Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtin, and Michelle Burke in Coneheads (1993)


(director: Steve Barron; screenwriters: Dan Aykroyd/Tom Davis/Bonnie Turner/Terry Turner; cinematographer: Francis Kenny; editor: Paul Trejo; music: David Newman; cast: Dan Aykroyd(Beldar Conehead), Jane Curtin (Prymaat Conehead), Michelle Burke (Connie Conehead), Michael McKean (Gorman Seedling), Jason Alexander (Larry Farber), Lisa Jane Persky(Lisa Farber), Chris Foley (Ronnie), David Spade (Eli Turnull), Laraine Newman (Laarta), Adam Sandler (Carmine), Phil Hartman (Marlax), Dave Thomas (Highmaster), Sinbad (Otto), Jan Hooks (Gladys), Garrett Morris (Captain Orecruiser); Runtime: 87; MPAA Rating: PG; producer: Lorne Michaels; Paramount; 1993)


A one-joke sci-fi film.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A one-joke sci-fi film misfire that’s based on the popular Saturday Night Live sketch. It blandly tries to stretch such thin material into a full-length feature film. It’s flatly directed by Steve Barron(“Treasure Island”/”Choking Man”/”Merlin”) and poorly written by Tom Davis, Bonnie Turner and Terry Turner. It just wasn’t funny. Also the movie irritates with its overt product placements for Pepsi and Subway.

The SNL writers have us believe that no one notices that the married couple, with the pointed heads, Beldar Conehead (Dan Aykroyd) and Prymaat (Jane Curtin), are not fom France but from the planet Remulak. The big joke is that the family has assimilated into the American melting pot and found middle class success by achieving the American dream, through Beldan’s efforts as a taxi driver.

Another laughing moment is supposed to come when the meanie bigot immigration official, Gorman Seedling (Michael McKean), and his smarmy underling, Eli Turnull (David Spade), notice that the illegal aliens are really aliens from outer space and try by all means to get them deported.

Their neighbors in the New Jersey suburbs all accept the Coneheads for who they are. Their troubled teenage daughter Connie (Michelle Burke) dates the oafish Ronnie (Chris Foley). When the Coneheads find they are able to return home they are happy but their daughter is not. Connie, who was born in America, doesn’t want to leave her boyfriend and soft American life.

The weak comedy is derived from theConeheads’ robotic waddle, their awkward way of talking and the consumption of mass quantities of chicken embryos.

It ultimately fails because it lacks sufficient satire or an edge.