1990s Comedy Horror Box Office Bomb Gains Cult Following

By Brian Myers | Published

To say that Nothing but Trouble was a box office disappointment would have been the understatement of 1991. The Dan Aykroyd-directed film was set up to be a smash-it, with fellow Saturday Night Live player Chevy Chase, comedy great John Candy, and rising star Demi Moore joining Aykroyd on screen in a big-budget production of what should have been the comedy film of the year. Instead, the movie was panned by every major critic, ignored by film audiences, and left to rot in the dustbin of forgotten films quickly.

Even Nothing But Trouble’s Stars Hate The Film

Even today, Nothing but Trouble has a less than lukewarm reception among cinephiles. It garners a measly 15 percent rating across 26 critics on Rotten Tomatoes and is even disliked by the film’s star, Chevy Chase. However, there are a number of factors that explain why the film has slowly built a cult following over the last 30+ years.

Dan Aykroyd Plays A Creepy Judge

The storyline that begins Nothing but Trouble is innocuous enough. The publisher of a finance magazine (Chevy Chase) begins driving two of his clients (Taylor Negron and Bertila Damas) and an attorney (Demi Moore) to a meeting in Atlantic City. During a detour in the tiny village of Valkenvania, the group fails to stop at a stop sign and is detained by the Chief of Police. They are taken in front of the local, withered judge (played by Aykroyd) and imprisoned after insulting him.

Chase And Aykroyd Are The Perfect Pairing

The dry humor of Chevy Chase and the zaniness of a nearly unrecognizable Dan Aykroyd offset one another against the backdrop of a film that’s a great mashup of comedic horror and modern noir. Nothing but Trouble might have only earned back a mere $8 million of its $45 million budget, but seeing the two SNL greats positioned against each other on screen is priceless.

Dramatic escapes, a forced engagement, torturous executions, and a plot for vengeance wrap neatly around a film that takes more twists and turns than a rural mountain roadway. Nothing but Trouble serves as a testament to the idea that a film can still be great, even if its greatness stems from the absurdity of its plotline.

Tupac Shakur’s Film Debut

As a bonus, legendary hip-hop pioneers Digital Underground cameo in Nothing but Trouble, playing themselves. The judge has incarcerated the group on a speeding charge, and performs their hit “Same Song” in an attempt to appeal to the court’s mercy. It marks the first time the late Tupac Shakur appeared in a film and one of the last tracks he recorded with the group before launching his successful solo career.

Where To Watch Nothing But Trouble

john candy


The assembly of so much talent on the screen, combined with the unique set design, impeccable makeup, and tongue-in-cheek dialogue certainly go a long way in redeeming Nothing but Trouble from the critics. It’s a solid 4 out of 5-star cinematic adventure that’s sure to grow its cult fanbase in the years to come.

Nothing but Trouble is available for rent on streaming services that include Apple, YouTube, Vudu, and Amazon. The film can also be purchased On Demand and from GooglePlay.