Nothing But Trouble: Shout Select (1991)

Greetings from Valkenvania!

Written and directed by GhostbustersDan Akroyd, Nothing But Trouble has achieved almost legendary status as Akroyd’s OTHER horror/comedy.  You know, the one that was the box office BOMB, blasting itself into oblivion with its troll-like Valkenheiser vapidity as one blown stop at a stop sign leads to a whole lot of trouble for a couple of yuppies. 

"If you like your weirdness over the top and completely off its rocker, then Nothing But Trouble might just be the horror comedy you are looking for"

Sure, some of the jokes are dated (even as they were spoken on the set), but watching Chevy Chase attempt to outrun John Candy in a BMW still makes me laugh, especially when the passengers in his car were egging him on and then, once pulled over, they all refuse to acknowledge him.  It's a laugh out-loud moment that still works in this bizarre comedy.

Inspired by a true story of Akroyd’s in Small Town, America, this dark comedy stars a number of his Saturday Night Live and Second City TV friends and yet still struggles to find an appreciative audience.  People just don’t get this dark comedy and, truthfully, it is a hard one to applaud.  That’s right, even John Candy as the arresting officer and later in drag as the mute daughter of the honorable Judge Alvin Valkenheiser (Aykroyd) can’t pull this bizarre comedy out of its own tailspin.  

Maybe it is the amount of mutated trolls in this desolate New Jersey outpost, a mining town that time has forgotten about.  They poke out of every crevice and crack and, as morbidly obese as they are, are hard to look away from.  Perhaps the real culprit here is Akroyd’s fascination with the absurd as he allows it to absolutely dominate the diaper-wearing antics of the non-sequiturs in this flick.  Digital Underground anyone? Nothing But Trouble: Shout Select (1991)

This is what happens when a financial publisher Chris Thorne (Chevy Chase), lawyer Diane Lightson (Demi Moore), Brazilian siblings Fausto (Taylor Negron), and Renalda (Bertila Damas) find themselves on the other side of law and under.  Things are not quite what they are used to as they find themselves trapped in Valkenvania among a clan of mutants that have more in common with the Sawyer family in Texas Chainsaw Massacre than I’m sure they or even Warner Bros expected.

Far darker in tone than I remembered, Nothing But Trouble, situated around the banking beliefs of the 106-year-old judge who sits in its court is, in its best moments, a joyous effort when it comes to atmosphere and production design, as almost every bit of Valkenvania is filled with knick knacks and fun references.  You might just lose your mind divining into the madness that makes for the film’s sets!

This is what happens when you go toe-to-toe with Silence of the Lambs, which is what really sank the film at the box office.  There was no competition.   Truthfully, the only survivors of Nothing But Trouble were Demi Moore and Digital Underground.  Chase’s days as a leading man were soon in the rearview mirror and Akroyd would never direct again.  Candy?  While he completely stole the flick from the talent around him, even his days were - quite literally - numbered.

Nothing But Trouble is a fun and weird tale that might be hard to recommend for some.  If you like your weirdness over the top and completely off its rocker, then Nothing But Trouble might just be the horror comedy you are looking for.  Is the resulting madness as bad as other SNL comedies?  Nope.  Its best bits - all twisted and knotted as they are - aren’t even in the same stratosphere as modern day SNL offerings and for that, I applaud Nothing But Trouble, which is now on blu-ray thanks to Shout! Select.

Put out that dog rocket!

4/5 beers

 Nothing But Trouble: Shout Select (1991)

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- October 26, 2021
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: English
DTS-Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Take a road trip into the twisted mind of Dan Aykroyd with the uniquely unusual Nothing But Trouble! When cocksure stock market master Chris Thorne (Chevy Chase) volunteers to drive lawyer Diane Lightson (Demi Moore) to Atlantic City, he's got more than sightseeing on his mind. One wrong turn and one traffic violation later, they find themselves in the collapsing village of Valkenvania ... and nabbed by the local constable (John Candy). But their Trouble really begins when they come nose-to-nose with the town's bizarre and unstable Justice of the Peace, Alvin Valkenheiser (Aykroyd).  Directed and written by Aykroyd – who also plays a dual role, along with CandyNothing But Trouble is a comic nightmare unlike anything you've ever seen. Put out that dog rocket, have a hot dog, and enjoy your stay in Valkenvania ... because once you're there, you'll never escape!


Nothing But Trouble’s 1080 transfer is presented with a new (and stunning) 4K transfer!  The work here results in an ageless film of pristine beauty thanks to this transfer.  The freewheeling mutant antics doesn’t show much sign of aging.  The film is dominated with reds and greens that absolutely burst with color.  The clothes are detailed and the simple backgrounds burst with new details and a nice level of clarity.  The locations are striking and the set designs look lovely, too.  Black levels are solid and skin tones are natural.  Shadows are defined and the film has a new depth previously unseen.


Turn the DTS-Master Audio 2.0 track up..  Digital Underground is in the house!



  • Loyal fans are rewarded with a bonus commentary from Pop Culture Historian Russell Dyball, which is EXACTLY what Judge Alvin 'J.P' Valkenheiser has deemed as necessary.

Special Features:

Shout Select loads up on the NEW supplemental features and provides buyers with NEW interviews with Chevy Chase, Dan Akroyd, Bertila Damas, the film’s production designer (which is a treat), and the film’s costume designer, too.  As an added bonus, the film’s music producer also gets interviewed.  All essential in appreciating a cult comedy like this one.

  • NEW Interview With Actor/Writer/Director Dan Aykroyd
  • NEW Interview With Actor Chevy Chase
  • NEW Interview With Actress Bertila Damas
  • NEW Interview With Production Designer William Sandell
  • NEW Interview With Costume Designer Deborah Nadoolman Landis
  • NEW Interview With Music Producer Christopher Brooks
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Pop Culture Historian Russell Dyball
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spot
  • Image Gallery

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 5/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

4/5 stars

Film Details

Nothing But Trouble: Shout Select (1991)

MPAA Rating: PG-13.
94 mins
: Dan Aykroyd
Dan Aykroyd
Chevy Chase; Dan Aykroyd; John Candy
: Comedy
All they wanted was a little getaway. All they got was nothing but trouble.
Memorable Movie Quote: "They're Brazillionaires, they have breakfast at 2pm in the afternoon"
Theatrical Distributor:
Warner Bros.
Official Site
Release Date:
February 15, 1991
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 26, 2021.
Synopsis: A businessman and his friends are captured by a sadistic judge and his equally odd family in the backwoods of a bizarre mansion.


Nothing But Trouble: Shout Select (1991)