Top positive review
50 people found this helpful
on April 7, 2004
Hey Ho! Let's Go! Listen up, kids. Rock 'n' Roll High School may have been released way back in 1979 but it still kicks the ass of any of those square MTV movies. Forget about Britney Spears and Mandy Moore's brand of bubblegum pop music and their equally bland movies - they don't hold a candle to the unbridled power of those punk rockers from New York City, the Ramones!
From B-movie veterans like Paul (Eating Raoul) Bartel and Mary (Death Race 2000) Woronov to newcomers (at the time), P.J. (Halloween) Soles and Dey (Strange Invaders) Young, the entire cast has a lot of fun spouting the film's wonderfully inspired cornball dialogue ("If you don't like it, you can put it where the monkey puts the nuts."). The Ramones are good sports and mumble their way through the film and truly coming alive during the music sequences. The movie rightfully cements their reputation as legends.
Rock 'n' Roll High School embodies the essence of the punk rock music that made the Ramones famous. The film is bursting with youthful energy, a dose of good ol' fashion anarchy and is loads of fun to watch. These are also the ingredients that made Rock 'n' Roll High School a cult film. It was a commercial and critical failure upon its initial release but repeated midnight screenings, coupled with steady appearances on TV, have helped the film endure over the years.
New to this edition is a "Back to School: A Retrospective" that takes a look back at this cult film with new interviews with producer Roger Corman, Alan Arkush and cast members Clint Howard, Dey Young, Mary Woronov and Loren Lester and the surviving Ramone from that time, Marky. This is an affectionate, fun look at this movie with everyone reminiscing fondly about their experiences.
Producer Michael Finnell, screenwriter Richard Whitley and director Alan Arkush deliver an engaging and rather chatty audio commentary. The three men laugh and joke about working on Rock 'n' Roll High School. They clearly have fond memories of their experiences on the movie.
Another new addition is an audio commentary by Corman and Young. She admits that in reality she was more like Riff Randell than her character. There are several lulls but it is nice to hear these two reminisce about their experiences on the movie.
Also included is a dynamic theatrical trailer that gives away the ending! Definitely watch this last if you haven't seen the movie.
Gone is the Leonard Maltin interview with Roger Corman.
A real treat for fans of the Ramones are several audio outtakes during the filming of the concert sequence. These are the original audio tracks of the band in action.
While Rock 'n' Roll High School will appeal predominantly to fans of the Ramones (duh!), it is also one of those fun, goofy movies to invite friends over and watch with copious amounts of junk food on hand. Despite a lackluster transfer, the audio commentary and audio outtakes are worth the price of purchase for this fantastic cinematic oddity.