Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains (1981)

So I really enjoyed Music Monday's rare 35mm screening of "Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains," it's a true cinema anomaly. The film was produced by Paramount Pictures and shot on location in Pennsylvania, L.A., and Canada in an attempt to cash in on the burgeoning popularity of Punk Rock. It tells a story that is now a familiar cliche, but at the time I'd be willing to bet that it wasn't. Since Punk had been in full swing for sometime though, screenwriter Nancy Dowd managed to articulate the fundamental contradictions of the genre while still staying true to what made the initial movement so interesting.

Young all-female band, the Stains, spawn from a small town, led by Corinne "Third Degree" Burns (16 year old Diane Lane) and also feature a young Laura Dern and Marin Kanter. The trio's sound is simplistic, amateurish, and honest, not unlike the Shaggs. After Corinne gains some unwanted publicity from a local newscast, the band sneaks aboard a tour bus of a cocaine-fueled-band of has-beens called The Metal Corpses, fronted by Lou Corpse (played extremely accurately by Fee Waybill). His performance reminded me a lot of the lead singer of this band.

Once aboard the bus thanks to the driver, a Rastafarian named Lawnboy, the Stains negotiate a opening slot in front of The Looters, a young British Punk band fronted by Billy (played by a young Ray Winstone). The Looters are also made up of Steve Jones and Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols, and Paul Simenon of The Clash. The film follows the unlikely rise of the Stains, from rebellious teen runaways to gimmicky Pop act, and the whole thing is fueled by the outrageous antics of Corinne. Along the way, her jaded outlook on life is challenged in the ways of love and success.

The movie is interesting for many reasons. For starters, it feels like a made-for-tv production (very "after school special"), but at the same time, it has slightly grimy edges to it involving Corinne's transparent clothing and her relationship with Billy. The film has a strange and awkward honesty to it that's not unlike the Stains themselves, but then the natural and obvious ending to the film is replaced by a tacked on "happy" ending that COMPLETELY UNDERMINES THAT HONESTY, NOT TO MENTION THE ENTIRE REST OF THE FILM. The ending was changed after test audience found it to be unsatisfactory. It's interesting though because they didn't omit the original ending, they just added to it, so if you watch on home video, take my advice and stop the dvd after the bus drives away.

So yeah here's the soundtrack to the movie:

Ladies and Gentlemen....The Fabulous Stains (Original Soundtrack)

1. All Washed Up [Rock] - Lawn Boy
2. Professionals - The Looters
3. Roadmap Of My Tears - The Metal Corpses
4. La La La - The Looters
5. Curfew - Lawn Boy
6. Waste Of Time - The Stains
7. All Washed Up [Reggae] - Lawn Boy
8. Professionals - The Stains
9. Don't Blow It All Away - The Looters
10. Conned Again - The Looters
11. Professionals [Video Version] - The Fabulous Stains

Plus, Here's an 7" and a couple other tracks by Black Randy and the Metrosquad who make small appearance in the film.

Black Randy the Metrosquad - Idi Amin 7"
"I Slept in an Arcade" (mp3)
"Give it up or Turn it Loose" (mp3)


Anonymous said...

THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS! I just finished watching the DVD (twice in one sitting) and ran to the compuster to look for the soundtrack. Awesome flick and even better tunes.

Valiant V said...

thank you thank you thank you. watched this movie based on a netflix recommendation ages ago and have been looking for just the music ever since. Thanks!

alex said...

do you know what the song is called after the one they play in the mall ( it has the lyrics time is money in it.)?

Valiant V said...

I think it's just called Waste of Time.

alex said...

thanks. seems that way.

adam fitzpatrick said...

what is the song(and artist name) that plays as the bus embarks on the tour when the three girls first get on the bus. It has a reggae vibe and goes,"I'm movin movin movin. I'm searchin searchin searchin." ?

Phaota said...

Any chance on posting this soundtrack again? I have all of the songs except for the reggae version of "All Washed Up". Those available online via a Google search are the rock and soft rock editions, though the soft rock one is mislabeled as reggae. Really annoying.

kershevelle said...

Hi I have been looking for this soundtrack forever could you repost it please.

A Lunatic Writer said...

Thank you!

Johnny said...

@adam fitzpatrick -The song is called "Movin'" by Barry Ford. Barry Ford was the guy who played Lawnboy, the bus driver in the film.

He also wrote the music to "Waste of Time" as well as a few other background tracks in the film.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this soundtrack !!
What a shame that many of us in the 1980s never heard of this movie until recently.