Saturday, June 28, 2014

Roadie (1980)

RoadieThere is a lot of silly rubbish about this film scattered all over the Internet. Most of the time when I read a review of "Roadie" I wonder if the critic even bothered to see the film before they wrote about it (see above). Unlike most other critics, I have seen Roadie, and I promise--with certain reservations--that it is a very funny and very entertaining movie.

As an older man with a nervous disposition who has enough trouble sitting through many new movies once, The ultimate tribute I can give this great "on the road" rock'n'roll saga is that I watched it numerous times when it was on cable in 1981. Since then, I have watched it several dozens of times on VHS, and now that it's on DVD, I have watched it several times again. You can put a lot of mileage on this road movie. In a day when you build whole relationship with and around movies in your personal collection, that kind of stamina in a movie is critical.

The film has a rock'n'roll backdrop--a backdrop we rarely see from the workingman's eye the way we do here. There are no star turns in the film, at least none in the late 1970's early 1980's tradition. Rock is shown as hard work, and generally the product of blue collar hands (a view I agree with). The movie gives us what amounts to real-world views of several 70's favorites (Meatloaf, Alice Cooper, Blondie, etc.).

The movie has a great premise, the howling self-reliant "Everything Works If You Let It" theme. It also enjoys a background soundtrack that fires on all twelve cylinders. But what keeps me watching the film is that it is really funny in an honest, straight-forward way that we have enjoyed far too seldom since Hollywood started grinding out its cookie-cutter "farces" in the wake of "Airplane." The dual surprises of the film are the really solid performances put in by Alice Cooper and Meatloaf in their respective roles as rock star and roadie. I am unqualified in my admiration of this movie, but I will tightly qualify the people to whom I would suggest the film. This is a "cult" movie in the most real sense of the word and anyone who is made nervous by rock music, farce that is outside of the "Scary Movie"/"Naked Gun" mainstream, or three-hundred pound leading men (Meatloaf) should avoid this movie at all costs. Also, there is a certain good ol' boy mentality at work here that will not play for some parts of the audience. But to the core audience of the film, these are not qualifications, they are recommendations. The thing I am saddest about is that the movie's soundtrack is no longer available. The soundtrack was worth having simply for the long and messy "Brainlock" which plays during one of the few really funny car chases in the history of film.

Of course Meatloaf is the bomb, and you want to believe in the reality of his character, the astoundingly competent Travis W. Redfish. Sadly, there is no Redfish in the real world, but you'll wish there was, and there probably should be.

Art Carney plays Daddy Redfish, and steals every scene in which he appears. Alice Cooper plays himself (as always) and is great. In fact, all the walk-ons and cameos are amazing.

But the amazing presence in the film is Kaki Hunter's portrayal of Lola Bouillabaisse. The Lola character is a train wreck, a disaster area, a four alarm fire. She is our worst nightmare on a blind date, but the screenplay needs her to be that disaster. If Lola had been played by a different kind of female, or had she been played as an attractive girl, the part, and probably the film would have been ruined. Hunter actually holds her own against her mighty co-stars in the film. She is amazing.

Note: a movie that is equally funny and from the same time period, and sharing roughly the same theme is Roger Corman's "Rock and Roll High School."

Whoa-boy. ROADIE isn't a five-star flick by any stretch of the imagination (save that of starry-eyed fan-atics, who're no doubt clicking No with some vehemence right about now). Every one of the three stars are worthy, however, and I snapped up this DVD with all haste because the film IS a campy, rollicking, fun little tale. Meat Loaf is a charmer as Travis W. Redfish, cuddly and sweet, inventive and wise, a memorable character in even his head-butting, brain-locking, ox-like other side. Kaki Hunter is less memorable as Lola Bouilliabase, though often just as sweetly naive as anyone who's had a brush with fan obsession (y'all CAN click Yes later on and change your vote, if you didn't know). Completing the Redfish clan, Art Carney is a hoot and Rhonda Bates purely delightful. Watch for Kurkwood Smith in a bit part.

A no-frills DVD package. The feature cleaned up nicely, but the original trailer shows wear. The Dolby 5.1 audio was a surprise, though, and plays well front and back.

ROADIE is a guilty pleasure, but such camp was fun sharing with unsuspecting friends -we laughed 'til we cried. Chair dancing, the distinctive rattle of a beer truck, narcs snorting Tide. Some odd remembrances, too, of the brouhaha over cancelling concerts for energy conservation, often believed an excuse for censorship. Oddly enough, there's little or no swearing in ROADIE; Lola's quest for deflowering and a little substance abuse (and perhaps the close-up of Alice Cooper's codpiece) earned the PG rating.

"Everything works if you let it," a worthy sentiment.

Buy Roadie (1980) Now

This is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. A great cast: Meatloaf, Khaki Hunter, Art Carney, Jos Spano, Alice Cooper, Hank Williams Jr., Roy Orbison, Don Cornelius, etc. Great musical performances by Blondie, duet of Hank Jr. & Roy, Blondie, Asleep At The Wheel. Some of the greatest lines of all time. Story gets a little trippy but makes sense and one of the all-time strangest endings. If you are a 70s rock and roll fan, this is the movie for you.

Read Best Reviews of Roadie (1980) Here

From the ambulatory phone booth to a candlelight dinner with The Snake, this just tickled my funny bone. Art Carney was great, and I loved Meat Loaf as the star-crossed lover. Yes, it's cheap, yes, it's campy, but I have been looking for the damn thing for like 20 years, and I am SO happy they finally re-released it. For years all I had was the soundtrack, which is quite goodlook at all the musicians in the darn movie! Ooohhh, I'm drivin' my life away....

Want Roadie (1980) Discount?

For it's time, Roadie is a great movie in itself. it's funny, sexy, and filled with alot of classic rock. Great cammeo's by Hank Williams Jr. and Roy Orbison to name a couple. Jr. sings Outlaw Women at a bar Redfish (Meat Loaf) set's up at.

The story is Hank Williams Jr.'s road crew breaks down on the side of a Texas road. A pretty woman hitching a ride steps out and catch's Redfish's eye. Two numb skulls diving the truck has no clue what's wrong. When Redfish offers to help, Lola (the pretty woman) talks him in to helping set up Hank Willims Jr. Soon after that Redfish becomes the best at what he does or what he has became a (roadie) but all Redfish is after is Lola and all Lola is ater is Alice Cooper.

I sew this movie on T.V. a long time ago and liked it alot and I was wantting to see it again. Still a great movie

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