“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.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Canadian Films
- Diane Lane Films
- Laura Dern Films
- Naive Public
- Punk Rock
Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, this Canadian “musical satire about the meteoric rise and fall of a punk-rock singer” (Lane) who “temporarily becomes the idol of girls her age because of her defiant attitude, nihilistic music… and see-through blouses” features “dreary direction by former rock and roll mogul Lou Adler”, who attempts to lampoon sycophantic fans and the fragility of fame — but 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
No, but it’s recommended.
2 thoughts on “Ladies and Gentlemen: The Fabulous Stains (1981)”
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”.
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.