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Edgeplay | The Runaways | review | dvd | Lollipop
A Film about The Runaways (Image Entertainment)
by Craig Regala
This is a great movie. It's an actual FILM about a SUBJECT, not just a jerk-off bio-pic thrown together for a boxset or somethin'. The Runaways were a band cast into an ugly and explosive situation. Being in their mid-teens, female, and not previously known to each other before the band's creation was tough enough in the mid-'70s. The kicker was they were put together by legendary music insider/yahoo/ass-nut Mr. Kim Fowley, a man who looks more like Dracula than any mortal should, and is pegged as a vicious, smart, manipulative fuck.
The filmmaker was in the band, played bass for a while, and had access to pretty much any and all of the folks involved excepting Joan Jett. The other "known quantity," Lita Ford, splatters words hither and yon. Cross-cutting interview segments with archival footage, detailing the episodes, characters, and situations drives the point home again and again: They were in an exciting situation and, as the old Chinese saying goes, "you may you be damned to live in exciting times." Drugs, sex, and rock 'n' roll; all three used to manipulate the teens more than to enliven them. It was never on their terms until the end when they collected themselves and played the prime female card: The ability to say NO. The sparse footage of a couple parents avoiding the fact that they let this happen drives home a salient point about "freedom." Whatever. Thanks mom, the abortion was a "success."
Buncha special feature stuff: Some new tunes with Suzi Quatro (Leather Tuscadaro for you Happy Days fans), some cool trailers, and some "making of" stuff.
Much like the tremendous X movie, The Unheard Music, you don't need to like the band to rub the damn thing on your brain until it sinks in. Besides the tune "Cherry Bomb," The Runaways don't do much for me, but after watching this, I realize that there was a band underneath all the hoopla that never really got a chance to develop.