Beavis and Butt-Head Do America

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Beavis and Butt-Head Do America
At the forefront of the poster are the two title characters - Beavis on the left, Butt-Head on the right - who are also shown riding motorcycles at the lower area.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMike Judge
Written by
Based onBeavis and Butt-Head
by Mike Judge
Produced byAbby Terkuhle
Starring
Edited by
  • Gunter Glinka
  • Terry Kelley
  • Neil Lawrence
Music byJohn Frizzell
Color processDeluxe
Production
companies
Distributed byParamount Pictures[1]
Release date
  • December 20, 1996 (1996-12-20) (United States)
Running time
81 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$12 million[3]
Box office$63.1 million (US)[4]

Beavis and Butt-Head Do America is a 1996 American adult animated comedy film based on the MTV animated television series Beavis and Butt-Head.[5] The film was co-written and directed by series creator Mike Judge, who reprises his roles from the series; Demi Moore, Bruce Willis, Robert Stack, and Cloris Leachman star in supporting roles. The film follows Beavis and Butt-Head as they attempt to find their stolen television; they end up traveling across the country in an attempt to "score" while unknowingly becoming fugitives wanted by the FBI and the ATF.

Previous offers by MTV to adapt Beavis and Butt-Head to film were rejected by Judge, before he eventually agreed to the film in 1994. As the film's production began, the series' staff halted production while Judge wrote the screenplay with Joe Stillman. John Frizzell composed the film's score.

Beavis and Butt-Head Do America premiered at Mann's Chinese Theater on December 15, 1996, and it was released in the United States on December 20, 1996 by Paramount Pictures. The film was a critical and commercial success, grossing $63.1 million in the United States and becoming the largest December box office opening of all time until it was surpassed the following year by Scream 2. In February 2021, a sequel was announced for Paramount+.

Plot[edit]

Beavis and Butt-Head discover that their TV is missing, and set out to find it. After several failed attempts to get a TV, they come across a motel which offers one in every room. They meet Muddy Grimes, who mistakes them for hired hitmen and offers them $10,000 to "do" his wife Dallas in Las Vegas. Thinking that "do" refers to sex, Butt-Head convinces Beavis that they can "score" and buy a new TV.

Muddy drives them to the airport. In Las Vegas, Beavis and Butt-Head arrive to their booked hotel room, but Dallas catches them eavesdropping on her room and holds them at gunpoint. The boys refuse Dallas' offer of $20,000 to "do" Muddy and argue over who will "do" Dallas first. Realizing that Beavis and Butt-Head have misunderstood their instructions, she plants the "X-5 Unit" (a stolen, volatile biological weapon) in Beavis' shorts, which were laying on the floor. She tells them to meet her for sex at the U.S. Capitol, but actually plans to recover the unit.

Beavis and Butt-Head then leave the hotel and get on a tour bus. After they accidentally sabotage the Hoover Dam, Agent Flemming of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) becomes convinced that the duo are criminal masterminds and places them on the FBI's most-wanted list. Beavis and Butt-Head accidentally board the wrong bus, joining a busload of nuns who are repulsed by the boys and abandon them in Petrified Forest National Park. After walking through the desert, the boys meet and hang out with former Mötley Crüe roadies, oblivious that they are their biological fathers.

Muddy returns to the motel and meets the real hitmen. He angrily swears to track down and kill Beavis and Butt-Head. The hitmen, who stole Beavis and Butt-Head's TV, abandon it in front of the motel. Beavis and Butt-Head awaken to find the drifters gone and continue walking until they become dehydrated and weak. Beavis, suffering dehydration, takes a bite out of a peyote cactus, causing him to hallucinate.

Muddy eventually finds Beavis and Butt-Head and, after learning that Dallas intends to meet them, puts them in his trunk and drives on. In Virginia, they jump out onto the interstate and cause a 400-car pileup. They walk past the scene and board their original tour bus, stopping at the Capitol before reaching the White House. Muddy confronts Dallas in a parking garage before she can can meet Beavis and Butt-Head. She seduces him and they have sex in his car.

The ATF is dispatched to the White House because Beavis and Butt-Head are there on the same day as a peace conference. Beavis is transformed into Cornholio by excessive consumption of caffeine and sugar and, wandering into the Oval Office, picks up the red phone, causing a military alert. Butt-Head hits on Chelsea Clinton but is thrown out of her bedroom window. He is then detained and cavity searched by ATF officers.

Beavis goes to their neighbor Tom Anderson's travel trailer, where Anderson catches him "whacking off" and throws him out, bottomless. The ATF, thinking Beavis has the bioweapon, are about to open fire when Anderson throws out Beavis' pants. The bioweapon flies into Butt-Head's hand and he gives it to Flemming. Anderson and his wife are accused of trying to frame Beavis and Butt-Head and are arrested along with Dallas and Muddy. Flemming proclaims Beavis and Butt-Head heroes, and they meet President Bill Clinton, who makes them honorary ATF agents.

Beavis and Butt-Head return to Highland upset that they never scored or got any money, but they find their TV at the motel and walk into the sunset, carrying it and insulting each other until Beavis suggests going to Anderson’s toolshed to masturbate.

Voice cast[edit]

Demi Moore voices Dallas Grimes
Bruce Willis voices Muddy Grimes
Mike Judge, the voice of Beavis and Butt-head for TV, returned to work on the film

Other voice actors include: Jacqueline Barba, Pamela Blair, Eric Bogosian, Kristofor Brown, Tony Darling, John Doman, Francis DuMaurier, Jim Flaherty, Tim Guinee, Toby Huss, Sam Johnson, Richard Linklater, Rosemary McNamara, Harsh Nayyar, Karen Phillips, Dale Reeves, Mike Ruschak, and Gail Thomas

Greg Kinnear had an uncredited role as ATF Agent Bork;[6] David Letterman had a role as a Mötley Crüe roadie and was credited under "Earl Hofert".[7]

Production[edit]

Development for the film began in 1993 as part of a production deal with MTV, David Geffen, and Warner Bros. Geffen so believed in the potential of the Beavis and Butt-head TV series that he suggested creating a movie and record album based on the program. They originally conceived it as a live action movie, with Saturday Night Live regulars David Spade and Adam Sandler in mind to play the title characters. After MTV's parent company Viacom purchased Paramount Pictures in 1994, the studio became a partner in the film, replacing Warner's interest in the project and dropping the live action concept under pressure from Beavis and Butt-Head creator Mike Judge.[8] Judge has stated production of the animated film was very ad hoc and had some difficulties with progressing due to most of the staff's television background. Beavis' hallucination sequence's design and animation was based on the works of Rob Zombie. The sequence's director was Chris Prynoski.

Deleted scene[edit]

When the film premiered on MTV on August 7, 1999, an additional deleted scene followed the airing: while visiting the National Archives, Beavis attempts to use the restroom, but cannot because of the lack of toilet paper in the stall. Coincidentally, Butt-head is angry because the urinals lack the automatic flushing mechanisms that had amazed him at Yellowstone National Park. After the rest of their tour group finishes looking at the encased Declaration of Independence, Beavis sneaks out, breaks the glass with the U.S. flag pole, and steals it to use as "T.P. for his bunghole." While Archive guards rush to see what happened, Beavis cleans up, and exits the stall with a piece of the Declaration, containing John Hancock's signature, stuck to his shoe. The scene does not appear on the DVD, although it is mentioned on the disc's commentary track. In the track, Judge noted that the scene did not test well.[citation needed] Another alternate scene was done for when Butt-Head meets Chelsea Clinton in her bedroom, which showed her packing up to leave the White House. This alternate scene was created in the event that Bill Clinton lost his 1996 reelection bid to Bob Dole. However, by the spring of 1996, Judge ultimately decided to keep the original scene because he felt that it was looking as if Clinton was going to win reelection, which he did that November.

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Beavis and Butt-Head Do America opened in North America on December 20, 1996, and earned $63.1 million at the US box office after opening at #1 with $20.1 million.[9] It had a $12 million production budget.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

The film holds a 72% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 53 reviews, with a weighted average of 6.43/10. The consensus reads: "Beavis and Butt-Head Do America is unabashedly offensive, unapologetically stupid, and unexpectedly funny."[10] On Metacritic, the film has a 64 out of 100 rating based on 16 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[11]

Roger Ebert of Chicago Sun-Times praised the film as a "vulgar" satire on American youth, and compared it favorably to Wayne's World.[12] On the film review show Siskel and Ebert, Ebert's reviewing partner Gene Siskel gave the film a "modest recommendation", having been taken with the two lead characters. Ebert and Siskel ultimately awarded it a "two thumbs up" rating.[13]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Organization Award Awardee Result Citation
BMI Film & TV Awards BMI Film Music Award John Frizzell Won [citation needed]
1997 MTV Movie Awards Best On-Screen Duo Beavis and Butt-Head Nominated [14]
17th Golden Raspberry Awards Worst New Star Nominated [15]
Worst Screen Couple Nominated

Home media[edit]

The film was released on VHS on June 10, 1997 and on DVD on November 23, 1999, by Paramount Home Entertainment. The bonus features on the disc were a widescreen presentation, and two theatrical trailers. The film was re-released on a Special Edition DVD in 2006 as "The Edition That Doesn't Suck". It contained more in the way of bonus features such as audio commentaries, Spanish language tracks, more trailers, "Making of" documentaries, and more. It lacks the deleted National Archives scene. In 2013, "The Edition That Doesn't Suck" was re-released on DVD exclusively by Warner Home Video, under a deal with Paramount. Oddly enough, Warner Bros. was Geffen's distributor until The Geffen Company went bankrupt. Today, Warner Bros. holds home video distribution rights to all of Geffen Pictures' library.

The film will be released on Blu-ray for the first time on December 7, 2021, by Paramount Home Entertainment; in commemoration of the film's 25th anniversary.[16]

Sequel[edit]

In the years following, many fans rumored the possibility of a sequel or follow-up to the film, tentatively titled Beavis and Butt-Head: The Sequel[17] or Beavis and Butt-Head 2.[18] On August 31, 2009, during the promotion of Extract, Mike Judge said he would like to see Beavis and Butt-Head on the big screen again.[17] In 2019, Judge revealed that he has "some ideas" for a new film, saying there might be potential for a live-action version of the show.[19] On February 24, 2021, ahead of the show's reboot set at Comedy Central, a second movie based on the series was announced for streaming service, Paramount+; as the first promotion for it, the announcement was made by the titular characters in a video released for YouTube on the page for Comedy Central.[20][21]

Soundtrack[edit]

Beavis and Butt-Head Do America: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
various artists
ReleasedNovember 5, 1996
Recorded1995–96
GenreHeavy metal
alternative rock
punk rock
hip hop
Length49:00
LabelGeffen
Producer
Beavis and Butt-Head chronology
The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience
(1993)
Beavis and Butt-Head Do America: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
(1996)
Singles from Beavis and Butt-Head Do America: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
  1. "Lesbian Seagull"
    Released: 1996
  2. "Love Rollercoaster"
    Released: November 1996
  3. "Ain't Nobody"
    Released: November 26, 1996
  4. "Walk On Water"
    Released: 1996
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic2/5 stars link
Entertainment WeeklyC link
  1. "Two Cool Guys" – Isaac Hayes (3:06)
  2. "Love Rollercoaster" – Red Hot Chili Peppers (4:37)
  3. "Ain't Nobody" – LL Cool J (4:38)
  4. "Ratfinks, Suicide Tanks and Cannibal Girls" – White Zombie (3:53)
  5. "I Wanna Riot" – Rancid with Stubborn All-Stars (3:59)
  6. "Walk on Water" – Ozzy Osbourne (4:18) *
  7. "Snakes" – No Doubt (4:34)
  8. "Pimp'n Ain't EZ" – Madd Head (4:21)
  9. "The Lord Is a Monkey" (Rock Version) – Butthole Surfers (4:44)
  10. "White Trash" – Southern Culture on the Skids (2:03)
  11. "Gone Shootin'" – AC/DC (5:05)
  12. "Lesbian Seagull" – Engelbert Humperdinck (3:39)

Noticeably missing are "Mucha Muchacha", the version of "Lesbian Seagull" with Mr. Van Driessen singing, and the score tracks performed by The London Metropolitan Orchestra, which were released on a separate album.

"Two Cool Guys", written and performed by soul/funk musician Isaac Hayes, is a semi-parody of Hayes' Academy Award-winning "Theme from Shaft". It incorporates the theme from the Beavis and Butt-head television series as a rhythm guitar line, and series creator Mike Judge, who wrote the theme, is given a co-writing credit with Hayes in the soundtrack liner notes. The opening credit sequence which the song features in is a take-off on popular 1970s cop movies and TV shows with Beavis and Butt-Head as hip ace sleuth Lothario detectives.

The version of Ozzy Osbourne's "Walk on Water" is not the same version included in the film. The film used an earlier demo version, while the soundtrack itself contains a later, revised version. The original demo, which appears in the film, can be found on Osbourne's Prince of Darkness box set. Ozzy and co-writer Jim Vallance both prefer the demo version heard in the film.[22] "Walk on Water" was released as a single and peaked at number 28 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Beavis and Butt-Head Do America". American Film Institute. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  2. ^ "Title << British Board of Film Classification". British Board of Film Classification. January 13, 1997. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Dutka, Elaine (December 24, 1996). "Beavis and Butt-head Make Creator and Paramount Proud". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 8, 2010.
  4. ^ "Beavis and Butt-Head Do America (1996 film)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
  5. ^ Thomas, Kevin (December 20, 1996). "Road Trip the Right Vehicle for Beavis and Butt-head". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 8, 2010.
  6. ^ "Beavis and Butthead do America: Special Collector's Edition". May 27, 2016.
  7. ^ https://www.ifc.com/2016/01/15-things-you-might-not-know-about-beavis-and-butt-head
  8. ^ Ellen, Claudia (January 17, 1997). "The Geffen Camp Heh-Hehs All the Way to the Bank". The Los Angeles Times.
  9. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for December 20-22, 1996". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  10. ^ "Beavis and Butt-head Do America". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  11. ^ "Beavis and Butt-head Do America". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
  12. ^ Roger Ebert's review of Beavis and Butt-head Do America
  13. ^ Siskel and Ebert review Beavis and Butt-head Do America
  14. ^ "1997 MTV Movie Awards". MTV.com. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  15. ^ Wilson, John (2007). "Seventeenth Annual Razzies (1996)". The Official Razzie Movie Guide. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 9780446510080.
  16. ^ Beavis and Butt-Head Do America Blu-ray, retrieved September 17, 2021
  17. ^ a b Outlaw, Kofi (August 31, 2009). "Beavis and Butt-Head: The Sequel?". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on June 10, 2017.
  18. ^ "Comic Con: Mike Judge Teases Beavis and Butt-Head 2". July 25, 2009. Archived from the original on October 4, 2016. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  19. ^ Pattillo, Alice (July 29, 2019). "Mike Judge has "some ideas" for new Beavis and Butt-Head movie". Metal Hammer Magazine. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  20. ^ White, Peter (August 19, 2020). "Beavis And Butt-Head & 'Workaholics' Movies, Weekly Show From Trevor Noah & 'Inside Amy Schumer' Specials Lead Paramount+ Comedy Slate". Deadline. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  21. ^ An Announcement from Beavis and Butt-Head- YouTube
  22. ^ "Walk On Water". JimVallance.com. Archived from the original on April 14, 2015.
  23. ^ "Billboard singles chart history-Ozzy Osbourne". Archived from the original on February 20, 2009. Retrieved February 17, 2009.

External links[edit]