Thursday, March 22, 2007

director walter hill crafted what i think is 1 of the finest action/adventure films of the 1970s, the warriors. by the 1980s hill was churning out all kinds of product including what must be one of the more bizarre entries to combine action with rock&roll: streets of fire.

i don't know what to say except that this film has haunted me thru all these years. the story is this: diane lane is a rock icon who was the ex-lover of michael pare [earlier he had starred as the rimbaud-influenced singer eddie in eddie and the cruisers] where lane is kidnapped and held hostage by the sociopathic willem dafoe who is the leader of a notorious biker gang that includes lee ving [formerly of the great punk band fear].

pare enlists the help of a soldier, played by amy madigan, to rescue lane from dafoe's evil clutches. oh yes, rick moranis is lane's sleazy manager, and the bartender of the town's only saloon is none other than bill paxton. in other words, the film is a mess. and yet, this is a stellar cast. dafoe is delicious as the cycle-riding, leather wearing, sicko. lane is as lovely then as she is now. madigan plays against type and proves she is an outstanding actor.

now throw in that streets is a musical and the sets look like they were fashioned out of the spare parts of a cannery and you have a pretty good film. hill keeps the pace fast, and dialogue is kept to a minimum. the movie i guess was meant to be viewed as a nascent music video, much like miami vice was on tv at the time. except that the music sucks for the most part but for the single 'i can dream about you' which is still on rotation on soft rock fm stations in the u.s.

and that lane cannot hold a stage like a rock star. she lacks that je ne se qua of say shirley manson of garbage or even mick of the stones. no matter. she has charisma to carry the role. pare looks and sounds like a meathead, which is perfect for his part in the film. he grunts rather than speaks; that again fits his character to the nth degree.

i just called the movie pretty good. and i guess it is considering i've not seen it in years. yet i still remember it, and can quote lines from the film. hill did something with the look of the film, much like ridley scott did with blade runner. hill set the film in the past, gave it a neo-1950s look with duck-ass haircuts and the wild one a la brando leathers and motorcycles. in essence the filmmaker created an almost a mythic, timeless era. perhaps that is why i like the film. i dunno. below is the trailer. judge for yrself.


At 4:01 PM, Blogger dfb said...

the blasters are the biker band in that movie - thats all i remember about it - but evangeline sez she remembers lots of it and ms lane looks great and defoe looks like goth kid

At 6:33 AM, Blogger gina said...

Looks like I have another movie to add to the Netflix queue!


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