Length: 81 minutes
Directors: Mike Judge (Office Space; Idiocracy) and Yvette Kaplan (“Beavis and Butt-head”; “King of the Hill”)
Writers: Mike Judge (Office Space; Idiocracy) and Joe Stillman (Shrek; Shrek 2)
Starring: Mike Judge, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, Robert Stack, Greg Kinnear, David Spade, David Letterman, Cloris Leachman, Richard Linklater, Eric Bogosian. Tracy Grandstaff
I remember seeing “Beavis and Butt-head Do America” on it’s opening Friday back in 1996. I went with my good friend Diana, some pretentious doofus named Phil, and a kid who’s name escapes me that was mentally challenged (maybe?) and his big deal around school was that he thought he was Vanilla Ice. Before the move started, the Vanilla Ice kid (I can’t believe I don’t remember this kid’s name) went in front of the crowded theater and danced and free-styled. Nobody seemed to notice or care, but I thought it was pretty funny (in a kind way). Then the movie started and honest to God when I popped a copy of it into the DVD player the other day to watch it, I didn’t remember more than a couple of scenes. I watch a lot of movies, but I usually remember at least a little of the movie, especially one that was as culturally popular as this one was at the time. If you weren’t around at the time, “Beavis and Butt-head” was the “Friends” of the Gen X youth. Watching the movie I wondered why that was. I haven’t seen an episode of the show in quite some time either, but I imagine it would have more novelty than the film has. When the show first started, my friends and I used to complain about the video commentary that would interrupt the actual episodes. Now I understand why it was necessary. The characters are funny, situationally, only in small doses. There were reasons the episodes were short and the videos were included. The movie itself is now painfully dated and uncomfortably unfunny. It’s like a home video you and your buddies filmed in middle school and unearthed your senior year of high school. “But it was hilarious back then…” The jokes in the movie are stale and deal a great bit with Beavis’ masturbation issues. I laughed a couple of times, but the laughs didn’t feel very natural. They felt kind of like pity laughs. When the end credits rolled and that goddamned Red Hot Chili Peppers “Love Rollercoaster” cover played for the millionth time in the movie (they killed that song on MTV and the radio when the movie was released), I recalled the Vanilla Ice kid and I laughed. That laugh wasn’t a pity laugh. I guess a kid pretending to be Vanilla Ice and beat boxing is more dated than a “Beavis and Butt-head” movie, but it saddens me to say that in 2008 the Vanilla Ice kid holds up better.