Every time I wander past a DVD sale, or go to a new video/DVD rental place, I search in vain for an 80’s movie called Slam Dance.
I watched this movie numerous times in my 20s and was fascinated by it. I recall well crafted cinematography and cool music, the imagery was amazing, I can still recall a couple of the images today, almost 20 years later.
The images that captured my imagination and evoked emotion (hence made me remember this film at all) were:
1. Where Drood (the main character) arrives home after his house/apartment has been ransacked, and there is a model ship hanging from the ceiling – swaying back and forth.
2. Drood is painting a scene he is trying to recall, and sticks his paintbrush into the yolk of an egg.
3. A ceiling fan turning creating an eerie feel – although I could be confusing this with a scene out of Angel Heart
4. Drood dancing? uncontrollably at a club – more the crowd making him dance, being jostled around, a puppet amongst a heaving sea of sweaty bodies, I guess it may have been a mosh-pit, but I can’t quite recall
It was a complete bomb at the box-office. It has been suggested the story was poorly constructed and the dialog plain bad, but it was an intrigue/thriller movie. In the 80s I enjoyed both good and bad in this genre.
I do recall one gem in the dialog…. How many surrealist painters does it take to change a lightbulb? The fish!
If I manage to lay my hands on a copy of this film – my fantasy view of how great/enjoyable this movie is, will surely crumble. Ruined in part by the artificial build up of my distant, distorted memories and partly my aged, matured and somewhat pickled brain casting a more critical eye over the proceedings. Perhaps it will give me an insight into my psyche during the 80s? Perhaps it will inspire me to finish writing the script I have tucked away (somewhere – if I could ever find it – or did I throw it out in my anti-clutter campaign…)? Or perhaps it will make me realise that I have no taste in films what-so-ever.
Regardless, I have decided to campaign on behalf of the long-forgotten underdog, that has slipped so far into obscurity it has almost ceased to exist. (In fact, if not for the appearance of Adam Ant in a cameo role and a legendary performance by Harry Dean Stanton*- I think, possibly, the film would have evaporated.) I am sick of the video shop clerk looking up their database and then looking at me sideways. “You made that title up” – they think to themselves, or “what a flake, can’t remember the name of a favorite film” as if I pulled the name out of my a$$. I want to be able to cruise the discount tables and see 50 copies in row. I want to be able to buy a copy for $4.99 at K-mart, just like all the cheesy 80s movies. Where’s the justice! So I will build a fan site for Slam Dance on MySpace. Tom Hulce and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio may think they have successfully expunged this film from their histories, but they are sorely mistaken. Blues Brothers may not have done well at the movies at the first release – but it has been built into a legendary cult movie. I think the same can be done with Slam Dance.
If you are also interested; curious; a complete fan; intrigued or fascinated by this movie – and want to help in my crusade – please join my Slam Dance fan club on myspace and give me your views.
Let’s get the SLAM DANCE DVD into the discount section of your local store!!!
*Harry Dean Stanton:
Legendary (amongst my friends anyway) actor, often blends into the background, until you know about him – and then you see him EVEYWHERE. His films/tv roles include:
Alien; Pretty in Pink; Wild at Heart; The Godfather Part II; Twin Peaks; The Green Mile; You, Me and Dupree; Lavern and Shirley; Red Dawn; Repo Man; Private Benjamin; Petticoat Junction; Rin Tin Tin; Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke; Alfred Hitchcock Presents; Gunsmoke; Bonanza; Cool Hand Luke; and the list goes on… a long way.