Last year, I started asking folks what their desert island movie is. It’s one of those generic questions that I was curious about the responses I would get. I even proposed the question to myself. If I was stuck on a desert island, what is the one movie I could watch over and over and not get tired of?
Airheads is one of those movies that I don’t remember seeing any trailers for. It never had a standee at the video store, nor did I see any posters. I honestly had no clue the movie even existed until suddenly it was on TV… a lot. I’m pretty sure the movie bounced between HBO and Comedy Central off and on through the 90’s and for whatever reason it really sucked me in. I loved Chazz (Brendan Fraser), Rex (Steve Buscemi), and Pip (Adam Sandler) before I even knew who the actors were. It wasn’t until the late 90’s when I happened to catch Airheads on TV once again, that I was blown away that Pip was Adam Sandler and Fraser was Chazz!
The supporting cast includes Joe Mantegna, Chris Farley, Judd Nelson, Michael McKean, David Arquette, Ernie Hudson, Michael Richards, and Harold Ramis. That’s one heck of a lineup.
Airheads is not high-brow art. It’s a fun flick from the early 90’s about a down on their luck rock band who decided to take a radio station hostage in an attempt to get their single played on the air. Taking place over the course of one day, nothing quite goes as planned and The Lone Rangers (the band) struggle with technical issues, a Die Hard situation, and crazed fans.
Sadly, Airheads has always remained a bit under the radar. It’s occasionally streaming, but it’s been sorely lacking in physical releases and seems to be almost always out of print. The film is going to cost you around $30 to find a DVD copy or an import Blu-ray.
As far as the production of the film is concerned, the director Michael Lehmann did not want Brenden Fraser in the role, and couldn’t see him getting past his Link character in Encino Man. Adam Sandler was already signed onto the film, and drove to his house at 4 AM and threatened to walk out if Fraser was not cast. Lehmann apparently changed his mind after meeting Fraser.
The radio station, KPPX was located in Fox Plaza which served as Naktomi Plaza in Die Hard. Pretty fun fact since there are some Die Hard moments within the film.
The film bombed hard, making only 1.9 million it’s opening weekend and finishing with 5.8 million domestically on an 11.2 million dollar budget. It was critically panned, but seems to be enjoying a bit of a cult movie status as the years go by.
Airheads is a fun movie. It’s something you can put on an easily get engrossed in or just casually watch. Despite watching it a lot over the years, the film has never grown old and I’ve never not been in the mood to watch Airheads.