People sometimes ask me what my favorite movies are. It’s not the kind of question I’m good at answering. There are movies I like a lot, there are movies I appreciate for some particular point, and there are movies I enjoy just for the fun of them. I would do much better with a list of movies I really hated.
One movie that is without question one of my all-time favorites is… I’ll tell you later. For now we’ll call the film Get Crazy. It is not an intellectual flick. But once again, a couple of decades later, I’m watching a movie and one of the big stars shows up and my first thought is, “Hey! That guy was in Get Crazy!”
The cast of this forgotten epic includes Daniel Stern, Malcom Macdowell, Lou frickin’ Reed, for crying out loud, Fabian, Bobby Goldsboro, John Densmore (the drummer for the Doors), Howard Calin (the Turtles), and a ton of other actors who went on to make minor names for themselves. The theme of the movie: Rock and roll is supposed to be fun. Yeah, they took some risks, there, but even back then we were wishing Mick Jagger drank whatever was in the water cooler at the Saturn that night. Reggie Wanker did, and rediscovered rock ‘n’ roll. It was the Wanker I saw tonight on TV. Then he played an aging rock star, now he is an evil european bad guy of some sort. He’s doing all right, but it’s nothing like his perrformance in Get Crazy.
That film, for all its throwaway one-liner genius, was above all a triumph of casting, and of giving the creative people the chance to create. There’s a constant barrage of little oddities, the kind of things you think of on the spur of the moment, and the folks making this movie listened to one of the characters: “Yeah, why not?” Even in post-production, there came the odd sound effects, and subtitles stating the obvious just for the pleasure of stating the obvious (“The Bad Guys” reads one, as the helicopter for Serpent Industries lands, and later “Boy Meets Girl”).
“Rock ‘n’ Roll is gonna be fun again,” we hear near the end of the film, from a surprise character. (I could tell you, but that would spoil everything.) “Good…?” Toad replies. The idea that Rock ‘n’ Roll might not be fun has never occurred to him. Let me back up and give you the dialog. Reggie Wanker is Malcom McDowell being Mick Jagger. Toad is John Densmore being John Densmore. I have not see this movie in several years, so the dialog might be a little off.
Reggie: Toad, meet our new manager.
Toad: Aaaug! Ugh!
New Manger: ‘ello, Toad.
New Manager: I’ve got us booked into every bleedin’ dive in Liverpool.
Reggie: Rock ‘n’ Roll is gonna be fun again.
Reggie: Go on, give the lad a drink.
Toad (pouring from his bottle): I ain’t gonna touch him.
The reason I bring this up, other than the fact I saw (but didn’t understand) a movie with Malcom McDowell tonight, is that lately I’ve been Reggie, when I really should be Toad. Tonight I am both.
Jerry: Writing is gonna be fun again.
And the actual name of the movie was… Get Crazy!