Tonight we're gonna party like it's 1969...er, '82.
A 1983 rock and roll comedy from director Allan Arkush that pays tribute to (among other things) his time working the Fillmore Theater as an usher. It stars Malcolm McDowell
, lots of real-life rock stars (Lou Reed
, Lee Ving of Fear
, Howard Kaylan of Flo and Eddie, et al) and a boatload of Hey, It's That Guy!
New Year's Eve, 1981: Max Wolfe (Allan Garfield/Goorwitz), manager of the Saturn Theater, is prepping for his big New Year's concert while dealing with rival promoters, young and horny stagehands, sabotage, and a gaggle of musical crazies
After the failure of Heartbeeps,
Arkush tried to recapture the musical zaniness of his earlier Rock 'n' Roll High School
while turning the comedy - as well as the Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll
- Up to Eleven
. Executive Meddling
(coupled with financiers who allegedly viewed The Producers
as a training film!
) pretty much killed GET CRAZY at the box office. (The Other Wiki
goes into more detail on Arkush's struggles.) Despite its current absence from home video and only occasional appearance on cable, it's developed something of a cult following.
This film provides examples of:
- Blind Black Guy: The funeral for Cool's dad ("Blind Howlin' Luther Washington") is nothing but.
- Caffeine Bullet Time: The stagehands complete building the set in record time, thanks to a timely appearance by cybernetic drug dealer Electric Larry.
- Cool Spaceship: Max rides a prop spaceship to the stage as part of the New Year's Eve countdown.
- Cover Version: Each band performs their own unique take on the blues standard "Hoochie Coochie Man."
- Everybody Must Get Stoned
- Flung Clothing: Susie - intent on sneak off to the Saturn - dresses like a prim school girl to get past her parents. As soon as she's out of eyesight, she sheds her duds to reveal the rock 'n' roll slutwear she had on underneath.
- Hollywood Heart Attack: Max suffers one after Colin Beverly's Precision F-Strike.
- I Call Him "Mr. Happy": At one point, Reggie - zonked on LSD - has a conversation with his third leg.
- I Meant to Do That: Invoked directly by King Blues when he walks into a backstage closet.
COOL! Don't drink that wine, it struck me blind! Cool:
You ain't blind, you just in the damn closet. King Blues: [carefully exits closet]
I knew that.
- Kind Restraints: Piggy is so uncontrollable that he is kept locked up in Nada's car trunk - and must be chained to a pillar backstage until the moment he's ready to hit the stage.
- King on His Deathbed: Max - until Dr. Carver reveals the truth about his Hollywood Heart Attack.
- Last Request: How Max gets the reclusive Auden to play the Saturn.
Death...has brought you close to true art as we know it. [Beat
] There's a concept album in this. I'll be right over.
- Ms. Fanservice: At one point, Neil fantasizes about Willy in Fredericks of Hollywood lingerie...
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Traditional blues? Check. Folk music? Check. Hard rock? Check? Punk? Um, which part of "the director of Rock 'n' Roll High School" did you miss?
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Dear Lord, where do we begin?
- Non-Fatal Explosions: Sammy is caught standing too close to a flash pot. Not surprisingly, includes an example of Ash Face.
- Precision F-Strike: When Max refuses to sell out to Beverly, the latter angrily vows to replace the Saturn with an arena/office complex anyway, snapping "Fuck you, and fuck rock and roll!"
- The Cast Showoff: Arguably, Malcolm McDowell - he took the part of Reggie Wanker on the condition that he did his own singing.
- The Precious, Precious Car: King Blues' Rolls-Royce - which Cool destroys in the process of getting to the Saturn on time.
- There's No Place Like Home: Invoked directly by Neil, complete with heel clicks.
- Time Bomb: Beverly's henchman Marv and Mark give one to Sammy, the better to blow up the Saturn.
Marv: Of course!
Mark: It's traditional!
- Timey-Wimey Ball: Captain Cloud tells Max he's proud to ring in the New Year - 1969. When Max informs him it's actually 1982 they'll be celebrating, Cloud looks away uncomfortably and mumbles, "Yeah, well...time's a trip, man."
- Trash Landing: Nineteen-year-old virgin Joey is so amazed that Chantamina actually flirted with him that he falls off a scaffold - into a pile of inflated balloons.
Joey: [dreamily] I'm in lovvvvvvvvvvvvvvve!
Neil: If this is love, sex is gonna kill him...
- Vader Breath: Electric Larry.