Two slacker TV-obsessed youths discover their Television is missing one morning and travel across America trying to find it.
This, they must have repeated like a production meeting mantra, is never going to work. While America’s favourite pair of duo-dimensional delinquents may have captured what remains of the MTV generation’s shredded imagination when delivered in couch potato friendly 40 second chunks, with a dire rock promo never more than two minutes away, the idea of giving what is essentially a one joke cartoon strip 81 minutes of big-screen time must have had the folks at Disney snorting into their Crayolas. Which made it something of a surprise when Beavis and Butt-head turned out to be a serious contender for funniest film of 1997.
For those terminally disconnected to the zeitgeist, Beavis and Butt-head are two hormonally-crazed teenager morons who spend the majority of their time staring at MTV and mining the language for unlikely double entendres. In their first movie outing their low-rent idyll is disrupted when their precious TV is stolen and the boys set off on a road trip to retrieve the tube and inevitably to “score”. What follows is essentially a series of sketches, almost all of which hit their mark, with highlights being the boy’s first plane trip (violently disrupted by Beavis raiding an old lady’s handbag for pep pills that transform him into screeching alter ego Cornholio) together with the two lying near death from thirst in the desert only to launch into trademark guffaws when a pair of vultures start shagging in front of them. What also emerges is a new and surprising likeability in the characters. Cretinous and sex-obsessed they may be - what 14 year old isn’t? - but there’s an innocence about them summed up in Beavis’s big speech in which he shrieks to a bemused busful of passengers that: “We’re never gonna score, never! It’s not fair!” And with a final shot of the boys hoiking their beloved TV into the sunset it becomes clear who the unlikely inspiration for this duo are. Ladies and gentlemen, Beavis and Butt-head, Tom and Huck for the 90s.
A satisfying mix of puerile humour and genuine satire, believe it or not.