Beavis and Butt-Head was formative to many kids growing up. I, as a proud Gen Xer, remember watching Beavis and Butt-Head on MTV (back when the M stood for Music) and giggling along with the inane comedy and toilet humor, all the while my mother tried to pretend I wasn’t rotting my brain watching “that garbage.”
Thirty years later, Beavis and Butt-Head hasn’t changed at all. And that’s a good thing. A great thing. I was as surprised as anyone to discover they had a new film dropping on Paramount+ on June 23, titled Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe. With little fanfare and less advertising, the film sees the two greatest Gen X losers being losers in a whole new generation.
Starting in 1998, Beavis and Butt-Head, as a form of rehabilitation, are sent to Space Camp, where they are fascinated by a space capsule coupling exercise that looks dirty. The head astronaut, Serena, doesn’t realize what the boys see, and instead sees this as a teaching opportunity, inviting the boys to join them on the space mission. They think they are finally going to get to score, so of course, they agree. A series of low-brow misadventures ensue, and Serena attempts to murder Beavis and Butt-Head. She, unknowingly, fails, which leads the dimwits to fall through a wormhole and land in Texas in 2022, where Serena is running for governor.
When she discovers the pair are alive, she is determined to kill them to prevent her secret (that she tried to kill them in 1998) from getting out. Along the way, CIA agents try to kill Beavis and Butt-Head because they think their weird head shapes mean they aliens. Oh, and we meet “smart” Beavis and “smart” Butt-Head from the multiverse, who are trying to get our duo to go through the wormhole to reset the timelines. They haven’t been laid, either.
It’s chaos. It’s all chaos. But Beavis and Butt-Head don’t seem to notice or care. They are all about their one, ultimate goal: to score. And barring that, they want nachos. Lots and lots of nachos. They don’t notice that it is the year 2022; they don’t care how they can pay for things with the strange, pocket-sized television they stole off a tourist. They are base animals. Nachos and scoring. They care about TV, too, but they don’t have time to sit down and giggle over music videos anymore, because they are trying to score.
Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe is described as the “dumbest science fiction movie ever made,” and that is an apt description. It is jam-packed with every dumb Beavis & Butt-Head joke you can think of. In addition to the aforementioned scoring and nacho jokes, there is a fantastic, extended “I am the great Cornholio!” scene that leads to a full-blown prison riot. The only thing this film is missing is a “Come to Butt-Head” joke – there were at least three places that would have been perfect for one.
I don’t know how Gen Z or younger Millennials would enjoy Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe. I don’t know if the jokes will land across generations – or even for people of the right age, who never enjoyed Beavis and Butt-Head to begin with. It is definitely made by Gen X, for Gen X. If you were a fan of Beavis and Butt-Head, you will love them doing The Universe. They haven’t changed a bit, even though the world around them has changed. It is delightfully charming and ridiculous and completely expected, in the best way possible.