When I sat down to read Encino Man, the movie novelization by Nicholas Edwards, adapted from the screenplay for the 1992 Hollywood Pictures film, I had some rather lofty expectations. Lofty? Certainly an incongruous word for a kids book based on a buddy comedy film starring Pauly Shore and Monkeybone’s Brendan Frasier. But it’s true.
In our recent episode of the SequelQuest podcast we discussed our ideas for a sequel to Encino Man, which you can listen to here. While breaking down the film’s cultural impact we mentioned that Pauly Shore’s scene stealing character of Stoney was presented as the wingman to the Link character in the VHS poster art, while Sean Astin’s character Dave was nowhere to be found. This is despite the fact that the main narrative is Dave’s quest for popularity and getting the girl.
So when I flipped through Scholastic’s Encino Man novelization published by their Point imprint, I really expected to discover a bunch of cut scenes fleshing out Dave’s journey from whiney loser to, well, less whiney average teen. I imagined that while Dave was overshadowed by the wackiness of Shore and Frasier’s performances in the film, he would finally get his due somewhere within these 165 pages. Alas, this was not the case.
What follows are the most interesting revelations from the book, moments and characters that are not found in the final film. Though it is mostly a literal adaptation of the screenplay, there are several characters who get their chance to shine more brightly. None of whom are Dave. Sorry, Sean Astin.
Stoney’s Parents Revealed
During the dinner scene in Encino Man, Stoney makes reference to the fact that “the whole Brady Bunch thing” is not happening at his house, but that’s all we know of his family life. As it turns out Stanley Brown (Stoney’s real name) is a truly tragic figure. We learn that Stoney lives in a small apartment with his couch potato Mother, who is not even willing to get up from watching Regis and Kathie Lee to acknowledge her son’s declaration of , “I got you Doritos.” Instead telling him to just leave them on the table.
During this visit to Stoney’s palace of sadness Dave asks, “Remember when my Dad and your Dad used to take us to breakfast on Sunday?” Then adding, “It’s lousy that your parents split up, and that your Dad moved so far away.” Stoney elaborates with, “No kidding, Buddy. That’s as far as you can go, Fiji.” Product of a broken home, now we can understand why Dave’s pal has retreated into a shell of eccentricity.
Link vs “The Snake”
As seen in the film, Link the caveman’s first encounters with the modern world are frightening. The book adds two brief, additional moments of terror. After Link encounters the Wooly Mammoth like garbage truck, he retreats to a neighbor’s backyard and hears, “A high pitched roar” and then sees “a long, tubular serpent coming straight towards him…screaming like the gods themselves.” It turns out to be a gardener with a leaf blower, but frightened Link runs for his life and almost gets hit by a Mack truck with a surly driver, which he doesn’t mistake for any deadly creature for some reason.
Teena, The Little Sister
In the film, we only see Dave’s bratty sister, Teena during the aforementioned dinner scene, which is extended in the book as the siblings exchange more insults and leading to Teena being slammed with the label of, “Braless” by her older brother. Through an inner monologue it is also revealed that Teena has a crush on Link upon her first meeting with the supposed Estonian Exchange Student. She is also mentioned as being in the room a few more times in other scenes during the book, where we did not see her in the movie. For example, when Robyn shows up to take Link to the Prom, simply uttering the word, “Hey”.
Stoney’s Forgotten Girlfriend
When Dave and Stoney ride Link’s coattails to Blades, the local cool kid’s hangout, it is revealed that Stoney has an ongoing flirtation with an ice rink waitress named Amy. She is described as, “a large, pretty girl just out of high school and now working her way through college”. He invites her to the post graduation pool party at Dave’s house, but then 2 skaters harsh his gig by ordering a soda and putting Amy back to work. Luckily in the book’s final pages, “To Stoney’s delight, Amy, the waitress from Blades, had come and from the moment she arrived he danced with her nonstop.” A truly happy ending.
Unseen Party Guests
The final party scene also features the re-appearance of several characters who had appeared earlier in the story, that did not actually appear on screen in the finished film. Enrique and Maria, the Latin couple from the wild bar scene are on hand for the festivities for some reason, as well as Kashmir and Rajnish, the convenience store owners who objected to any “Weezin’ the juice” and for some reason, Mr. Jerry Brusche, the science teacher acting as a chaperon. It makes sense to have younger folks with an obvious love of partying show up, but 3 middle aged authority figures? Very odd guest list.
So there you have it, 5 “Deleted Scenes” from the Encino Man novelization not seen in the film. Probably more than you cared to know or even imagined there was to know. Would the addition of these characters and dialogue have made the film more memorable for you? Let us know on Twitter @SQPOD or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and stay crusty, bu-uuddy!