Blast from the Past (film)

Last updated
Blast from the Past
BlastFromThePast.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Hugh Wilson
Produced byHugh Wilson
Amanda Stern
Renny Harlin
Screenplay byHugh Wilson
Bill Kelly
Story byHugh Wilson
Starring
Music by Steve Dorff
Cinematography José Luis Alcaine
Edited by Don Brochu
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release date
  • February 12, 1999 (1999-02-12)
Running time
112 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$35 million
Box office$40.3 million

Blast from the Past is a 1999 American romantic comedy film directed by Hugh Wilson and starring Brendan Fraser, Alicia Silverstone, Christopher Walken, Sissy Spacek, and Dave Foley.

Contents

The film focuses on a naive 35-year old man, Adam Webber, who spent his entire life living in a fallout shelter with his parents watching reruns of I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners and listening to Perry Como and Dean Martin. His father is relatively content to stay, while his mother copes by trying to cobble together atomic era cocktails. When Adam has to come out of the shelter to get more supplies, his old-fashioned attitudes and manners make him a hit with everyone he meets, and attracts the attentions of Eve Rustikoff.

The film received mixed reviews from critics and was a box office disappointment.

Plot

Eccentric American scientist Dr. Calvin Webber (Christopher Walken) believes nuclear war with the Soviet Union is imminent, and builds a secret fallout shelter beneath his backyard in 1962. Alarmed by the Cuban Missile Crisis, Calvin takes his pregnant wife Helen (Sissy Spacek) into the shelter. Due to a freak mechanical failure causing the pilot of a passing F-86 Sabre fighter jet to lose control and eject, the abandoned plane crashes into the house; Calvin assumes the worst and activates the shelter’s time-locks for 35 years. With the house completely destroyed by the crash, the Webbers' neighbors and authorities assume they were killed and their property is left abandoned.

Helen gives birth to Adam, who is immersed in culture up to 1962, including TV reruns of I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners and listening to pop standards by Perry Como and Dean Martin. A diner is built above the shelter which opens in 1965, where Melcher (Joey Slotnick) works for Mom (Dale Raoul) as a soda jerk. The diner becomes a pizzeria, then a punk club named Purgatory as the suburban neighborhood deteriorates throughout the decades into an inner city ghetto. Mom eventually gives the club to Melcher; the establishment closes and by 1995, he is an alcoholic living in its condemned remains.

When the shelter unlocks in 1997, Calvin mistakes the now-blighted neighborhood where his home once was for a post-apocalyptic wasteland of irradiated mutants and decides the family must stay underground. With supplies running out and Calvin falling ill, Adam (Brendan Fraser) leaves the shelter for the first time. He meets Melcher, who encountered Calvin the previous night, bursting through the floor in his radiation suit. Melcher now worships Calvin and the elevator. Marveling at the outside world, Adam purchases supplies, but cannot remember his way back to the pub.

Trying to sell his father's classic baseball cards at a hobby shop, Adam meets Eve Rustikoff (Alicia Silverstone). She stops the store owner (Bill Gratton) from cheating Adam and is fired. Eve drives Adam to a Holiday Inn in exchange for a rare card, but returns the next morning out of guilt. Adam asks her to help purchase supplies. Unaware of the value of money, Adam agrees to her request for $1,000 a week. He also asks Eve to help him find a wife from Pasadena, California, per his mother's advice, who is "not a mutant". Adam meets Eve's gay housemate and best friend Troy (Dave Foley), who provides him with advice and a fashion makeover.

Eve and Troy take Adam to a 1940s swing-style nightclub to find him a wife. Adam attracts the attention of several women, including Eve's nemesis Sophie (Carmen Moré). Jealous, Eve reconnects with her ex-boyfriend Cliff (Nathan Fillion), who goads Adam into an altercation, relenting when Adam demonstrates his boxing skills, having trained every day with his father. Eve leaves. Troy returns home and explains Adam went home with Sophie. Adam returns, explaining that he politely rejected Sophie's advances, as he could only think about Eve. He and Eve kiss, but when Adam admits the truth about his past and his desire to take her to be his wife "underground", she asks him to leave.

Finding the pub, where Melcher preaches to a full congregation, Adam returns to Eve's house, where she is waiting with Dr. Nina Aron (Jenifer Lewis) and her assistant to have him committed. Initially cooperating, Adam escapes asking Eve and Troy to collect his things and pay his hotel bill. In his hotel room, Troy and Eve find toiletries and clothing from the 1960s and absurdly valuable stock certificates in companies like IBM (which Calvin had written off as "worthless"), and deduce that Adam is not crazy and was telling the truth the whole time.

As Melcher and his cult load supplies into the shelter, Calvin prepares to seal his family inside again. Eve spots Adam outside the pub; they embrace, and Adam takes her to meet his parents. Impressed with Eve, Calvin and Helen agree to set the shelter's locks for two months while Adam and Eve make arrangements.

During this time, Adam and Eve sell the stocks to build his parents a new home in the country, identical to their house that was destroyed, and purchase and restore a red 1960 Cadillac convertible. They help Melcher rebuild the pub into a '50s-themed nightclub after convincing him that Adam is not God.

Adam reveals there was never an atomic war, the "bomb" was not a bomb and instead was a plane that had crashed into their house, and the Soviet Union collapsed. Unconvinced, Calvin plans to build a new fallout shelter as Eve watches while playing with her engagement ring.

Cast

Reception

Critical reception

The film received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an overall score of 58% of the comments positive based on 81 reviews, with the consensus: "Cute idea, but not consistently funny". [1] On Metacritic has a score of 48%. Roger Ebert gave the film 3 out of 4 stars saying "the movie is funny and entertaining in all the usual ways, yes, but I was grateful that it tried for more: that it was actually about something, that it had an original premise, that it used satire and irony and had sly undercurrents." [2]

Box office

Blast from the Past opened in North American theaters on February 12, 1999 and took in $7,771,066 earning it 5th place at the box office for the weekend. It ultimately made a profit, grossing $40.3 million worldwide against its $35 million budget despite only grossing $26.5 million within the United States.

Soundtrack

Related Research Articles

Fallout shelter

A fallout shelter is an enclosed space specially designated to protect occupants from radioactive debris or fallout resulting from a nuclear explosion. Many such shelters were constructed as civil defense measures during the Cold War.

<i>In the Bedroom</i> 2001 film by Todd Field

In the Bedroom is a 2001 American independent crime drama film directed by Todd Field from a screenplay written by Field and Robert Festinger, based on the 1979 short story "Killings" by Andre Dubus. It stars Sissy Spacek, Tom Wilkinson, Nick Stahl, Marisa Tomei, and William Mapother. The film centers on the inner dynamics of a family in transition. Matt Fowler (Wilkinson) is a doctor practicing in Maine and is married to Ruth Fowler (Spacek), a music teacher. Their son Frank (Stahl) is involved in a love affair with an older single mother, Natalie Strout (Tomei). As the beauty of Maine's brief and fleeting summer comes to an end, these characters find themselves in the midst of an unimaginable tragedy.

Sissy Spacek American actress and singer

Mary Elizabeth "Sissy" Spacek is an American actress and singer. She is the recipient of numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, three Golden Globe Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and nominations for four British Academy Film Awards, three Primetime Emmy Awards, and a Grammy Award. Spacek was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011.

<i>Badlands</i> (film) 1973 American crime film directed by Terrence Malick

Badlands is a 1973 American neo-noir period crime drama film written, produced and directed by Terrence Malick, in his directorial debut. The film stars Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek, Warren Oates and Ramon Bieri. The story is fictional but is loosely based on the real-life murder spree of Charles Starkweather and his girlfriend, Caril Ann Fugate, in 1958. Like many of Malick's films, Badlands is notable for its lyrical photography and its music, which includes pieces by Carl Orff.

Alicia Silverstone American actress

Alicia Silverstone is an American actress. She made her film debut in the erotic thriller The Crush (1993), earning the 1994 MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance, and gained further prominence at the age of 16 as a teen idol when she appeared in the music video for Aerosmith's "Cryin'". Silverstone went on to star as Cher Horowitz in the teen comedy film Clueless (1995), which earned her a multi-million dollar deal with Columbia Pictures. She then starred in the big-budget superhero film Batman & Robin (1997), playing Batgirl.

Christopher Walken American actor and comedian

Christopher Walken is an American actor, comedian, and singer who has appeared in more than 100 films and television programs, including Annie Hall (1977), The Deer Hunter (1978), The Dogs of War (1980), The Dead Zone (1983), A View to a Kill (1985), King of New York (1990), Batman Returns (1992), True Romance (1993), Pulp Fiction (1994), Antz (1998), Vendetta (1999), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Joe Dirt (2001), Catch Me If You Can (2002), Click (2006), Hairspray (2007), Seven Psychopaths (2012), the first three Prophecy films, The Jungle Book (2016), and Irreplaceable You (2018). He has received a number of awards and nominations, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for The Deer Hunter. He was nominated for the same award and won BAFTA and Screen Actors Guild Awards for Catch Me If You Can. His films have grossed more than $1 billion in the United States alone.

<i>Face/Off</i> 1997 film by John Woo

Face/Off is a 1997 American action thriller film directed by John Woo, written by Mike Werb and Michael Colleary, and starring John Travolta and Nicolas Cage. Travolta plays an FBI agent and Cage plays a terrorist, sworn enemies who assume each other's physical appearances.

<i>Miss Match</i> American comedy-drama television series

Miss Match is an American comedy-drama television series created by Jeff Rake and Darren Star and produced by 20th Century Fox Television, Darren Star Productions, and Imagine Television. It aired in the United States on NBC from September 26 to December 15, 2003, including international networks aired in Australia on Seven Network, Arena, and Fox8, and in the United Kingdom on Living, Channel 4, and is on E4. Seventeen episodes of the series were filmed, with eleven aired in the United States. The entire series aired in both the UK and Canada.

"Shelter Skelter" is the second segment of the thirty-third episode and the ninth episode of the second season (1986–87) of the television series The Twilight Zone.

"On the Street Where You Live" is a song with music by Frederick Loewe and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner from the 1956 Broadway musical My Fair Lady. It is sung in the musical by the character Freddy Eynsford-Hill, who was portrayed by John Michael King in the original production. In the 1964 film version, it was sung by Bill Shirley, dubbing for actor Jeremy Brett.

<i>Excess Baggage</i> (1997 film) 1997 American film directed by Marco Brambilla

Excess Baggage is a 1997 American crime-comedy film written by Max D. Adams, Dick Clement, and Ian La Frenais, and directed by Marco Brambilla about a neglected young woman who stages her own kidnapping to get her father's attention, only to be actually kidnapped by a car thief. The film stars Alicia Silverstone, Benicio del Toro, and Christopher Walken.

Blast from the Past (<i>Veronica Mars</i>) 5th episode of the second season of Veronica Mars

"Blast from the Past" is the fifth episode of the second season of the American mystery television series Veronica Mars, and the twenty-seventh episode overall. Written by Phil Klemmer and Cathy Belben and directed by Harry Winer, the episode premiered on UPN on October 26, 2005.

<i>Welcome to L.A.</i> 1976 film by Alan Rudolph

Welcome to L.A. is a 1976 film directed by Alan Rudolph and starring Keith Carradine and an ensemble cast. The film focuses on themes of romantic despair and shallowness in the decadent upper class during the 1970s, illustrated through a La Ronde-like circle of sexual adventures and failed affairs revolving around a womanizing songwriter, his businessman father, and their associates.

The Future Eve is a symbolist science fiction novel by the French author Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam. Begun in 1878 and originally published in 1886, the novel is known for popularizing the term "Android".

Christopher Walken on stage and screen

Christopher Walken is an American actor and comedian, whose career has spanned over 50 years with appearances in theater, film, and television. He has appeared in over 100 movies and television shows, including A View to a Kill, At Close Range, The Deer Hunter, King of New York, Batman Returns,Pulp Fiction, Sleepy Hollow, True Romance, and Catch Me If You Can, as well as music videos by recording artists such as Madonna and Fatboy Slim.

Madison Clark Main protagonist in the first four seasons of Fear the Walking Dead#

Madison Clark is a fictional character and the main protagonist for the first four seasons of the television series Fear the Walking Dead. Portrayed by an actress Kim Dickens, the character was created by Robert Kirkman and showrunner Dave Erickson. Clark is a former high school guidance counselor, mother to Nick and Alicia, and fiancée of Travis Manawa.

Nick Clark (character)

Nicholas Clark is a fictional character in the first four seasons of the television series Fear the Walking Dead. He is portrayed by Frank Dillane.

Travis Manawa fictional character in the television series Fear the Walking Dead

Travis Manawa is a fictional character in the first three seasons of the television series Fear the Walking Dead portrayed by Cliff Curtis. The character is a former English teacher who is dealing with the fallout in addition to a divorce and a resentful son.

References

  1. Blast from the Past at Rotten Tomatoes
  2. "Blast From The Past". Rogerebert.com. February 12, 1999. Retrieved 2012-07-05.