Encino Man

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Encino Man

Released in Europe as

California Man

Theatrical release poster
Directed byLes Mayfield
Produced byGeorge Zaloom
Hilton A. Green
Michael Rotenberg
Written byGeorge Zaloom
Shawn Schepps
StarringSean Astin
Brendan Fraser
Pauly Shore
Megan Ward
Robin Tunney
Michael DeLuise
Music byJ. Peter Robinson
CinematographyRobert Brinkmann
Editing byMichael Kelly
Eric A. Sears
Distributed byHollywood Pictures
Release date(s)May 22, 1992
Running time88 min.
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$7.5 million[1]
Box office$40,693,477
 
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Encino Man

Released in Europe as

California Man

Theatrical release poster
Directed byLes Mayfield
Produced byGeorge Zaloom
Hilton A. Green
Michael Rotenberg
Written byGeorge Zaloom
Shawn Schepps
StarringSean Astin
Brendan Fraser
Pauly Shore
Megan Ward
Robin Tunney
Michael DeLuise
Music byJ. Peter Robinson
CinematographyRobert Brinkmann
Editing byMichael Kelly
Eric A. Sears
Distributed byHollywood Pictures
Release date(s)May 22, 1992
Running time88 min.
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$7.5 million[1]
Box office$40,693,477

Encino Man, released in Europe as California Man, is a 1992 comedy film directed by Les Mayfield and starring Brendan Fraser, Sean Astin and Pauly Shore.[2] The plot revolves around two geeky teenagers from Encino, Los Angeles, California, played by Astin and Shore, who discover a caveman in their backyard frozen in a block of ice. The caveman, played by Fraser, has to learn to live in the new 20th century. Along the way, he teaches them about life. It was followed by a TV movie sequel, Encino Woman, in 1996.

Contents

Plot

The film opens during the first ice age where a caveman attempts to make fire with his girlfriend, however there is an earthquake that causes a cave-in that buries the two of them. This segues into a present-day Los Angeles earthquake that awakens average teenager Dave Morgan (Sean Astin) who, along with his best friend Stanley "Stoney" Brown (Pauly Shore) strive to attain popularity in high school but come off more as rejects and outcasts. Dave is in love with Robyn (Megan Ward) a sweet and attractive girl who has been his best friend since grade school, and until she reached "babehood" had been rejected by Dave on several occasions. Her boyfriend Matt (Michael DeLuise) is a dim witted jock and school bully who is constantly responsible for making both Dave and Stoney the objects of ridicule by embarrassing them in various ways, usually directly due to Dave's growing affections toward Robyn.

One day, as Dave is digging a pool in his back yard, he comes across a chunk of ice that has the body of a man in it. They leave the ice block unattended in the garage and space heaters left on cause the ice to melt, releasing the caveman (Brendan Fraser) from the opening of the film. The caveman falls head first into the 20th century, discovering a garbage truck which he misinterprets as a mammoth from his time, and television which he discovers upon entering Dave's house. When the boys return home, they find hand paint covering the walls and the house is in disarray. Upon investigating a beeping smoke alarm, they discover the caveman in Dave's bedroom, attempting to start a fire "Indian-style" by rotating a stick in the center of a pile of kindling. At first the caveman panics at the sight of them, but then Stoney quickly calms him by using the flame of a lighter to mesmerize him. After bathing him and trimming him to look like an average teenager, Dave names him "Link" as in the missing link.

They manage to fool Dave's family into thinking he is actually an Estonian exchange student sent to live with them, and enroll him in school where Link's bizarre behavior and supreme athletic skills shoot Dave and Stoney to popularity by association, allowing Dave to get closer to Robyn, to Matt's chagrin. It soon becomes apparent that Stoney's bizarre attitude is having an effect on Link's actions and speech, which causes a rift between Dave and Stoney and after a fight with Matt at a skating rink, as well as an attraction developing between Robyn and Link. Dave tries to send Link away, but a fight between him and Stoney cause Link to come running back. On prom night Link is a hit at the party with Robyn as his date while Dave stays in for the evening. Matt breaks into Dave's bedroom and steals photographic evidence that Link is a caveman, but his plan to uncover the "freak" backfires as the information instead makes Link even more popular. Dave and Robyn make up, and the three boys lead the entire prom in an impromptu caveman-like dance.

After the prom, the students attend Dave's house for a pool party where Dave and Robyn kiss. Meanwhile, Stoney and Link follow clues similar to when they found him ranging from breast prints on the slider and paint covering the walls. They follow the muddy footprints to the bathroom and discover a beautiful cavewoman (Sandra Hess) in the bathtub who turns out to be Link's girlfriend from the beginning of the film. He joins her in the bathtub as Stoney cheers them on and embraces her happily.

Cast

Reception

The film gained a mostly negative reaction from critics.[3][4] Encino Man currently holds a 17% rating on the aggregate film review site Rotten Tomatoes.[5] Despite the low rating, the film was a box-office success.[6]

Pauly Shore's performance in Encino Man won him the Razzie Award for Worst New Star.

In popular culture

Link, again played by Fraser, makes a cameo appearance in the 1993 movie Son-in-Law, which also stars Pauly Shore. Fraser also briefly appears as a soldier with the name "Link" on his fatigues in In the Army Now starring Shore.

In Evan Wright's book about the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Generation Kill, the US Marine company commander is nicknamed Encino Man, supposedly for his resemblance to one of the film's characters.[7] In the 2008 HBO miniseries of adaptation of the book the officer is played by Brian Patrick Wade.[8]

The 1999 South Park Episode entitled Prehistoric Ice Man was a parody of the movie, wherein the boys find a man that has been frozen in ice since 1996. Everyone in the episode acts as though this is a breakthrough discovery, and a chance to find out what life was really like in 1996.

References

External links