Airheads Review

A desperate rock'n'roll band take over a radio station when their music is refused airtime, only to find their criminal action brings fame of its own.

by Steve Beard |
Published on
Release Date:

05 Aug 1994

Running Time:

91 minutes



Original Title:


Michael Lehmann's best film since the mordant black comedy Heathers, this splices the rock'n'roll satire of Wayne's World with an inspired Die Hard pastiche to produce one of the funniest movies of the year.

Brendan Fraser (last seen in California Man), Steve Buscemi (Mr. Pink in Reservoir Dogs) and Adam Sandler play three slackers - Chazz, Rex and Pip - desperate to get their thrash metal outfit, The Lone Rangers, into the big time. Together they dream of a fat record contract, and one day - more or less by accident - break into a local radio station to hassle shock jock Joe Mantegna about playing their demo tape. When the station manager aims to throw them out, Rex explodes with fury and pulls a replica Uzi out of his bag. Before they know it, the boys are in a hostage situation and this is where the fun really starts.

The cops arrive and ask what their demands are, the media give the crisis saturation coverage and a crowd gathers outside eager for a glimpse of the rock'n'roll hostage-takers. Suddenly the dynamics of the hostage situation begin to change. The station manager ups air-time rates to advertisers, a record company salesman is sent in to negotiate a contract with the band, and reality is overtaken by hyper reality.

Despite some crude slapstick, weak reverse racism gags and a plot which begins to fold after an hour, this remains an intelligent treatment of America's fame-obsessed culture, sliding into home base with some sharp edits and an energetic and powerful soundtrack.

Profoundly disposable, although several satirical barbs hit home.
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