Monday, November 3, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains (1981, Diane Lane)

Until this film recently made its debut on DVD, I had never even heard of it. Even with its obscurity, I am still shocked that I managed to miss this great story of media manipulation in the music industry.

The film follows Corinne "Third Degree" Burns (a 15 year old Diane Lane), a small town rebel with a big time plan. After being featured on national TV, Corinne, her sister and her cousin (a young Laura Dern) start an all girl band called the Stains. They quickly find a gig opening up for an aging glam band called the Metal Corpses, fronted by burnout Lou Corpse (The Tubes' Fee Waybill) and punk band the Looters (featuring Steve Jones and Paul Cook from the Sex Pistols as well as Paul Simonon of the Clash). After the Metal Corpses leave the tour, the Stains start receiving mass amounts of attention, thanks to an over-zealous newscaster. That, along with a love affair between Corrine and Billy, the lead singer for the Looters (Ray Winstone), causes major tensions between the two remaining bands.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this film fucking rules! First of all, the cast is perfect. Ray Winstone is so believable as a british punk, Fee Waybill as an Alice Cooper wannabe and Diane Lane as underage punk princess, there were times you'd swear you were watching a real documentary. The music in the film is great (I wish they'd release the damn soundtrack, like they were originally planning) and the story of how the media can be a double edged sword is fantastic. I really can't say enough good things about this movie. I saw it for the first time less than two months ago and already it ranks with some of my favorites.


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