Monday, January 6, 2014

1980 - CAN'T STOP THE MUSIC, The Village People Musical

Of course it's bad, it's a musical with The Village People top billed it couldn't be anything else but bad.  Besides the Village People, the film also stars Valerie Perrine who looks great until she opens her mouth, Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner who unsurprisingly can't act but can get away with wearing a tank top and Steve Guttenberg star of the Police Academy series. The film also features Tammy Grimes, Barbara Rush a former 1950's ingenue and June Havoc the sister of legendary stripper Gypsy Rose Lee.

The producer Allen Carr had been associated with the success of the film Grease.  Hollywood though Carr had the Midas touch which allowed to produce a couple of musical flops like Grease 2 and this film.  Carr hired Nancy Walker, a comedian who had directed a few TV sitcom episodes but never a motion picture.  The Village People had been popular in the 1970's during the disco craze but this was 1980 and disco was dying on the vine like the Commodore 64.  It was the perfect storm of creative failure.

To address the "gay thing,"  yeah it's there and not even in some kind of subtext but right in the open particularly during the YMCA number featuring a chorus of men executing some of the same moves as the Busby Berkley bathing beauties of the 1930's.  Even Valerie Perrine in short and tight clothes couldn't disguise this stuff.

The bottom line even as gay camp the film kind of stinks with it's crappy original songs, strange casting of middle aged actresses and the sight of the Village People running around in their persona's of cowboy, indian, construction worker etc.

124 minutes

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