#TBT: AIRHEADS Is the Movie that Proves that Misfits can Make It
Welcome to Throwback Thursday! This is the place where we get to indulge in nostalgia and wax poetic about excellent metal of years past. TBT number 61 is going to carry on February's metal movie theme with a pick that actually helped me snag a position here at Metal Injection.
I wrote an email to the indomitable Robert Pasbani that was inspired by this scene:
If you've ever been hungry for musical exposure, Airheads will be the movie that understands you. In the immortal words of The Ramones, "We want the airwaves, baby".
RELEASE DATE: August 5th, 1994
A proverbial 'who's who' of comedic 90's actors, Airheads is a movie about 3 regular dudes who form a band called The Lone Rangers. Frustrated by their lack of progress in the music industry, the trio hold up a local radio station with toy guns and convince the staff to bend to their demands. Brendan Frasier, Adam Sandler, and Steve Buscemi play the three lead roles as characters Chazz, Pip, and Rex. Together, after a long day of hostage-holding and beer drinking, the group finally gets to play live in front of an audience and share their music with other people.
Michael McKean, Judd Nelson, Joe Mantegna, and Chris Farley are four more notable actors to add to the list of who appears in the movie. Despite the abundance of recognizable names, critically Airheads bombed. It's got a 21% score on the Tomatometer from Rotten Tomatoes, and a more respectable (but still miserable score-wise) 6.1/10 from IMDB. Critics seem to agree that the movie is well cast, but the general consensus is many aspects of the film fall way short of comedic gold. And while I agree that Airheads isn't as iconic as Wayne's World or as brilliant as This is Spinal Tap, I love Airheads. So what if it's not beloved by the most discerning movies-goers? This movie isn't for them. I wouldn't be surprised if Rich Wilkes (main writer) was a low-key metal head. Amid the obvious appeals to 90's era audiences with SNL-inspired antics, there's a undercurrent reflecting real metal culture. Yeah, maybe it was reflecting main-stream metal culture, but so what? Airheads is fun and devil-may-care. If an impromptu metal show in a parking lot, airbrushed wizards on Chrysler minivans, coolers stuffed with cheap beers, leather and spandex, and shirtless hot summer nights don't appeal to you, than this movie is not for you.
Airheads, despite the whole 'holding up a radio station' thing, is a relatable movie. At it's heart, Airheads is about a coupla guys who have more drive to play music than they have good ideas. Ultimately, all the want to do is bare their souls and rock out. They're life-long outcasts who grew up to work work joe-jobs and the one thing makes them get up out of bed everyday is the chance to play music. That 'gathering place for misfit toys' sentiment is reflected in the following clip (which features a cameo by noneother than Lemmy himself!):
In the end, all is well that ends well. Here's a clip of the trio clad in orange prison jumpsuits doing what they love:
If you're looking for a 90's flavored, metal-tinged, easy to watch movie that will make you laugh, Airheads is an excellent pick.