Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ecino Man Review: The Comedy That Was the Voice of a Generation

Hey kids, if you ever want to see what the 90s looked like, or at least how the generation perceived themselves to be, then look no further than Encino Man. You won't find any ground breaking cinematography, or a deep story trying to say something. But, you will get pure stupid early 90s comedy geared for Gen Xers, before Pauly "The Weasel" Shore was completely shunned by both Hollywood and audiences.

What sets this movie apart from all of the other fast editing, unnecessary-sound-effects laden movies of the late 80s and early 90s? Well, Ecino Man has a caveman in it, of course. Let's take a look at this wonderful character study.

People To Know

Dave - Dave is the typical self-absorbed nerd that is constantly seeking popularity. This not an uncommon trait for the offspring of the greedy generation that destroyed any notion of personal values and responsibilities, and ultimately ruined America by singing multiple free trade agreements and sending our jobs overseas, thus destroying our economy, and now our generation has to deal with it...the baby boomers.

Link - A caveman that was frozen in ice for thousands of years, only to be dug up and exploited by Dave. He's one of the more thought provoking characters in the movie. 

-My career only has about 2 years left.
-It's ok Weasel. You've made it this far without any real talent.
Maybe you can put a show together with Screech.
Stoney - Stoney is the pretty much the exact same character that Shore played in every other t.v. show and  movie that he was in. Somehow, he seems to really be on the level of a caveman, and it really works here. Kudos. 

Hi, my name is Matt Wilson. I will be representing
the Billy Zabka-esque character of our film.
Robyn - The popular girl that Dave has been obsessing over since childhood. We know this from the picture he proudly displays of him and her in the bathtub together as children. She's either completely clueless or just a real biznitch because when Dave asks her out, she declines, then immediately request that he ask his friend to go with her instead. Seriously? 

Matt Wilson - The man that Robyn is kind-of dating. He hates Dave, and has a real penchant from discussing people urinating on each others gums. He would later pioneer the __ girls __ cup phenomenon.

And the Story Goes... 

We begin with cavepeople (don't want to be sexist) stiring bowls, and trying to start fires. Suddenly an earthquake strikes, and the caveman falls out of his cave, an into a block of ice. Luckily, the human body is in no way complex, and freezing it in an uncontrolled environment will always allow the person to be revived in the future with nothing more than a couple of space heaters, almost certainly without fail. 

Before we move on, I would like to give a little bit of a history lesson to the younger readers out there. You see, in the early 90s, if you were considered a nerd, then you would always resort to digging swimming pools in your parent's back yard. This would help others see that you were cool. The act dates back to prehistoric times when usefulness was a virtue. (do I smell juxtaposition?)

The honeys love spite of the fact that he
looks like Yahoo Serious. And, that's a fact!  
Moving along, Dave is demonstrating our innate prehistoric coping mechanism in his parent's backyard, whilst Stoney watches. Our two lovable ne'er do well main characters inevitably discover a caveman. So, what would the obvious decision be if you found a caveman in your backyard, and you were able to successfully resuscitate him? Why, enroll him into highs chool solely on the notion that he will help you to have all sorts of wacky adventures, and ultimately make you popular, of course.

But first, we need an 80s style montage of Link being cleaned up!

They end up being half right. Link does create some crazy high jinks for the duo as they make multiple failed attempts at becoming popular. Alas, it is only Link that ends up becoming popular, but he makes a few enemies along the way...namely Matt Wilson!

One aspect that I can praise about this film is the serious attitude that the director took when demonstrating that it is wrong to use the caveman that you found in your backyard to try to obtain fame. This is tough material to cover, and Dave and Stoney's dramatic conversation brings tears to my eyes, even today. This subject is long overdue for serious debate.

We finally wrap-up the motivational speeches on what friendship with cavemen really is, and move on to the final confrontation. Matt Wilson tells the entire school that Link isn't from Estonia (like Dave & Stoney always said), but is, in fact, an caveman. Oh dear! But, what will the students think?!

Well, if you're versed in 80s/90s films for young people, then you probably know the answer. They cheer!

After Stoney dumps punch on Matt Wilson's head whilst quoting his famous line "shoosh," we move on to happier times. Link is out of the closet, Dave and Stoney have finally achieved popularity, and now it's time for a stylish unrehearsed dance routine. It's amazing how the entire school know this dance without ever rehearsing...or even sharing ideas on the choreography.

The caveman dance
is your chance to do the cave

This is a fun movie. I thought it was goofy when I saw it as a kid, and I still think it's goofy now. Perhaps it has a bit of nostalgia for me, but I think that if you like some of the movies that I've reviewed up to this point, then you would probably like this. 

Give it a shot. And don't make that "I want the director to give me the 1.5 hours of my life back that I wasted on this stupid movie." It's old, and you probably don't have that much going on anyways.

What I learned from Encino Man:

  • Indians don't like when you weaze the ju-uice
  • Milk does the body good
  • If you are cornered by Mexicans, 5 to 1, then you should refer to their wives as "moldy cheese." Not only will they not jump you, but they will accept you as one of them
  • Estonians are famous for eating dog food...out of dog bowls...on the floor
  • Some ups pump, and some of us slump

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