April 13, 2014


Michael Lehmanm, 1994
Three struggling musicians sneak into a Los Angeles radio station hoping to have their demo played on the air. Dismissed by the program manager, they impulsively decide to take the station employees hostage.

The 1990's are a period in time where we can look back. We can look back and picture the divisive Brendan Fraser, who seemed to be in every movie at the box office. We can look back and see Steve Buscemi being underemployed way too often. We can look back and see Adam Sandler in his comedic prime. Airheads certainly employs these three features. The story of the not-so-bright every-men Lone Rangers just trying to get their fifteen minutes of fame is the equivalent of the modern struggling musician trying to make their Youtube video go viral. But this is back when FM radio stations meant something. When hearing Nirvana on your crappy car speakers was actually exciting and not wearisome.

It's certainly a flawed picture. At times it feels dated; with its racial humor, emphasis on the grunge scene. There's some pretty awful acting (Amy Locane, Michael Richards, David Arquette). The premise is far-fetched. There are just some downright unbelievable, comical aspects to it. The gun falls on the floor from the overhead vent and seems to shoot off for about twenty seconds with nobody holding the trigger. The LAPD somehow within minutes is able to helicopter in an entire stage, completely assembled. But to the films credit, there are actually multiple ongoing threads going: the struggling band, the inner conflicts between the radio station on the verge of flipping formats, the pissing contest between the two police departments. Maybe its just another 90's guilty pleasure, joining the likes of Encino Man and Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead.

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