Friday, July 15, 2011

Awwww...Meat Loaf again?

Roadie  (United Artists, 1980)

Before the Camera:

Meat Loaf  (The Rocky Horror Picture Show)
Kaki Hunter  (Every Porky's movie ever made)
Gailard Sartain  (Ernest Goes to Camp)
Don Cornelius  (Cleopatra Jones)
Rhonda Bates  (Fast Break)
Joe Spano  (TV's Hill Street Blues)
Richard Marion  (Alabama's Ghost)
Sonny Carl Davis  (Evil Bong 3-D: The Wrath of Bong)
Roy Orbison ... Himself  (The Fastest Guitar Alive!)
Hank Williams Jr. ... Himself
Hector Britt  (Part 2, Mad Mission: Aces Go Places)
Larry Lindsey  (New Year's Evil)
Hamilton Camp  (Starcrash)
Lenore Woodward  (Hamburger: The Motion Picture)
Terry Wills  (Once Bitten)
Helena Humann  (The Last Picture Show)
Marcy Hanson  (Blue Sunshine)
Richard Portnow  (Law Abiding Citizen)
Alice Cooper ... Himself
Sheryl Cooper ... Herself
Larry Marshall  (The Cotton Club - he was Cab Calloway!)
Kurtwood Smith  (TV's That 70's Show)
Deborah Harry  (Tales from the Darkside: The Movie)
Blondie (Chris Stein, Clem Burke, Jimmy Destri, Nigel Harrison, and Frank Infante)
Art Carney  (Firestarter)        <------shot in Wilmington NC!
Corpus C. Redfish

Behind the Camera:

Directed by Alan Rudolph

Produced by Zalman King, Carolyn Pfeiffer, and John E. Pommer

Written by Big Boy Medlin & Michael Ventura from a story by Big Boy Medlin, Michael Ventura, Zalman King and Alan Rudolph

In one of the stranger Rock-n-Roll Odyssey movies of the time period, that dinner staple Meat Loaf plays Travis W. Redfish, a rambling fellow making ends meet by working for his daddy Corpus C. Redfish (Carney). The elder Redfish's motto is "Everything works if you let it." Accordingly, Travis is a bit of a wunderkind savant, able to pinpoint and fix problems in any kind of mechanical or electronic device, a talent inherited from dear old dad. Travis spends a lot of time making beer deliveries with pal B.B. Muldoon (Sartain) and it is during one such run that Travis spies Lola Bouillabaisse (Hunter) hitchhiking and picks her up. She is a rock star groupie making her way across the country in the hopes of presenting herself to rock legend Alice Cooper so he may deflower her. Shortly after, the duo is picked up by rock manager Mohammed Johnson (Cornelius) who just so happens to be headed to the same venue where Cooper is scheduled to perform. However, it won't be a straight shot there. Oh no. There will be bar fights, shouting matches, police chases, phone calls to home, fights, car chases, stunts, and lots of music courtesy a very diverse bunch of musicians ranging from Roy Orbison and Hank Williams Jr to Blondie and Alice Cooper. Of course, the path to true love is never supposed to run straight - but who would have thought it would get as wild as this?

Meat Loaf thinks one more round oughta do it while Debby Harry
opens the last packet of Beer Nuts.

Alan Rudolph had alread carved out a directorial career making quiet and quirky character-driven dramas like Remember My Name and Welcome to L.A. when he somehow got this completely anarchic yahoo comedy going. It seems thematically similar to The Blues Brothers, but much less linear. I would have said Roadie was inspired by The Blues Brothers, except they both came out almost the same weekend in June 1980! The movie certainly has energy to spare, and the performers all stay on the broad side - this is another movie where I can easily imagine there were more mirrors laying down on tables than up for looking into - if you take my meaning and I'll bet you do. Meat Loaf is fine in the title role, although he's not as accomplished a character actor here as he has been in the last few years. Everybody back at the Redfish home is a lot of fun, with Carney, Bates, and Sartain all providing humorous moments. Out on the road, a lot of the performers are playing the roles they did in real life, and their lack of acting experience is obvious. But the stream of familiar established actors kept me locked in for the long haul, perhaps more than the story or plot. It's fun to glimpse Kurtwood Smith as a security guard, and there's a rather bizarre cameo by the Blues Brothers at one point. On the down side, I liked Hunter in the Porky's movies - at least, I think I did, it has been 25+ years since I've sat down with any of them - but wow she's obnoxious here. I also find it extremely strange that Lola says more than once that she is underage, a fact I thought was going to be disproven by the end of the movie, considering...but if it's ever contraindicated and she admits to being older, I totally missed it. To me, that does put a bit of a skeevy edge on the movie, what with Mr. Loaf being 33 at the time and all. But considering the movie is rated PG, maybe I'm making too much of this...in any case, if you're a fan of any of the musical groups who act in this, or you enjoyed The Blues Brothers or other rambunctious comedies of that ilk, you'd probably find something to love with this flick. Fans of director Rudolph's other movies might want to steer clear; as this is - as Leonard Maltin wrote - like a Hal Needham clone; fairly noisy but definitely full of pep. If you're so inclined, check 'er out!

Let's Get Out of Here ?

We do have a Triple Lindy here - at roughly 11:00 Joe Spano hates being passed in both lanes; at approximately 24:00 Meat Loaf apparently loses his damn mind when he seems to have heard enough Roy Orbison; and then going for a personal double - at around 59:00 Meat Loaf thinks there are too many vending machines in the swimming pool.

Eye Candy ?

Kaki Hunter may be a nice lady, but she looks like a collection of broomsticks wearing clothes, so no. Rhonda Bates is in reality a very tall and very cute lady, but she's not showcased here in that way, so no.

Sorry ladies.

But we do have a winner! (Even if I couldn't find a picture of her from the movie...)

But check out the incredibly lovely Sheryl Cooper!

Welcome to the list, Mrs. Cooper! I would have said Welcome to my Nightmare, but 1.) I figure you've heard that once or twice already; and 2.) you're too dreamy for a nightmare!

Buddha Man's Capsule Review

Buddha Man says "Roadie might have more value as a
wallow in 1980 nostagia than as a good movie,
but worth a look either way."

Thank you gold buddy! Til next post you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

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