FILMS THAT WE FORGOT
“Detroit Rock City”
I’ll admit I’m not a fan of KISS. Hell, up until I saw this movie about 10 years ago “I Wanna Rock & Roll All Night" was the only damn song that I knew they sang. When “Detroit Rock City” came out I was only 15 years old so I had to wait until it came to video (yes video) to see it. As a teenager I connected to the 4 teenagers in the film. I didn’t smoke weed or party but still you could identify with doing all you can to get to a rock concert for a band that you literally lived and breathed. If this film is not in your movie collection get it now, if it is pull it out and watch it again. Your movie collection is not complete without it.
Now for the acting, the 4 leads played by Edward Furlong (Hawk), Giuseppe Andrews (Lex), James Debello (Trip), and Sam Huntington ( Jam). Edward Furlong has never really had much range as an actor but he does fine with playing the lead singer and guitarist of what you could call their KISS tribute act which his called MYSTERY. Giuseppe Andrews also a actor with not a lot of range plays the worrywart of the group. This was James Debello’s first big lead role in any movie and you can tell that he would repeat that same character in many movies to come. The best actor and character of the 4 is Sam Huntington. He is the one member of the group who comes from a house with an overbearing parental figure and he has to sneak around to listen or play KISS. Huntington plays the role of Jam in such a relatable and funny way. Listening to the commentary track Director Adam Rifkin says that at the time Sam was underage and the other 3 leads were over 18. This is always a added hassle on movie sets because they have a curfew and a time limit for how long they can use the actor. He says the other leads were cast fast and it took a long time to find Jam but when he saw Sam’s audition tape he knew it was worth the risk to hire him and it was a good risk. The final actor I want to discuss is Lynn Shaye who plays Jam’s religious mom and a force to be reckon with. The movie makes her out to be the villain of the movie and she relishes it every moment on the screen.
That One Scene
The movie is filled with countless nostalgic scenes and great side characters. The one scene that stuck out for me was after the 4 have borrowed Lex’s Mom car they are driving to Detroit they have a pizza which they put mushrooms on to bail Jam out of a reformatory school (another great scene), they throw out the last piece and the pizza slice lands on the car behind them which happens to be filled with Guido’s and Stella’s (as the guys name the disco loving guys and girls) The Guido’s pull over and almost run the them off the road. They both get out and make the guys get on the side of the road and thoroughly beat them up until the guys realize that there is 4 of them and 2 of the Guido’s. They then begin to pummel the shit out of the Guido’s. This scene pretty much explains the antithesis of the Disco/Rock rivalry that existed in the 1970’s.
Jam: It's a teenage girl walking along the side of the highway. I mean, they, they, they make scary movies that start out like that.
Trip: Hey, but, but they make porno movies that start out like that too, man.
Lex: Just because my mom’s a female gynecologist, doesn't mean she's a lesbian. And even if she was, at least my mom didn't give birth to me while she was on LSD.
Mrs. Bruce: God forbid one day you have a son like you, Jeremiah. A boy who lies through his teeth, buys demonic records, and smokes the dope!
Scalper: Check it out, man. The question you gotta ask yourself is how badly do you wanna see the greatest fucking rock and roll show on the fucking Earth, right? We're talking about Gene and Paul live, dog! I'm talking about the most voluptuous women hanging out in the audience. I'm talking big breasteses, and tight vesteses, my friend! You're talking people passing around joints in the audience. You're talking about fuckin' Detroit Rock City, brother.
[points to strip club]
Scalper: Shake your wee-wee!
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