PSYCHOTRONIC NETFLIX VOL. 22
HEY BASTARDS. Welcome to another edition of PSYCHOTRONIC NETFLIX! Sorry about the hiatus last week, I was busy downing elevator shots at Cinema Wasteland, but I’ll guarantee this week’s outings will make up for it in terms of ROCKING OUT! Here’s ten music-focused oddball titles that will be sure to sooth the most savage of movie-loving beasts!
10. Lambada (1990)
March 16, 1990 was the most important day in history for lambada film fans, as it was the release date for two films produced by dueling cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus. This is Globus’ entry, and while it’s not as nuts as Golan’s THE FORBIDDEN DANCE, it has a pre-“The Office” Melora Hardin romancing school teacher and nighttime lambada superstar J. Eddie Peck (CURSE II) and it’s from Joel Silberg, the director of BREAKIN’ and RAPPIN’. With Shabba Doo himself, Adolfo Quinones.
9. Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him?) (2006)
John Scheinfeld’s excellent portrait of songwriter Harry Nilsson touches upon a lot of his most well-known songs, and even has time to mention the likes of THE POINT and SKIDOO. Featuring interview subjects including Mickey Dolenz, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Yoko Ono, the Smothers Brothers and Paul Williams.
8. Rockula (1990)
SUMMER SCHOOL star Dean Cameron plays the title “monster,” a vegetarian vampire who lives with his mother (Toni Basil) and just wants to rock out and lose his virginity in Luca (GHOULIES) Bercovici’s horror comedy that doesn’t really work, but has some impressively odd castine, including Susan Tyrrell, Thomas Dolby and Bo Diddly(!). With Tony Cox and Tamara (E.T.) De Treaux as “Bat Dork.”
7. Country Music Holiday (1958)
I didn’t want to leave out our country fan reader, so here’s a minimally-plotted excuse to show a bunch of country musicians doing their thing, fronted by.. er, Zsa Zsa Gabor as “herself?” June Carter Cash is the main attraction, though Ferlin Husky, Lew HArker, The Jordanaires and Patty Duke(!) also appear.
6. 200 Motels (1971)
A strange comic docu-drama touring concert film featuring Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention on the road, you might have to be a Zappa fan to really appreciate this, but it’s highly recommended for those who want a weird, wild ride. With Ringo Starr, Keith Moon, Theodore Bikel and animation by Chuck Swenson.
5. Absolute Beginners (1986)
Music video director Julien Temple (THE FILTH AND THE FURY, EARTH GIRLS ARE EASY) made his as sole feature director (not counting THE GREAT ROCK’N’ROLL SWINDLE) with this charming pop musical about a photographer’s relationship with a model on her way up. With a unique look (shot on obvious sets) and a similarly one-of-a-kind cast, including David Bowie, Patsy Kensit, Ray Davies, James Fox and Bruce Payne.
4. Vicious Lips (1986)
An Albert Pyun science fiction rock musical! Okay, so the second half, in which our all-girl band is trapped on a planet and chased by mutants, isn’t great, but the first half is hugely entertaining, as a new wave group gets a chance of a lifetime to perform, if they can get a new lead singer after the old one dies, and get to another planet in time for the show.
3. Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains (1982)
Speaking of girl groups, Lou Adler’s tale of a band of young punk rock chicks that take America by storm is a fantastic take on the faux-rebelliousness of rock, with Diane Lane, Laura Dern and Marin Kanter as the in-your-face (but pretty lousy) trio. What the hell happened to Kanter?
2. Anvil! The Story of Anvil (2008)
Rob Reiner’s THIS IS SPINAL TAP is the obvious comparison, but Sacha (HITCHCOCK) Gervasi’s ANVIL! is the real deal, following a Canadian metal group who never made it big, even though they influenced and played with some of the biggest acts in metal history. There’s no reason any rock fan should not watch.
1. The Apple (1980)
While Golan’s THE FORBIDDEN DANCE may not be on streaming, his best musical, this 1994-set pop/new wave/disco monstrosity about a Carpenters-esque pop due (Catherine Mary Stewart and the mysterious George Gilmour) who become involved with maniacal pop producer/devil Mr. Boogaloo (Vladek Sheybal). Insane and over-the-top, yet oddly catchy, musical numbers, bizarre religious overtones, and fine performances by character actors willing to chew as much scenery as they can, THE APPLE has to be seen to be properly believed.
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