Coneheads (film)

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Coneheads
Coneheads Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Steve Barron
Produced by Lorne Michaels
Written by Tom Davis
Dan Aykroyd
Bonnie Turner
Terry Turner
Based on Coneheads sketches from Saturday Night Live 
by Lorne Michaels
Starring Dan Aykroyd
Jane Curtin
Music by David Newman
Cinematography Francis Kenny
Edited by Paul Trejo
Production
  company
Lorne Michaels Productions
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s)
  • July 23, 1993 (1993-07-23)
Running time 87 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Box office $21,274,717[2]

Coneheads is a 1993 American science fiction comedy film based on the Saturday Night Live sketches about the Coneheads. The film was directed by Steve Barron and produced by Lorne Michaels. It starred Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin as Beldar and Prymaat Clorhone (who later Anglicize their Remulakian surname to "Conehead"), parents of Connie (Michelle Burke, taking over the role played by Laraine Newman on SNL). The film also featured roles and cameos from a number of actors and comedians from shows such as SNL and Seinfeld.

While there are some differences, the film mostly follows the same plot as an animated special that was created ten years earlier. Similarities include the Coneheads being stranded on Earth, Beldar working as an appliance repair man, and Connie dating an earthling named Ronnie.

Plot[edit]

Upon discovering an Unidentified Flying Object over American airspace, the National Guard sends out planes to warn it off and end up firing upon it when they don't comply. Activating their cloaking device and crashing into the ocean the occupants, Beldar Clorhone and his life mate Prymaat try to adapt to the humans' way of life despite standing out with their conical shaped skulls. Beldar gets work as an appliance repairman, and when his grateful boss Otto discovers that Beldar is an illegal alien, he arranges to have an identity created for him, which sends up red flags for the (INS). Meanwhile, after communicating with their world and discovering that a rescue vessel will not be there for several years (seven "Zurls"), Prymaat informs Beldar that she is pregnant and they need to adapt as humans to raise her safely. An ambitious INS agent named Gorman Seedling and his assistant Eli attempt to capture Beldar and Prymaat, but they elude him.

Months later, Beldar has become a respected taxi driver, and the couple live in his boss's basement. After the birth of their child, Connie, they move to a suburban neighborhood in Paramus, New Jersey, adopting the surname Conehead as Beldar makes a career as a driving instructor. Meanwhile, Seedling gets an offer for a promotion and decides to leave the Coneheads to the next agent to take his place, however his promotion is hindered by this case and he is forced to continue it due to the expense of tracking them.

Now a teenager, all Connie wants to do is fit in with her peers, much to the objection of her father, especially when she becomes involved with a mechanic named Ronnie. Beldar is preoccupied with winning a golfing trophy at a country club where he is a member and Prymaat becomes concerned about her appearance. Eli and Seedling pose as Jehovah's Witnesses to gain entry to the Conehead home, but they are ejected quickly when Beldar receives word from Remulak that a rescue vessel is on its way.

At a costume party that night, Connie is told they are to be rescued and she disobeys her parents by returning home with Ronnie to consummate their relationship as a goodbye, before they are caught and the INS shows up to arrest them. As Seedling is about to capture the Coneheads their vessel arrives, and he along with Eli are taken with them into space and sent back to Remulak together. While there, their leader, Highmaster Mintot accuses Beldar of treason and sentences him to fight a ferocious beast called the Garthok. Beldar manages to use his golfing skills to save himself and kill it, and is granted a request. Beldar requests to return to Earth to oversee its conquest, which Mintot agrees. Eli is left behind and becomes Mintot's flunky. Beldar leaves with Prymaat, Connie and Seedling in tow but realizes that Connie's feelings are more important than planetary conquest and quickly fakes a counterattack, forcing the rest of the ships to turn back as Beldar self-destructs the ship, making it look like they were destroyed. In appreciation for sparing his life, Seedling agrees to give the Coneheads a Green Card in exchange that he prove he has a talent no other American citizen possesses, which Beldar happily agrees to.

Some time later, Ronnie arrives to take Connie to the prom and after a few words of advice (55 words to be precise), Beldar uses a massive flash bulb from his home-built Polaroid camera to document the event. As Connie and a now-sunburnt Ronnie depart for their night, Beldar and Prymaat look at the picture they took and say "Memories, we will enjoy them." before the screen fades to black.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The film mostly takes place in Paramus, New Jersey. Some scenes were filmed in New York City and the New Jersey towns of Jersey City and Wrightstown.

Reception[edit]

The film debuted at No. 6 in its opening weekend at the box office,[3] grossing $7,100,501. At the end of its run, the film grossed $21,274,717 in the domestic box office.[2]

Coneheads received mostly negative reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 36% based on 28 reviews.[4] Roger Ebert gives the film 1 and 1/2 stars out of 4, describing the film as "dismal, dreary and fairly desperate" and that the actors are unable to overcome an uninspired screenplay.[5] Janet Maslin of The New York Times says the film "has its dopey charms," and that it is suitable for people who found Wayne's World too demanding.[6]

The Los Angeles Times called it "an unusually companionable jape; in this world it makes perfect sense that the Coneheads' friends and neighbors never really register that there's anything terribly different about them. They're all-American eccentrics--even if they happen to come from the planet Remulak."[7]

Soundtrack[edit]

Coneheads: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released July 20, 1993
Genre Soundtrack
Length 43:27
Label Warner Bros. Records

The soundtrack for Coneheads was released July 20, 1993.

  1. "Magic Carpet Ride" by Michael Monroe and Slash
  2. "Tainted Love" by Soft Cell
  3. "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" by Andy Bell and k.d. lang
  4. "Kodachrome" by Paul Simon
  5. "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" by Morten Harket
  6. "It's a Free World, Baby" by R.E.M.
  7. "Soul to Squeeze" by Red Hot Chili Peppers
  8. "Fight the Power" by Barenaked Ladies
  9. "Little Renee" by Digable Planets
  10. "Chale Jao" by Babble
  11. "Conehead Love" by Nan Schaefer

References[edit]

  1. ^ "CONEHEADS (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved June 15, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Coneheads at Box Office Mojo
  3. ^ David J. Fox (27 July 1993). "Weekend Box Office : 'Poetic' Finds Its Place in Line". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-03. 
  4. ^ "Coneheads (1993)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 1 November 2013. 
  5. ^ Roger Ebert (July 23, 1993). "Coneheads". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2012-12-01. 
  6. ^ Janet Maslin (July 23, 1993). "Review/Film; They're From Another Planet (Another Medium, Actually)". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-03. 
  7. ^ Peter Rainer (July 23, 1993). "Movie Reviews : 'Coneheads': 1-Note Joke With Legs". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-03. 

External links[edit]