Sunday, February 8, 2015

Rock 'n' Roll High School (1979)

Directors: Allan Arkush, Joe Dante

Writers: Richard Whitley, Russ Dvonch, Joseph McBride, Allan Arkush, Joe Dante

Composer: Rock songs

Starring:  P.J. Soles, Vincent Van Patten, Clint Howard, Dey Young, Mary Woronov, Paul Bartel, Dick Miller, Don Steele, Alix Elias, Loren Lester, Daniel Davies, Lynn Farrell, Herbie Braha, The Ramones

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Hey ho, Let's go!

Plot: A group of rock-music-loving students, with the help of the Ramones, take over their school to combat its newly installed oppressive administration.

My rating:  5/10

Will I watch it again?  Nope.

What essentially is a teen comedy masquerading as a 93 minute commercial for the band, The Ramones, fans of Roger Corman's films of the 70s will recognize a lot of familiar faces (that was my favorite part as is with a lot of his pictures during that decade).  A lot of the acting is, as required, over the top but it works for what it's trying to be. One gag that I found incredibly funny was the paper airplane that took a tour of the school.  Hilarious.  You know what else was hilarious?  Joey Ramone's hideously bad,  utterly hysterically horrible acting.

Did you hear him at the 1:14 mark?  WOW! The movie has some sporadic laughs but there's a lot of irritating for cats like me.  I can totally see how people could really dig this film to an extreme.  Maybe if I'd caught it when it came out I'd be more inclined to dig it but not since I got around to finally seeing it 35 years too late.  The soundtrack is fun and it feels like the cast and crew had a great time making the picture, it's just not my bag right now.  The New World Pictures DVD has some extras including a 4 minute interview with Corman by Leonard Martin (it's great but way too short), 12 minutes of The Ramones from the concert in the film, 15 minutes of audio outtakes from the live recording The Ramones made for the picture, the original trailer (anamorphic widescreen), a commentary track with the director,Arkush, producer Michael Finnell and screenwriter Richard Whitley and trailers for EAT MY DUST, BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS and SATURDAY THE 14th (all fullscreen).

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