Drop Dead Fred was one of the weirdest kids’ films of the nineties. The 12-rated comedy started with a little kid branding her mother’s bedtime story “a pile of shit” and ended with another little girl living her twisted imagined daydreams with the titular green-clad madman played by Rik Mayall. It appeared to be an air-headed slapstick comedy film about nothing in particular, but really it was about self-respect and the courage it takes to be alone – not that it always expressed itself in the most coherent terms. Still, rewatching it today is a nostalgia trip: here’s everything that makes it a classic, 25 years on from its release.
1. It had Rik Mayall on impressively hyperactive form
2. It taught us how to deal with being an adult IRL in a very honest way
The whole lunch scene is gold, actually.
3. It was unapologetically weird
4. Properly, educationally weird
5. It brought us Snotface
It took Snotface until literally 15 minutes before the end of the film to realise that Charles was a terrible, terrible human being.
6. It had this hilarious nurse in it
And she said things like, “I’ve got a black belt and I can break you like that.”
7. It had, like, come-the-fuck-on levels of ’90s awfulness
Why is a 5-year-old girl’s imaginary friend doing this all the time?
8. But the hair, though!
Everyone, meet Proto-Jedward
9. And the inherent ridiculousness of it all
Thank you, Carrie Fisher, for your improbably credible portrayal of a best friend being totally ok with the destruction of her home and livelihood.
10. The crazily bitchy mother, aka Megabitch
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All she wanted was her daughter’s love
11. The lame slapstick we loved as kids
Especially the bit with the toga
12. The faces
13. The anti-kids-filmness of it all, generally
There was even a good bit of swearing from the kid
14. Its emotional twists and turns
15. And despite all that crazed energy, its human heart