The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN THE FABULOUS STAINS (1982) **

Corrine “Third Degree” Burns (Diane Lane), her cousin (Laura Dern) and sister (some other broad) run away from home to be in a punk rock band called The Stains.  They land a gig opening for a British punk band called The Looters, led by Billy (Ray Winstone), who develops a thing for the spitfire Corrine.  The Stains gain notoriety when a local news reporter does a story on Corrine, who captures the hearts of the tri-county area’s disaffected female youth populace with her skunk hairdo, fishnet stockings and motto:  “We Don’t Put Out!”  Eventually all the girls start dressing up like their idol and buying stuffed skunk dolls.  Predictably, The Stains sell out and leave their disillusioned fans holding the bag. 

 

I don’t necessarily have a problem with the clichés naturally built in to a rock n’ roll movie, but let’s get real, you’ve seen this all before and done much better.  While it’s kinda fun seeing a young Diane Lane running around wearing next to nothing, her character is so grating that it gives the film no one to root for.  It’s not like one of those deals where success goes to her head and she starts acting like a jerk; she IS a jerk for most of the movie, even BEFORE she gets famous. 

 

The reason why punk rock never lasted is because once record companies got a hold of the bands, they homogenized them into a more marketable item.  (Hence, “punk” became “New Wave”.)  The same thing happened with this film.  If it had been produced by an independent company, the rock n’ roll sequences might have felt a little more real.  Since it’s a Paramount Picture, it all feels a little too “safe”.  Even the presence of Steve Jones and Paul Cook from The Sex Pistols (who penned a handful of decent songs for the soundtrack) can’t help the flick. 

 

By the time the film came out, punk music was passé, so the studio barely released it; leading people to assume that it’s some kind of a lost classic.  Now that’s it’s out on DVD and I’ve actually watched it, I’d say that they shelved it not because they couldn’t market it, but because really, it’s just not very good.

 

I did have fun spotting Debbie (Play-Mate of the Apes) Rochon as a groupie though. 

Tags: cult, l, musical
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