Encino Man

Tagged: Film

Film (1992; vt California Man). Hollywood Pictures/Touchwood Pacific Partners I/Warner Bros. Produced by George Zaloom. Directed by Les Mayfield. Written by Shawn Schepps, based on a story by Schepps and Zaloom. Cast includes Sean Astin, Brendan Fraser and Pauly Shore. 88 minutes. Colour.

Limp version of the old story of the caveman who is dug up and resuscitated, as previously seen in Trog (1970), Schlock (1973) and Iceman (1984) among others; see also Apes as Human. This made-for-teenagers movie, clearly calculated to appeal to the same audience as that for Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989) and Wayne's World (1992), portrays two high-school nerds (Astin and Shore) who dig up a frozen cave man (Fraser) after an earthquake disturbs the soil in an Encino swimming-pool excavation (see California), thaw him, and enrol him at their school (after a wash and haircut) as a "Lithuanian" friend. The caveman's simple high spirits win him many friends, and the high-school hard man is publicly humiliated by him. The film's various attempts at Satire are uninventive. The second nerd (Shore), however, is always amusing, largely because of the vigour of his esoteric teen vocabulary. [PN]

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