Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains (Lou Adler, 1982)

This lost punksploitation classic is truly one of the worst movies I've ever seen, but absolutely essential viewing if you're at all interested in the world of punk rock and bad movies. Buried by the studio after disastrous test screenings, it made infrequent appearances on late night TV in the 80s and gathered something of a cult following through dubbed tapes until finally getting an official release a few years ago.

The "story" is about an inept small town teenage punk band (fronted by a wonderfully young and stroppy Diane Lane, with 14 year old Laura Dern on Bass) and their trials and tribulations as they go from doing nothing to touring the country with a washed up a seventies glam group and a sex pistols-esque UK punk band (made up of 2 parts actual sex pistols, Steve Jones and Paul Cook, Paul Siminon of The Clash, and a very young Ray Winstone as a Johnny Rotten / Joe Strummer hybrid!) to becoming overnight stars through the machinations of the media and the record business and yada yada yada.

It's one of those almost non movies that just never quite happens, made up of scene after scene that just doesn't happen. Every scene, you're just sitting there, waiting, thinking "is this scene ever gonna happen? is there gonna be some drama or some comedy or SOMETHING???", and the scene finishes and it's on to another scene that never happens.

But it's a pretty enjoyable bad watch nonetheless. There's a great cliched rasta tour manager / busdriver, and every now and then he'll go into these super badly acted rants about jah and injustice and so forth while this cod reggae music appears in the background out of nowhere.

My favourite part was a surprise appearance by legendary LA weirdoes Black Randy & The Metro Squad, and then our man's even more surprising re-appearance as Mexican Randy! Who woulda thunk it...

It was directed by music biz mogul Lou Adler, who'd previously struck gold with The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Nothing in here ever reaches those heights of immortal B-Movie glory, but it's nonetheless a terrible movie i'll enjoy thinking of for many years to come...

1 comment:

  1. Dear Richie, I listen to a podcast that has spent a while on this movie that you may enjoy http://seehear.podbean.com/2014/02/17/see-hear-podcast-episode-2-ladies-and-gentlemen-the-fabulous-stains/