Continuing on with the Streets of Fire discussion. Admit it, you were hoping for more.
Matt: Yeah, I love the sprawling, seemingly endless city, filled with different territories, and strange characters.
And the bar is fantastic. Ooze is right. That sweaty singer looks like he just ran a marathon before hopping up on stage. You know he doesn't smell good. The stripper, by the way, is played by Jennifer Beals' body double from Flashdance, Marine Jahan.
The club/bar/hangout is also the first place we see Dafoe in those terrifying rubber (?) pants.
It's also after the sequence at the bar where the movie takes a style change for a bit, and becomes a Warriors-like journey back across the city to Cody and crew's home turf. Along the way, they face off against crooked cops, meet up with a doo-wop band, and see all sorts of skeezy places.
*admit it, it's awesome, even in a foreign language.
Dan: I'm sure the rubber overalls come in handy for those all night poker games.
And the bus trip reminds me, oddly enough, of The Lord of the Rings. They pick up Dottie from Pee Wee's Big Adventure, the Doo Wop band with Robert Townsend, and basically form a fellowship. But instead of the Armies of Mordor, they fight a gang.
But all of this pales in comparison to what comes next...
The Sledgehammer fight! Nothing ever committed to film is as cool as this fight. Not even the Roddy Piper/David Keith (or is it Keith David) brawl from They Live.
*my apologies. I could only find clips of this fight in two parts. Come on YouTube!
Matt: It really is a great fight. I mean, a gang of bikers on one side; a gang of rifle packing townsfolk on the other, and in the middle, two titans, facing each other the way the gods intended, with hammers. Fantastic.
Dan: Jesus, maybe it's all symbolism? Is Michael Pare the mighty Thor? Willem Dafoe would most certainly qualify as Loki. I think we're on to something Matt. It's too bad my Norse mythology is completely learned from Marvel comics. You know your shit. Rain some God Talk down upon my mortal head.
Matt: I don't think I've got anything to add on the gods and monsters front. However, as a good closing...
The movie comes screaming out of the 80s with no apologies. It comes from a time when you could solve any problem if you could just rock hard enough. I gather that it was originally planned as the opening chapter of a trilogy, but like several other lost 80s classics (The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension immediately jumps to mind), it just never found its audience at the time. It's too bad, but we're left with a gem, made more precious because of its uniqueness. Guns, dames, rock & roll, motorcycles, hammers, and the commanding presence of Michael Pere (and his sweet suspenders). This movie delivers the goods.
Dan: It's an interesting thought that this might have been the opening shot of a trilogy. Perhaps now, with all this new found technology, maybe Walter Hill can get Lucas to do the trilogy for him, if it was "planned all along." I'm sure George can find some sidekick for Tom Cody that's all digital and borderline racist.
But no matter how much I try, I just can't see it as a trilogy. Where would it have gone? Pare's skipped town. Maybe there's some border town that needs cleaning up? Perhaps, but I'd rather leave it to my imagination. His walking away, or more accurately, driving away, was the perfect ending.
REED CRANDALL of Mars
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