Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ladies and Gentleman, The Fabulous Stains (USA: Lou Adler, 1982)

by Michael Benton

A tale of rock n roll corruption and media hype. It stars Diane Lane, Laura Dern and Ray Winstone in the beginning of their careers, punk legends Paul Simenon (The Clash), Paul Jones and Steve Cook (Sex Pistols) as, of course, British punks, and a strange turn by Fee Waybill (The Tubes) as a disgusting, washed-up American rock legend (the narrative includes Winstone/Simenon/Jones/Cook as a pissed-off British punk band stuck in mid-America). I spent most of the 80s outside of mainstream culture and this film reminds me why. The Stains (as voiced by Diane Lane's character) start off with a sort of feminist/punk critique of American culture and as they get popular the R n R machine paired with opportunistic news journalists aim to co-opt their image for their own purposes.

Corny, nostalgia... 3 stars (very worth it though if you are a fan of these punk legends and realize how quickly their punk rage was co-opted by the RnR machine).

IMDB facts about the film

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