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Tapeheads (1988)

John Cusack , Tim Robbins , Bill Fishman  |  R |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

Price: $33.90 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: John Cusack, Tim Robbins, Mary Crosby, Clu Gulager, Katy Boyer
  • Directors: Bill Fishman
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: March 13, 2001
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305973237
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,385 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tapeheads" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waffles and chicken August 30, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
See this movie for the Roscoe's Waffles and Chicken restaurant video, if for no other reason. Roscoe was played by King Cotton, a portly, snowy-haired, senior citizen, white guy rapper who appeared (very) briefly in the 80's. You have to see it to believe it. I bought the soundtrack because of this song.
What there is of a storyline doesn't make much sense, but that's half the fun. Josh (Tim Robbins) is an aspiring moviemaker who has talent, but no ambition. His friend, Ivan (John Cusack) has PLENTY of ambition. After they lose their jobs as security guards, they decide to go into business for themselves. Unfortunately, their paying gigs are for funerals, and the only creative work they can find is "on spec."
Josh and Ivan idolize an old, out of work R&B duo, the Swanky Modes. When Josh and Ivan meet the Swanky Modes in a bar, they realize it's their golden opportunity. They just have to get the Swanky Modes back on stage...
One of my favorite scenes is in the bar, when they ask for another drink. The bartender intends to cut them off, and tells them they can't have another unless they can recite the alphabet backwards, with one eye covered, and in sign language. They get their drinks.
Throw in some Menudo jokes (if you don't remember Menudo, think five fourteen-year-old Ricky Martins), a Bruce Lee type catfight, and some truly hilarious videos, and you've got Tapeheads.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
The chemistry between Cusack and Robbins is readily apparent in this off-beat comedy. The film is full of clever, yet not-so-obvious sight-gags including the casting of Zander Schloss as both a heavy-metal fan and an R&B concert-goer.
Sam Moore and Junior Walker pair up as the fictitious band "The Swanky Modes" adding a number of very soulful tunes to the soundtrack. To quote Josh & Ivan in the movie "We love the Swanky Modes."
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A parody for the ages November 4, 1998
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This movie showcases the talents of Michael Nesmith mirroring the same quirky humor that made the "Monkees" television show so hilarious. The central focus of this movie is the growing music video industry during the eighties. This movie is a parody of the what the industry was like and how to two guys could make it big. John Cusak and Tim Robbins play two buddies that have dreams of making it big in the video business. They each contribute their own brand of humor. John is the slick entrepenuer and Tim is the naive but talented producer. After getting fired they decide to go into the video business. They find the business to be challenging but never allow themselves to give up. They are motivated by their love for the "Swanky Modes" (Sam Moore and Junior Walker). Nesmith uses so many funny little quirks throughout this movie that you will need to watch it at least two more times to catch everything. Each time you watch it, it gets funnier and funnier. The film is strengthened by a cast of cameos by artists such as Ted Nugent and Don Cornelius as "Moe Fuzz, President of Fuzzball Records". The film also boasts a great soundtrack. This movie is a must for anyone's collection if you are a fun of quirky humor like "Airplane" and even the "Marx Brothers".
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Movie Noone Ever Saw... March 7, 2002
By A Customer
This movie is hysterical. No other word can adequately describe this movie. John Cusack and Tim Robbins have excellent chemistry as two best friends. The handshake is enough to make you want to watch this movie. The one-liners in this movie are classic. Perfect example: The fellas ask for another drink, and the bartender says, "Brothers Against Drunk Driving have been busting my a**. So you need to have a sobriety test." The fellas say, "Ok, ok what is it?" Bartender says, "Say the alphabet backwards, skipping all the vowels, and give me the sign language version for each letter as you go past." The fellas just whip through it like they do that every day. It was beautiful. I practiced that for hours when I tended bar...
Bottom line. This movie is great. You will laugh and laugh and laugh, then be amazed that Wierd Al is in the movie, then laugh and laugh...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Real Favorite ... For me, anyway. September 14, 2003
By "Zack"
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
What is "funny" to one person may or may not be funny to another.
If you're expecting non-stop, slap-stick hijinks ala Jim Carrey - you will be extremely disappointed.
This is a lot of subtle, dead-pan, insider humor - most of it requires some knowledge of the music industry, as others have said. I *do* find the film to be very funny - for me, it was one of those movies that you watched with a buddy, and then go around and incorporate lines from it for several years to come - actually, we still do.
It works from the aspect of being a buddy movie - two better "buddy" characters, in terms of believabilty, you'd be hard pressed to find. It also works as a film that creates this absolutely ridiculous world for these characters to live in - yet they generally accept that that's just the way things are - though there's a great scene where the characters look at the camera, as if to acknowledge the absolutely ludicrous nature of the situation to the viewer. Again - that's funny, to me.
As for the actual jokes, it's not going to be a movie that makes you shoot milk out of your nose - well, there are some parts that might - but it's still "funny" nonetheless. The characters are wonderful, the cameos are great, the writing and dialogue are sharp as a tack, and the performances are truly great from the entire cast - even down to the burned out rocker at the Menudo concert.
And the commentary track on the DVD was entertaining to me. It did explain most of what they were going for - most of which I got... though some of the stories about the set design were quite amusing, and had escaped me.
Then again, if you need a joke explained to you, is it funny?
Bottom line: A fun little indie-type film that remains subtle even while drowning in a sea of absolute nonsense.
Best advice: Go rent it first, if you're on the fence. If you like it, then I'd buy it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An unknown gem from two of our best American actors
An unknown gem from two of our best American actors, done when they were both so young. Wickedly funny on so many levels, this will have you laughing from start to finish. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Patricia L. Gurney
3.0 out of 5 stars Alright.
This movie was alright.
Published 2 months ago by Furmom<3
5.0 out of 5 stars JC: the triangle of success
Cusack: It's my chance, I gotsta dance. Say the alphabet backwards with your eyes closed. Great and stupid, love this movie with Tim Robbins and Bing Crosby's daughter. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mary D. Salai
4.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious in an '80s Time Capsule' kind of way.
Dated, campy, cheesy, but mostly wicked-funny. Cusack and Robbins have a great comedic chemistry together, and this was one of the last movies they did before they started taking... Read more
Published 4 months ago by David Barrett
I could never have faced my course in Micro Economics if the Swanky Modes didn't convince me that any ordinary man would have given it up by now. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Carol A Galvelis
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
Lost gem, I think. a good time for anyone who spent time with movie camera's, took an art film course in college in the late nineties, or fans of Cusack or Robbins
Published 17 months ago by Lovelyplayfellow
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun John Cussack Tim Robinson Movie from the 80's.
A funny movie about two guys that start a video production company and the trials and weird business the commercial production business is. Read more
Published 17 months ago by T. Dolph
2.0 out of 5 stars I can't review this one...
I tried to watch this movie the day I received it, but it would not play on my DVD player (actually my Play Station 3). Read more
Published 19 months ago by john fedoronko
5.0 out of 5 stars Cult Classic! Swanky Modes!
Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles! 'Nuff said.

This movie will make you get up and dance while laughing your butt off. Read more
Published 21 months ago by cybergal
5.0 out of 5 stars Funniest movie no one's seen.
Almost no one, anyway. This is a great unsung film, with early John Cusack & Tim Robbins. Low budget, perfect mix of satire and Animal House farce. Read more
Published on June 10, 2011 by Greg Keith
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