Airheads (1994)

I think we can all agree that 1994 was a notably bad year – Browser cookies were first introduced, Friends aired and Kurt Cobain sadly met his end. It wasn’t all doom and gloom however – 1994 also delivered one of the most underappreciated comedies of all time. Join us for a look at Airheads.

Three band members hoping for a big break head to a radio station to play their demo tape and wind up holding everyone hostage with plastic guns when the head D.J. refuses to play them.

Motorhead sets the tone from the opening credits. It’s safe to say that the whole film is a love letter to Lemmy (who appears briefly in the film) and all things Rock and/or Roll.

The film stars Brendan Fraser, Steve Buscemi, and Adam Sandler as the members of the band (The Lone Rangers) who deliver fantastic bumbling and endearing characters who play off each other well. Airheads features arguably Frasers best performance outside of the Mummy franchise. Buscemi puts in his usual high standard while Sandler turns in his his well established sweet idiot routine which plays well with the plot.

airheads film poster review

The film also features an extremely impressive ensemble cast that includes Michael McKean, Amy Locane, and Michael Richards. This supporting cast delivers a strong base for the main cast to shine from, with special note given to Michael Mckean (This Is Spinal Tap), who puts in a tremendously wheelhoused performance as the dick radio station boss, and Joe Mantegna (Fat Tony from The Simpsons) who plays Ian, the rock DJ that has become tired and jaded. The cast also features Chris Farley, Judd Nelson, David Arquette and Ernie Hudson among others. The film also features a nice cameo by fellow Ghostbuster Harold Ramis and Mike Judge‘s Beavis and Butthead.

Airheads was filmed at Fox Plaza 2121 Avenue of the Stars Century City, Los Angeles, California, which some of you may recognise as Nakatomi Plaza in Die Hard (1988), which is also parodied in this movie. This makes for a fun aside/B plot that unfolds contrasting to John Mclanes version.

airheads film spinal tap

The film plays with themes of big record company corruption and takes a satirical swing at the music industry and mass media. There is some wonderful commentary on the commercialisation of 90’s music that cannot be missed. It’s a tongue in cheek statement on the state of the industry during the 90’s. Grunge was reigning supreme, rock and metal were supposedly dead and record company executives dinosaur greed was in full effect. Arguably it’s Wayne’s World with more substance

The film has been criticised as being thin on quality and predictable, even formulaic in plot. Apparently it was good enough for Alan Partridge : Alpha Papa, so it’s good enough for me.

Chazz: Who’d win in a wrestling match, Lemmy or God?
Chris Moore: Lemmy.
[Rex imitates a game show buzzer]
Chris Moore: … God?
Rex: Wrong, dickhead, trick question. Lemmy IS God.

Airheads has a sweet Bio Dome energy and this original comedy comes from a kind place. It remains one of the true classics of 90’s comedy films – a great idea executed with savage conviction. This film has heart where it matters.

airheads film poster review by crazydiscostu

CRAZYDISCOSTU.COM – A Blog For The Modern Geek – Lifestyle, News, Reviews, Film/Tv, Gaming, Tech, Music, Opinions, Culture, Craft Beer, and General Geekery.

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