Guilty Pleasures: Encino Man
By Felix Quinonez Jr.
July 26, 2012
Let’s face it, whether we’re talking about movies, music, books or whatever, we all think we have great taste. Because we only see things from our own perspectives, we usually use our personal tastes as a way to judge quality.
But even so, we all have our guilty pleasures. I’m talking about that song you stop humming when someone walks into the room. Or maybe it’s that movie you claim your significant other dragged you to. Whatever the case, we all have guilty pleasures and that includes me, of course. With this column I’m going to try to encourage people to stop being embarrassed for liking things they normally wouldn’t or that aren’t considered cool. I’m going to do this by celebrating movies that are my personal guilty pleasures.
Fame is a weird creature. Sometimes you see someone famous and it’s almost like they were born to be a star. Other times you can’t help but wonder, “how the hell did that happen?” A perfect example of someone who fits into the latter category is Pauly Shore. He rose to fame in the early ‘90s - or maybe it was the late ‘80s - but quickly faded into obscurity as people came to their senses, or maybe just sobered up. Not even people who used to be his fans can explain the mystery of Pauly Shore’s rise to fame, so I can only imagine what future generations will think about us.
Unfortunately I can’t say that I was one of the sane ones who didn’t think Pauly Shore was cool.
No, I was in fact a Pauly Shore fan, there I said it. That’s why in this column, I will be looking at the weasel’s first movie, and my favorite, Encino Man. (1992) I have the urge to point out that when this movie came out I was about seven-years-old. Not only that, but I had just moved to this country so I was still new to American culture. But if I’m being fully honest, I still kind of think he was cool. I mean the guy was weird but he’d rather be himself and an outcast than pretend to be someone he wasn’t. He was a bit out of his time and I’m sure I’m not the only one who can relate to that.
Encino Man was directed by Les Mayfield, who also directed Flubber, among other cinematic classics. Besides Pauly Shore, the movie also stars Sean Astin, Brendan Fraser, and Megan Ward.
The opening scene is set during the ice age as we see a caveman and his cavewoman. They are trying to start a fire to keep warm but because of an earthquake the two of them are buried by a cave-in. The movie then flashes forward a couple of years to present day California. Dave (Astin) is just getting out of bed to go to school. The movie does its best to show how modern day men, especially teenagers, aren’t all that different from cavemen. It’s not hilarious or particularly clever but it’s worth a chuckle. Pretty soon his best friend Stoney (Shore) shows up and they are off to school.