Ladies and Gentlemen: The Fabulous Stains (1981)

Ladies and Gentlemen: The Fabulous Stains (1981)

“I’m perfect! But nobody in this shithole gets me, because I don’t put out!”


Three teens (Diane Lane, Laura Dern, and Marin Kanter) form a punk band called the Stains, and experience a rapid rise and fall in fame.


Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, this Canadian “musical satire about the meteoric rise and fall of a punk-rock singer” is undeniably “dreary”. Despite director Lou Adler’s attempt to lampoon sycophantic fans and the fragility of fame, there’s surprisingly little to laugh at. On the other hand, the film is noteworthy for anticipating countless mockumentaries to come — plus, as one IMDb contributor notes, “The film predicts the Madonna Wanna-Be craze by years.”

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • An early, pre-Spinal Tap musical mockumentary
  • A young, vibrant Ray Winstone as the lead singer of the Looters
  • Diane Lane’s petulant portrayal as “Third Degree Burns”
  • Laura Dern and Christine Lahti in early roles
    Christine Lahti

Must See?
No, but it’s recommended.


2 thoughts on “Ladies and Gentlemen: The Fabulous Stains (1981)

  1. Found this one quite bleak, but fitting for what it was trying to do. I cannot say it is a “must see” but I saw it at least 10 times as a teenager! Another film of interest in an odd, odd way: “Starstruck”.

  2. First viewing. Not a must. Oh, no.

    Early on in this ‘probing’ tale of life in the punk world, The Stains ‘wow’ us with one of their trademark ditties: “(I’m A) Waste Of Time”.


    So’s the movie.

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