21
Jun
11

pissingblood’s grindhouse classic review: ladies and gentleman, the fabulous stains

Keeping it in theme from last week’s pissingblood’s grindhouse classic review, this week’s movie review also features punk rock, teens and therefore breasts are bared constantly. Yup, if you’re in the middle of puberty start listening to punk music and you’re bound to see loads of titty…

You know that guy Lou Adler? Yeah the beardy fuck who produced The Mamas and The Papas. Also gave his seed in the creation of that twat Cisco Adler… California Dreamin’ was cool, Cisco and his numerous reality-show-bands, obviously, were not. Lou also dabbled in making films, not just hanging out with film stars. He directed that stoner classic, Up in Smoke staring Cheech and Chong. He also directed a lesser known movie called Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains. This movie would fall under one of the better things he did with his time.

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains!

crap poster doesn't do the movie justice

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains stars a teenage Diane Lane as a feisty lass, Corinne Burns, calling herself Third Degree Burns. Not a bad stage name for a lead singer in a punk band, you have to admit. Better still her band is an all girl group made up of her little sister and cousin calling themselves The Stains. The film could have been one of those girl power, woman’s lib type flicks, what with a bunch of spirited young ladies going about dressing weird and saying stuff about how they, “don’t put out.” and ideas of not having to attach themselves to some guy to be happy or be seen as a success in life, although you don’t have to worry about bra burning, because the trend started by the band is to not wear bras at all anyway. I can’t decide if the whole feminist agenda in the film is made moot when Corinne uses a guy to fast track her and the girls to stardom though. Ultimately I think the film is more about how marketing men ruin music by trying to make as much cash out of a good idea as possible.

look, a feisty young lass!

The Stains get a break after Corinne mentions that she’s in a band in a television interview and they join up on a tour with the Looters. The Looters, are on tour from England and are made up of two parts Sex Pistols, Steve Jones and Paul Cook, and one part The Clash, Paul Simonon, and up front on vocals an actual actor Ray Winstone as Billy.

steve jones, ray wonstone, paul simonon, sex pistols, clash, the fabulous stains, looters

the Looters. from left: Steve Jones, Ray Winstone and Paul Simonon, and Cookie is in the back there somewhere.

You probably thinking this is a credible punk movie with some proper punks in it right? At the time the Pistols were over and The Clash were heading the same way, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the lads were actually just knocking around Hollywood and needed the money, but whatever. Steve mostly moans about sleeping on the “fucking bus”, which he probably did a lot of in reality in the Pistols days. And the Pauls don’t say much throughout. Billy is actually the spirit and voice of punk in the movie, putting a lot of what punk is meant to be in nutshells and making observations about how Corinne goes about getting the “Fabulous” added to the band’s name. He almost brings it all crashing down on top of her before she gets there with a pretty cool song and a speech to her legions of clone groupies.

The Looters start out in the movie as the support band for Metal Corpses, a 60’s dinosaur rock band at the end of their careers.  Billy doesn’t hide his contempt for the situation and is partly how The Stains get on tour with them in the first place. The roadie/promoter Lawn Boy, the token Rasta, driving his Rasta bus ranting about Ja, hires them to resolve the conflict between the old rockers and the punks. Few can argue the irony of Lou Adler directing a film that makes fun of 60’s rock bands. The beardy fuck made the worst of them!

diane lane, the fabulous stains

watcha mean, gerl? ma bus no stink, it be da erb you smellin'

Corinne finds a “Punk Rock – How to look Punk” zine, dyes her hair, puts on some crazy makeup and a see-through blouse, and looking a lot like Soo Catwoman, appears on stage for the band’s first actual gig. This also happens to be caught on camera and appears on the news. Then thanks to an ambitious female reporter, who follows the band, smelling a story and career boost, elevates Corinne to hero status among young woman. Her few fans turn into legions of clones, ripping off her style calling themselves Skunks. It’s actually a little creepy cause some of the girls are literally 10… Errr… Pedo Alert! Hide the children and fetch the scissors!

soo catwoman

Soo Catwoman

diane lane, Corinne Burns, Skunks, punk, hair, 80's,70's

Corinne "3rd Degree" Burns... see what I mean?

Corinne and Billy eventually hook up, bound to happen on tour, despite Corinne seemingly disliking him even up to the point they get together. They fall out though, and Corinne screws the Looters over, drops the tour and makes a go of it with just her band. Only if they hadn’t had a cameo by Black Randy and the Metrosquad. Just another obscure band from the 70’s and 80’s fucking it up for everyone…

So, the verdict… It’s a good movie. The characters are awesome, stopping just short of being too cliché most of the time. The story, if a little too fast tracked to be believable, is still an entertaining one. Show it to people with no clue about punk and they’ll probably like it as much as anyone with tattoos, piercings and penchant for safety pins. It’s a story about youth rebelling and coming out on top. Everyone Feel Good. The coolest thing about this movie, I have to say I enjoyed it for all the “punk going wrong” stuff, is that it explains in an hour and a half, give or take, why punk went the way it did. Don’t argue with me, it fucking does. I don’t want to do the “punk is dead” debate or any of that shit, just watch it and you’ll agree. If you don’t agree then I don’t care anyway.

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1 Response to “pissingblood’s grindhouse classic review: ladies and gentleman, the fabulous stains”



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