Everyone I know has a guilty pleasure of some kind. For some, it’s a certain kind of book and to others, it’s a certain kind of food. For most of my friends, it’s a movie or actor. No matter how bad the actor is or how many times they have seen the movie, they will never turn away from them. In my case, that actor is Pauly Shore and the movie is Encino Man.
A young Sean Astin stars as Dave Morgan, a high school “loser” in Encino, Calif. His one goal in life is to finish digging a hole in his backyard to make a pool for an epic post-prom party that will theoretically make him the most popular kid in school. While he is digging with his friend Stanley “Stoney” Brown (Pauly Shore) in his backyard pool-hole, he finds a prehistoric bowl, which leads to a large chunk of ice. They start to excavate the ice, and within it they see a man, who they decide to thaw out.
When the boys return from school, they check the garage, but find that the caveman is missing. They begin to think that they have lost all chance of becoming popular at school until they discover handprints on the windows of the house. As it turns out, the caveman has defrosted and is very much alive. They clean him up and give him the name Link, short for Linkavich Chomofsky, and the backstory of being a foreign exchange student from Estonia, so that they can enrol him in school and use him in their plan to become cool.
They bring him to school and Link becomes the talk of the town. Dave and Stoney still think that he is their ticket to fame and popularity, yet after only one day at school, Link has received multiple offers for dates, become a member of the computer club and befriended virtually everyone in the school. At the same time, Dave and Stoney are still referred to as the dork squad and people wonder why in the world Link would hang out with two losers like them.
This movie is the perfect example of early ‘90s teen comedy that was, of course, universally panned by almost every adult who saw it. Regardless of that fact, I think that everyone should watch this movie once, at least to have an awesome ‘90s flashback.
Directed by Les Mayfield, 1992
Starring Pauly Shore, Sean Astin and Brendan Fraser