An overstressed suburbanite and two of his neighbors struggle to prove their paranoid theory that the new family on the block are part of a murderous cult.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Brother Theodore ...
Joe, Garbageman #2
Cory Danziger ...
Detective #1
Detective #2


This story takes place in a typical American neighborhood, when some new neighbors come to live in the house next to Ray Peterson. These new people are really strange; nobody has ever seen them, their house is a real mess, and during the night you can hear weird noises from their basement. The only thing they know is their name: Klopeks. One day Walter (an old man of the neighborhood) suddenly disappears and everyone starts to suspect the Klopeks... Written by Chris Makrozahopoulos <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A comedy about one nice guy who gets pushed too far. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 February 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Life in the Burbs  »

Box Office


$36,602,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


At the time the movie was being filmed Corey Feldman and Michael Jackson were close friends. While the King of Pop did not visit the set, his famed chimpanzee Bubbles was a frequent guest, but had to be confined to Feldman's trailer while he was filming. After shooting Corey would return to his trailer to find that the chimp had defecated and spread the mess around the interior. This problem repeated itself and became such a distraction that Joe Dante eventually banned Bubbles from the set. See more »


When Ray hits the gas line in the Klopec's basement, only a few seconds pass until he is running out of the house. There is no way that a sufficient amount of natural gas could have built up in that short time that would have resulted in such a massive explosion. See more »


Ray Peterson: [mumbling] aw, oh I should have gone to the lake, I shoulda listened to Carol...
Art Wiengartner: Listen to your wife? Who listens to their wife? Listen, you gotta listen to me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the Universal logo, the camera zooms into Earth and to where the film takes place. See more »


Referenced in American Grindhouse (2010) See more »


Written by Mickey Finn, Fernie Rod, Billy Rowe & Sami Yaffa
Performed by Jetboy
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

a hilarious movie
22 July 2001 | by (California) – See all my reviews

The first time I saw THE 'BURBS, it was a special unannounced sneak preview following another film. Having heard nothing about this film and not even knowing of its existence until the film started, I was immediately worried I was about to see a horror film. Hey, I was only ten at the time, when I was still scared of horror movies. But what I ended up seeing was one of the most hilarious movies ever made, a movie that had the entire theater laughing all the way through. We later bought the video, and more recently the DVD, and over the years since it's release I've watched it countless times (the exact number probably somewhere in the 50s or so) and have never grown tired of it.

While managing to be both suspenseful and funny at the same time, the film also does a great job after capturing the day-to-day life of a small suburban street, with a variety of characters so simple and life-like, it seems like they could actually live on your own street. The grumpy old guy down the street, the teenager who likes to throw parties while his parents are gown, the guy next door who comes over all the time and mooches food, and the average Everyday Joe who experiences it all at his own pace. The cast is an excellent combination, with everybody working great together, particularly Bruce Dern as the Vietnam vet who always has the right tool for the job and Tom Hanks as the average guy who's curious about his strange new neighbors, but not enough to really want to bother finding out more about them. If you've never seen it, I suggest giving it a look. It really is quite funny and has many quotable lines.

29 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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