REVIEW: Can't stop the music

#Film

Mon, Jun 9th, 1997 02:00 by Jester ARTICLE

I had only known this movie by reputation. I had read about it in no less than three books that had "Bad" or "Worst" in their titles. That's three separate accounts describing how bad this movie is, and yet they still didn't capture the incredible awfulness that started not seconds after we inserted the video tape. I'm afraid this account won't capture the putrid depths of this movie; the only way you can truly understand is to see it. And in order to do that, let me warn you: You have to be made of some pretty hard stuff.

Okay, what's it about? Here's the basic plot. A music composer, Jacques Morelli (Steve Guttenberg), quits his record job because he’s been offered a chance to DJ at an exclusive club. After playing some of his music to an apparently appreciative audience, it somehow transpires that if he can assemble a good group to sing his music, he will become an instant success in the music business. Nothing actually supports this claim (least of all the music), except for some dialogue. His room-mate, a retired model (Valerie Perrine), has lots of connections in the entertainment industry, so she helps him put together a group called.... The Village People.

If you've never seen the Village People, who were a real group who managed to have a few hits, here's the deal. They were a gay singing group who dressed in outlandish costumes, each one of some kind of macho male figure, which is probably like some kind of ironic commentary on gender roles which I'm too stupid to get, I'm like, so sure. One's a construction worker, another's a cowboy, another looks like a biker.

The first one we meet, Philippe, dresses like an Indian even before the band is formed. He also has this extremely annoying Indian call which has been obviously dubbed on to the track.

But what's so bad about this movie? Well, everything. Every scene stumbles along with each and every cast member hyper and over-acting, like everyone snorted a heapin' helpin' of Prime Peruvian Sugar before each scene. Whether they're discussing that fact that they’ve got a chance at a music deal or the crisis of identity in the latter half of the twentieth century, they're all shouting, squealing and giggling. There's not one person you don't want to smack, although you might be afraid too, because they probably have cocaine oozing through the pores of their skin and you might get an overdose just through casual contact. Of course, the horrible acting shouldn't be a surprise. The biggest acting name is Valerie's, and that's only because she was Lex Luther's bimbo, a role that could have gone to about a billion young starlets with heaving bosoms. The biggest names in the movie aren't even actors! First, there is the Village People, who can't act (their ability to sing is debatable, though this movie kinda fuels the "No" camp). The next big name is an athlete. American athlete Bruce Jenner plays Valerie's conservative lawyer boyfriend. He looks like he doesn't know how he got on the set of this movie, like he wandered into the shot by accident. People wandering in off the street may actually account for many of the casting decisions.

Another cast member may or may not be Tim Curry. That is she/he looks like Curry, but everyone seems to treat her as a woman. She lusts after anything that moves, and carries on like she's Doctor Frank N. Furter from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The rest of the movie isn't like The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It's attempts at humor do not work. They look like there will lifted out of the script of another bad movie. In fact, not one movie could be so bad. Obviously, a pile of six or seven bad scripts were accidentally intercepted on the way to the recycling bin, but all of the pages were mixed up.

Special mention must go to the songs. You know you're in trouble when the best song is YMCA. The fact that it's disco is besides the point. Like disco or hate it, there a few songs that endure and at least were technically well-produced. Stayin' Alive comes to mind. But the music in this movie isn't good enough for tenth rate disco. It was probably written by a four-year old who was copying off a chimp. Each song consists mainly of its title being repeated about 450-500 times. Songs like "I Love You To Death" and "Can't Stop the Music" last for what seems like half an hour, with the same message repeated over and over. And badly choreographed, too.

This movie is so bad that it actually hurts. Leandro and I weighed ourselves immediately before and after the movie, and discovered we had lost five pounds watching it. I don't know if it's like an endurance test or something, or that the movie sucks so bad that it starts to liposuction cellulite off your body. I think that the most ironic thing about this movie is that Jacques Morelli (Guttenberg's character) is a real person, and helped write some of the movie, and presumably, its songs. So this must be some kind of biography. In which case it needs a new title, such as "My Life as a Useless Hyper Dork," judging by Guttenberg's performance, or "The Early Eighties as Seen Through Cocaine and Ecstasy-coloured Glasses" judging by the events of the movie, or even "The Idiots I Hung Out With and Convinced Me to Make This Movie Now I'm Poor." Can't Stop the Music just doesn't cut it. Here are some more suggestions for a better title:

Ten Proposed Names for Can't Stop the Music

1) Can't Stand the Music
2) Career Suicide For All Involved
3) I Don't Think This is Music
4) This Movie Blows
5) Can't Stop the MuSICK
6) I Can't Believe We Paid Four Bucks To See This Shitte
7) Please Stop the Music
8) For Christ's Sake, Stop the Music
9) I'll Do Anything, Just Please, Stop the Music
10) TURN IT OFF, TURN IT OFF, IN THE NAME OF GOD TURN IT OFF

I will end this review with a fact I think is reasonably enlightening. Apparently the Village People appear at the end of Up Periscope, the submarine spoof movie with Kelsey Grammar (who's been up on cocaine charges in the past. Coincidence? I think not). They sing their old hit "In the Navy." Which goes to prove that:

a) their act hasn't changed;
b) a comeback is somewhat unlikely;
c) their taste in movies has improved about the width of a gnat's testicle hair.

Okay, some people really like bad movies and make a point in renting them. This is bad all right. But not bad in a way you'd like. You have been warned.

REVIEW: Can't stop the music
by Leandro

I am not sure why we wanted to see this movie. I think it all relates back from me having to review "Bruce Jenner's Decathlon", an amazing piece of computer programming that did practically nothing. From that day, each curse or problem that we have at the office, is automatically blamed to Bruce Jenner (nicknamed Brucie) and his inability to act. Inability which is greatly shown in the movie "Can't stop the music".

You know a movie is bad when the clerk at the video-store looks at you funny and asks you if you are sure that you want *this* video. He is hinting at the fact at you can rent another movie, instead of wasting your money over this. Although I wanted to pat him in the back and thank the lad, Jason and I knew that this was something we had to do. Strong man may lift weights, courageous man may climb mountains, but brave man like ourselves watch "Can’t stop the music". We rented the movie and proceeded to walk back home, feeling much like you feel as a roller-coaster is climbing up, ready to fall down at a screaming speed.

Jason looked at me, a look similar to someone who is about to face a firing squad, and said "I bet that if they keep records of the people that rented movies, we'd be the only ones under this one". By now the clerk was probably contemplating if calling 911, in the hope that there would be something left of us.

There is a cult for B movies. Movies which have low budgets, but are still capable of making you laugh (even if that was not their intention). A good example is "Evil Dead", which eventually developed into my favorite of all time "Army of Darkness". Then come movies like "Can't stop the music" where they try to amaze you with special effects (blue lightning, and other strange effects which can be blamed on pot or cocaine) and little bits of humor. Humor, which left me and Jason staring at each other, in a desperate attempt at understanding. I won’t go into detail about what the movie is about (I'm sure you got most of the idea from Jason's review). Just to make it quick, this young punk that sounds as if he has forgotten to develop his testicles in puberty (Steve Guttenberg) believes that just because he is a DJ at this shitty disco place, his music is great and people will love it. Truth is, that since he quits his job as a clerk at a music store (what a rebel!) in order to be that DJ, he has to find a way to make a living. His roommate (Valerie Perrine), apparently some sexy model that had just retired, decides to help him out, by calling a bunch of freaks that dress weird (yeah, I'm talking about the Village People) and with the help of some top-brass dude from the Music Industry (sleeping around has its advantages) they manage to play their shyte.. I mean, music. I’ve been told that this movie is (apparently) a musical.

Described like this, the movie doesn't seem that bad. In fact, with a little change, a few scenes with action, perhaps a love story, this would've been good. Instead, already by the time the initial titles where scrolling up the screen, Jason and I started screaming while Steve Guttenberg was skating across New York.

Out of nowhere stumbles Bruce Jenner. He doesn’t come on the set with a sense of purpose or anything. Suddenly he’s there, Perrine loses a contact lens, he gets pissed off. Confused? So were we. Bruce Jenner plays the part of a conformist gay-basher lawyer who falls in love with Perrine and acts like a complete baby (you really want to give the guy a severe beating). His acting abilities are as good as his baby-blue suits. Had he sticked to sports, he would've had more respect. In case you didn't know (I didn't), Bruce Jenner was an American athlete that won in Montreal in 1976.

The humor in the movie left Jason and I shocked. It wasn't funny. You could see that the actors did try, but whatever was that they did, it wasn’t funny. A woman, who was in charge of a modeling agency where they used Perrine for commercials, gets her finger stuckin the rotary dial of a phone booth. This scene goes on for way too long, and you find yourself grinding your teeth in horror hoping that something else is going to happen.

Bruce Jenner is robbed by an old lady. He could've easily smacked her out of the way (in the way of incoming traffic would've been nice). No, he sits there, and whines like a baby while grandma takes his wallet and watch. Nobody in the room was laughing at this scene either... those that survived, that is.

This woman that looked incredibly similar to Tim Curry, was some sex-starved maniac that chased anything that moved. After giving up on the Village People (they’re gay, remember?), she smokes a joint with Steve Guttenberg. Suddenly that semi-stud of a Bruce Jenner appears (you even get to see his naked chest when he wakes up in the morning after having made love in an orange bed with Valerie Perrine) and she goes after him. Only at the end of the movie she seems calm. Maybe they gave her a shot of morphine instead of cocaine.

Some parts of the dialogue made no sense what-so-ever. It seemed as if the movie was made from a combination of other bad, unsuccessful movies and put together in no particular order. Jason and I would look at each other hoping that perhaps the other understood what or how that piece of dialogue fitted into what was happening. We were both lost.

Yes, we could've rewinded, but why? This is the kind of movie that can be watched only once, and that's already too much.

What tops it all, is the music. The Village People can't act. No problem, they are singers, so you might think that their songs will be good. This movie goes to show you that they suck even at singing. I’m not putting them down because it's disco or because they are gay. I’ve heard some mighty fine disco, but this stuff was simply atrocious.

Of all the songs I had to endure, the only one I didn’t twitch at was the "YMCA". I don't think I could explain the feeling of pain, as we held our ears and screamed "no more!! please no more!" as good as Jason explained. It just seems that there are no words in the English dictionary to correctly explain how bad this movie is.

I insist that everyone goes to their video store and rents out “Can’t stop the music". If you'll survive you'll be able to look at the world with a completely new perspective. Things that once sucked, will suddenly sparkle with a new gloss of appreciation. Jason suggested putting in our resume` that we watched the movie and survived (with minimal trauma). We'll be able to get any job.

  1312

 

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