Welcome, friends, to a brand new guest mini-series here on IC, hosted by longtime Blogbro and obscure film expert The Goodkind (right) from Lost Video Archive and Progression Toward Something of Questionable Significance. I had originally contacted Mr. Goodkind with inquiries about performing one of our esteemed and time-honored 'Bromantic Interludes', but the idea soon mutated and became something bigger, weirder, and better suited to his mental database. So today we present this post -- Part 1 in an ongoing series focusing on fictional bands who have appeared in obscure movies. Expect more in the near future.
America in the post cocaine, post groupie 90’s was a cesspool of depression and self deprecation. People had stopped caring about the way they looked, they stopped trying, they bought used clothes because they were actually poor. Those were dark, flannel days, my friends, but if we are to learn, we must realize that they were a response to something, a backlash.
In the heady days of Reagan, there was a sense of anticipation in the air, of tension, as if on the brink of something monumental and life changing. Immaculately ratted hair, makeup and expensive, faux-trashy costumes were only the wedge of a profound cultural blossoming that was to be Glam Metal. It was the pinnacle of American audio-cultural achievement, but the question remains, what happened, why did our grip on narcissistic excess falter? How did the revolutionary promise of Glam Metal slip through our fingers? In these two obscure motion pictures from that golden age we shall find our answer.
The Panthers, Galveston Texas’ answer to the call In 1987's Computer Beach Party a film about nerds scoring with hot chicks thanks to a computer and a beach. If ever there was a way to get a female comrade to put out, and membership slots in The Panthers were all filled, your next best bet was to show toff your solid-state computer processor and hire The Panthers to blast out ballads about beach parties at your beach party.
“About time, schools out
I wanna scream, I wanna shout
(unintelligible) hot from the skies
Bringin’ waves giant size
Nothin’ matters, outta control
Now’s the time got nothin’ to blow
Spirits high gotta go with the flow
So quick gotta (something) and let’s all go
C’mon cmo’n, it’s time to party
Hot rockin’, Beach Party.”
But something is wrong here. Though The Panthers clearly understand the principles of self important posturing, even breaking the fourth wall to pose for the camera, rotating slowly nearby is an uninspired audience. Though they have mastered the art of pretending to rock, whether or not they actually do, their audience seems confused, unsure of how to move or behave. Clearly collective self absorption is not on the agenda at this rally.
The Poison Dolly’s, an all girl Glam band from Long Island representing the revolutionary front in 1988's The Rejuvenator (aka Rejuvenatrix), a film in which a mad doctor extracts brain fluid from living victims in an effort to develop an anti-aging serum. Each time he doses his patient she returns to her young virile form for a shorter and shorter length oftime before reverting to a hideous brain eating mutant. The Poison Dolly's are a perfect proxy for the film's goo-splattering, foam-latex "moral lesson" on vanity.
“I saw him walk, he stopped my heart
Pants so tight I thought he’d tear them apart
And he, turned to me unleashed a smile
And I said hey baby won’t you hang for a while
He said, hey baby I don’t play that way
I said, lemme ask you a question
What’s a nice boy like you, doing in a place like this?
Place like this!”
But besides a shaky grasp of the possessive tense, the Poison Dolly’s, like their Texan comrades lack the fundamental ability to excite an audience to the potential of the Glam Metal ideology. In both Galveston and Long Island, audience members can clearly be seen snapping their fingers and pumping their arms in an awkward “jogger” motion. In the former, several people are even doing the “point at the ground dance”, and still others flopping their arms at their sides like dead fish. A lack of melanin and genetic predisposition to rhythm notwithstanding, only the bands themselves make the ubiquitous “devil horns.”