It feels unnatural to talk about The Boat That Rocked without mentioning Airheads, one of the coolest movies of the nineties. There are a few movies that I saw when I was really young that changed me as a person. They generated this positive buzz that resonated with me in such a way that I wanted to create Airheads in my own life. Of course, since I was just a kid and also a fledgling metalhead, these were all delusions, complexes and ego-trips, but that doesn’t change the fact that Airheads influenced my life.
That being said, I have to admit they could have done so much more with these characters. However, you have to remember that this is a breezy nineties comedy. It’s amazing that they even pulled this off. Sure, there was a tone of missed jokes about metal, fans, and all the other stuff, but this will just do. Airheads can also be enjoyed by people who do not listen to metal or music at all. The movie works just fine as a hilarious and fast-paced comedy with a lot of great actors. However, if you do have that rebel and outcast in you, it will work much better.
Meet Chazz Darby, a lead singer for an underground metal band called the Lone Rangers. He’s constantly trying to get the record producers to hear his demo and they constantly keep turning him down. Tired of it all, he along with Rex and Pip, two other band members decide to take over a radio station…
Do you remember the radio stations? Have you listened to them or are you listening to one right now? It’s so strange to watch Airheads and reminisce about a time when you need to go in person and someone a demo tape or get heard on the radio to get through. I keep thinking of all the younger generations that have no idea how the scene worked back then and what a time it was. I’m not one of those who will bitch and moan about the good ol’ days, progress is inevitable and if something is good it will be good regardless of the time or format. Hell, prompted by this movie I am going through White Zombie’s discography like a maniac! La Sexorcisto is such a masterpiece.
Although the music is a prevailing theme in Airheads, we also have a hostage situation complete with Kramer from Seinfeld crawling through the ventilation. This is not just one scene but the movie has an entire sub-plot dedicated to Die Hard and it’s even shot at the building that shares the parking lot with now-iconic Nakatomi Plaza. Not to mention the commercialization. People are willing to compromise their moral values and everything else for money and here we have just one of the examples of that in radio executives. Oddly enough, the radio station featured here is based on KNAC 105.5 (Pure Rock), a real radio station that went off the air just a couple of months after the premiere of Airheads. If you’re looking for similar movies I recommend you check out The Stoned Age and Detroit Rock City.
We also have the opportunity to see Fraser, Buscemi, and Sandler before they got famous. You can sense they will be off to do great things. Plus they actually look like they’re members of a metal band. Not to mention the supporting cast comprised of such cool cats like Joe Mantegna, Chris Farley and Ernie Hudson to name a few. With a very vibrant atmosphere, good jokes and just a feel-good vibe, Airheads is one of those movies that will warm your heart and soul. It has that young blood and if you’re getting old it’s just what the doctor prescribed. Finally, a personal commendation to whoever didn’t cast John Cusack instead of Brandan. Sheesh… And remember, if it’s too loud, you’re too old!
Director: Michael Lehmann
Cast: Brendan Fraser, Steve Buscemi, Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, Judd Nelson, Joe Mantegna, Michael McKean
Fun Facts: Rob Zombie (Robert Cummings), Phil ‘Philo’ Buerstatte, Sean Yseult, and Jay Yuenger are members of the metal band, White Zombie.