Duffel Bag," Joe Pesci plays a hitman named Tommy Spinelli who, while traveling by plane with a bag of severed heads intended for his boss, accidentally switches his bag with that of a college student named Charlie (Andy Comeau). Charlie is headed to Mexico to meet his girlfriend Laurie (Kristy Swanson) and her wealthy, overbearing father Bennett (George Hamilton), who wants Charlie to become a doctor and marry his daughter.

When Charlie discovers the gruesome contents of the bag, he tries to dispose of it, but is constantly thwarted in his efforts. The heads keep popping up in the most inconvenient places -- a hotel swimming pool, a mariachi band's instrument cases, the trunk of a rented car -- leading to increasingly absurd scenarios and causing Charlie a great deal of anxiety.

Meanwhile, Tommy is having some trouble of his own. His boss wants the heads delivered on time and doesn't appreciate excuses, so Tommy hires a private investigator (David Spade) to track down the missing bag. He also finds himself falling for a woman named Cynthia (Dyan Cannon), who thinks he's a salesman and has no idea about his true profession.

As the various characters converge in Mexico, the tension builds and the stakes get higher. Charlie's attempts to get rid of the heads become more and more desperate, and Tommy's boss becomes increasingly impatient. Along the way, there are car chases, shootouts, and plenty of dark humor.

Despite the macabre premise, "8 Heads in a Duffel Bag" is a surprisingly light and breezy comedy. Pesci is in fine form as the world-weary hitman, delivering his dialogue with a deadpan snarl that is both menacing and hilarious. Comeau is a likable everyman, and Swanson and Hamilton are both very funny as Charlie's high-strung girlfriend and her domineering father. The supporting cast is also solid, with Spade providing some much-needed comic relief and Cannon bringing warmth to her role as Tommy's love interest.

The film was directed by Tom Schulman, who also wrote the screenplay for "Dead Poets Society." While "8 Heads in a Duffel Bag" is a very different kind of movie, Schulman's talent for creating memorable characters and sharp dialogue is evident here. The film also benefits from a catchy soundtrack that includes songs by The Muffs and The Goo Goo Dolls.

While some viewers may find the premise of "8 Heads in a Duffel Bag" too grisly for their taste, the film is never really about the violence. Rather, it's a comedy of errors that pokes fun at organized crime, college life, and the clash of cultures between the U.S. and Mexico. It's a film that doesn't take itself too seriously and is all the more enjoyable for it.

Overall, "8 Heads in a Duffel Bag" is a fun little movie that deserves more recognition than it has received. While it may not be a classic, it's certainly worth a watch for fans of dark comedies and Joe Pesci's brand of humor.

8 Heads in a Duffel Bag is a 1997 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 35 minutes. It has received poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.4 and a MetaScore of 15.

8 Heads in a Duffel Bag
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 35 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.4  (11,004)
  • Metascore