Wednesday, March 3, 2010


This movie piqued my curiosity since I was around twelve years old. You see way back in the 80s there were these things called video stores and VHS tapes. In my hometown we had five of these mom & pop stores before Blockbuster came along and ruined everything. Everyone of these of these stores had a copy and it was always checked out. My brother and I would just look at the cover and laugh at it and read the description and think it sounded cool and want to rent it, but we never did. They never showed it on cable TV or even late night regular TV. So I gave up on it.

Fast forward (see what I did there)to 1997 my first year at Sam Houston State University. I was a stranger in a strange land, Huntsville, TX to be exact. I didn't know anybody and this town was as small and boring as the one I'd lived in all my life. I was here to earn my college degree in video production. So where would be the first logical place to go? The unemployment line. But seriously folks I found my way to the first mom and pop video shop (yes they still exist). I perused the aisles not really finding anything that jumped out at me. Then there it was, that weird familiar box: Tapeheads! It was in stock and I could actually rent it! Would it be worth the ten year wait? Yes my friends it would be.

This movie is just cool on so many levels. It is a cult movie and music lovers dream; it was made for us. It has so many cool musicians and bands making cameos and some have supporting roles. Can you tell me any other film that features Sam from the soul group Sam & Dave, Junior Walker, Ted Nugent, Weird Al, Doug E Fresh, Lords of the New Church, Jello Biafra,King Cotton and an uncredited Courtney Love? Didn't think so. It also features awesome (newcomers at the time) John Cusack and Tim Robbins. John and Tim have a wonderful chemistry as two best friends who continue to work at dead end jobs until they get an idea to make music videos. They start out making videos for Mo Fuzz (Don Corneilus of Soul Train fame) and also have to make a few crummy commercials. One of the commercials is for Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles ( a real place in California). It smells of the 80s. Wonderfully bad rap and tacky visuals.

Their big break however comes by accident. It must be seen to be truly enjoyed. They are soon enjoying fame but what they really want to do is get a reunion of their fave soul group Swanky Modes together. During all of this they get wrapped up in a black mail scandal.

I could quote from this movie all day it is that awesome. I can't give it a proper review as there is a lot going on the film and I don't want to ramble. This movie is a lot like Repo Man, another movie you need to check out if you haven't already. It's weird, it's funny, and it has a great soundtrack. What more could you want?

Enjoy it or don't.

Darren Menendez

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