Thursday, November 6, 2014

Beavis and Butt-Head Do America

Beavis and Butt-head Do America; animated comedy, USA, 1996; D: Mike Judge, S: Mike Judge, Robert Stack, Demi Moore, Bruce Willis, Cloris Leachman, Richard Linklater

When two small time crooks steal their TV set, Beavis and Butthead crash into a motel apartment because a TV was on, but the man inside, Muddy, mistakes them for two contract killers he hired and sends them in a plane to Las Vegas in order to kill his wife Dallas. However, Beavis and Butthead are so dumb they mistake his contract for a hired sex with her, and once they meet Dallas, she sends them to Washington because she smuggled a dangerous virus in a unit she hid in Beavis' pants. This causes a wild goose chase since FBI agents are looking for the virus. In the end, the agents get the virus and arrest the wrong man, while the two teenagers are decorated as heroes.

This movie adaptation of the cult comedy TV show "Beavis and Butt-head" somehow brings back memories of a legendary quote by Alan Moore who said that "it is not the job of an artist to give the audience what they want, but what they need". Namely, there are some 3-4 good jokes here, but the rest is one long, overstretched story about nothing, about two teenagers who see sexual innuendo in every sentence someone says and who are so dumb that at one point it becomes almost damaging and detrimental by itself. However, just as with "Dumb and Dumber" and many others comedies about dumb protagonists, there is something subconsciously attractive for the masses that made them all hits, probably because by living in civilization and culture somehow makes it interesting to see something really primitive for a change. Still, Mike Judge managed to squeeze a few funny jokes, nonetheless - the most hilarious being the one with the Federal agent who says to another one: "Never end a sentence with a preposition" - whereas there is only one example where Beavis and Butt-head's stupidity was used for an intelligent joke, but it was great: when the two teenagers announce on the Congress speakerphone that they are ready to "score", there is an awkward pause, but then all politicians inside start giggling 'Beavis and Butthead'-style. The only point of interest is spotting a small cameo by Daria Morgendorffer some 50 minutes into the film, whose authors did exactly the opposite and made the far superior spin-off "Daria" about intelligence and humanity, thereby quickly leaving their origins far behind.



Christopher Sobieniak said...

I see you hated it as much as I did. Though I recall thinking there were parts of the film I would've re-written myself as I kept changing it in my head as I had watched it those years ago. Somehow at the end, I wanted to bring back the school principal again, having him come out of the house to greet another day (I think it was a sunrise) but then sees B&B carrying the TV down the street and immediately races back in the house in his usual panic attack. Too bad we didn't get that, but Judge had to write the script anyway.

Marin Mandir said...

It actually had a few very funny moments, but in any movie, with the amount of such increasing stupidity, one can only go so far.

Christopher Sobieniak said...

That's true. The film even had a deleted scene were Beavis while in Washington somehow takes the Constitution and uses it as toilet paper.

This film also introduced me to automatic urinals, since I didn't know they existed until I went to college around the time this film came out.