I want to take Mondays to regularly look back and review some of my favorite movies, books, albums, vacations, concerts, etc. I will generally stay away from my 30 best loved albums, since I discussed those in depth already. What a better way to kick this off then by talking about Rock and Roll High School.
Rock and Roll High School came out in 1979 and was filmed basically to become a cult classic. The story is pretty simple as a new hard-ass principle comes to the school and wants to exercise her authority by banning rock and roll. Riff Radley, a girl who loves the Ramones, rallies the students and takes over the school and in every high schooler's fantasy, blow it up.
The movie takes place in January 1980 which would have been my Junior year. Looking back 30 years brings back a lot of high school memories: Smoking in the boys restroom, the stacked chick with the feathered hair, tripped-out conversion vans, standing in line for concert tickets.
Of course the reason why the movies is so cool is the Ramones. The Ramones have one of the Greatest. Movie. Entrances. Ever. when they pull up in a convertible playing Tonight and then march down the street still playing their instruments as they walk past the concert goers standing in line for tickets. Another set piece in Riff's bedroom as Joey croons "I want you ah-ro-und" is another classic.
The movie also has a great actual concert footage with the Ramones playing about 5 songs. No intercutting the songs here, they are all filmed and showed in total. After the concert we get to go backstage with the Ramones and it gets really goofy. Joey has a couple of lines that he is obviously reading. The lines are rushed and it so bad that it is endearingly funny. Finally the Ramones show up at the high school and have a blast while the kids destroy the school.
The movie was done on the cheap and the acting is pretty bad, the dialogue is lame, etc. But you're not watching Rock and Roll High School for its cinematic qualities. You're watching Rock and Roll High School for the Ramones and they deliver the goods. Highly recommended.