Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael Lehmann|
|Produced by||Mark Burg
|Written by||Rich Wilkes|
|Music by||Carter Burwell|
|Editing by||Stephen Semel|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Running time||92 minutes|
|Box office||$5,751,882 (domestic)|
Airheads is a 1994 American comedy film written by Rich Wilkes and directed by Michael Lehmann. It stars Brendan Fraser, Steve Buscemi and Adam Sandler as a band of loser musicians called "The Lone Rangers" who take a radio station hostage, just so that their song would get played on-air. Joe Mantegna plays the radio station's DJ and Michael McKean plays the Station Manager.
Based on an original screenplay by Ryan T Young of Lampoon fame, Chazz, Rex a Los Angeles would-be rock band called The Lone Rangers. The guys are continuously turned down as they try to get their demo tape heard by producers. They finally decide to try to get the local rock station, KPPX 103.6 ("Rebel Radio"), to play it on the air, after they saw how Rebel Radio helped another band The Sons of Thunder get a record deal. Their first break-in attempt is using Pip's ATM card and its PIN. The card's confiscated. Then, Rex tries to short circuit the electronic lock with Pip's Big Gulp. They finally get in when a station employee Suzzi comes out and they keep the door from shutting behind her.
Once inside, DJ Ian "The Shark" puts them on the air without them knowing. Station Manager Milo overhears them and intervenes. After Milo calls Rex "Hollywood Boulevard trash", Chazz and Rex shove water pistols that look like Uzis loaded with hot pepper sauce in Milo's face and demand airplay. After setting up a reel-to-reel for the demo, the tape starts and is destroyed when the reel runs out and catches fire in an ashtray. The guys try to run, but Doug Beech, the station's accountant, calls the police and the building is surrounded.
They soon realize that they are armed hostage takers and begin negotiations with the police. During the crisis, it is learned that Milo had signed a deal to flip KPPX's format to Soft Adult Contemporary (soft rock), which includes having to fire Ian and most of the other employees. Ian and the rest of the employees side with the band and turn against Milo. But after a while, the employees find out about the fake guns and the police try to barge in. But Doug who is hiding from them is given a real gun by the police and starts shooting at them only to drop it and then Ian grabs it and gives it to Chazz. Eventually, Jimmie Wing, the record executive who rejects Chazz in the beginning of the film comes to the radio station. The band signs a record contract and goes out on stage to play, only to realize that they are supposed to lip sync the song and fake playing the instruments. They refuse to lip sync while the music is playing and get a round of applause from the audience, who rush the stage. The band destroys their instruments in protest to the pleasure of the audience.
Afterwards, Ian becomes The Lone Rangers' Manager and the band is sent to prison, but serve only a 3-6 month sentence. They record an album while in prison called "Live in Prison", which goes triple platinum.
- Brendan Fraser as Chazz Darby/Chester Ogilvie
- Steve Buscemi as Rex
- Adam Sandler as Pip
- Joe Mantegna as Ian "The Shark"
- Michael McKean as Milo Jackson
- Chris Farley as Officer Wilson
- Ernie Hudson as Sgt. O'Malley
- Judd Nelson as Jimmie Wing
- Amy Locane as Kayla
- Nina Siemaszko as Suzzi
- Marshall Bell as Carl Mace
- Reg E. Cathey as Marcus
- David Arquette as Carter
- Michael Richards as Doug Beech
- Michelle Hurst as Yvonne
- Harold Ramis as Chris Moore
- Allen Covert as Officer Samuels
- Rob Zombie as Himself
- Kurt Loder as Himself
- Lemmy Kilmister as School Magazine Editor Rocker
- Rich Wilkes as Corduroy Pants Rocker
- John Melendez as Constant Masturbating Rocker
- Vinnie DeRamus as Dungeons & Dragons Rocker
- The band Galactic Cowboys perform in the film under the name "The Sons of Thunder". Their sole musical contribution to the film, "Don't Hate Me Because I'm Beautiful", was omitted from the soundtrack and is not available anywhere. Even the band does not have a copy.
- Mike Judge plays the voices of Beavis and Butt-head, who call in to the radio station.
- White Zombie appear in the bar scene with Chris Farley searching for Amy Locane, playing the track they recorded for the film "Feed the Gods".
- Lemmy Kilmister makes a brief appearance in the crowd outside the radio station as the editor of his school newspaper.
|Soundtrack album by Various artists|
|Genre||Rock, heavy metal, punk rock|
|1.||"Born to Raise Hell"||Ian Kilmister||Motörhead with Ice-T and Whitfield Crane||4:57|
|2.||"I'm The One"||Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, Michael Anthony, David Lee Roth||4 Non Blondes||3:58|
|3.||"Feed the Gods"||Lyrics: Rob Zombie; Music: White Zombie||White Zombie||4:05|
|4.||"No Way Out"||Jesse Malin, Richard Bacchus, Howard Kusten||DGeneration||4:26|
|5.||"Bastardizing Jellikit"||Lyrics: Les Claypool; Music: Primus||Primus||4:11|
|6.||"London"||Morrissey, Johnny Marr||Anthrax||2:54|
|7.||"Can't Give In"||Lyrics: Kevin Martin; Music: Peter Klett and Candlebox||Candlebox||3:15|
|8.||"Curious George Blues"||Scott Hackwith||Dig||4:03|
|10.||"Degenerated"||Paul Bakija, Dave Rubenstein||Lone Rangers||3:53|
|11.||"I'll Talk My Way Out Of It"||John Melendez, J. Cantor||Stuttering John||3:40|
|13.||"We Want the Airwaves"||Jeffry Hyman, John Cummings, Douglas Colvin||Ramones||3:21|
The soundtrack as released by Arista recordings is meant to be a concept soundtrack, rather than an accurate total of the songs actually featured in the film. While all the songs on the Arista release are on the film, a number of songs that were featured were omitted from the album. For the full list of songs used in the film, refer to the IMDB Airheads Soundtrack page.
The song played by The Lone Rangers in the film, "Degenerated", was actually originally by hardcore punk band Reagan Youth. The version in the film featured Jay Yuenger and Sean Yseult from White Zombie with Fraser on vocals, and was produced by Yuenger and Bryan Carlstrom.
Box office and reception
The movie debuted in 10th place, grossing $1.9 million US in its opening weekend. Airheads earned negative reviews from critics and currently has a score of 22% "Rotten" on Rotten Tomatoes based on 32 reviews. The film has gained a cult following.
- "Airheads (1994)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 26 December 2009. Retrieved November 23, 2009.
- Airheads at AllMusic
- "White Zombie’s Sean Yseult: The JG2Land Interview". JG2LAND. March 8, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
- Airheads at Discogs
- Fox, David J. (1994-08-08). "A 'Clear' Triumph at Box Office : Movies: The Harrison Ford thriller seizes the No. 1 spot with estimated ticket receipts of more than $20 million.". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-01-06.
- "Airheads". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011-03-27.