Episode #26: Rock 'n' Roll High School Forever
Listen to Episode 26 of the Podcast here while you enjoy the show notes.
SUMMARY - Rock 'n' Roll High School Forever is a sequel that follows Jesse Davis and his punk crew of friends in their quest to be the best school band possible and have The Eradicators play the senior prom. Their penchant for destruction and pranks gets them into trouble with the incoming hard-nosed, claw-handed vice principal Dr. Vader. Can the band outsmart the adults and avoid detention?
Screenplay by Deborah Brock; Directed by Deborah Brock, and released on home video on May 23, 1991.
Right away, you get an idea about the level of humor you can expect from the movie as well as the age range its targeting.
We also see Corey Feldman's character talking to the camera (something a few people do at certain times) before letting the theme song loose on us.
The movie definitely tries to be super goofy and wacky, most of the time for no reason, like in this incredibly long appliance worship scene
And the general vibe of the adults and decor is 1950s, which makes things colorful and also shows how out of touch they are with the kids.
Plot points come and go like this rig built to auto-dial a contest to make their band the winner. Ultimately it goes no where.
And it's strange that the band is vilified by the preppy kids when they're doing covers of '50s music.
Best not to think about it. Instead just know that the school brings in Dr. Vader to rule the school with her claw hand and two bumbling lackeys.
Mary Woronov is the only returning actor (albeit with a different name - so its up to fan theory to decide if somehow they are the same), and she is great as the supervillain.
The other connection to the original "Rock 'n' Roll High School" is that there is an Eaglebauer character, but it's a different actor and the enterprise is more competent.
While the original focused solely on The Ramones, this one doesn't have a central band other than the lead characters' group - assumedly so Feldman could showcase his abilities. The Pursuit of Happiness, the band that did the theme song is relegated to TV footage, and there's a smattering of other bands providing the score/soundtrack.
One of our favorites was from Mark Governer & Zillion Kisses and their campy song "Love at the Laundromat."
Corey Feldman and crew do give it their all in the musical performances, at least. It was entertaining to watch.
There's so much going on that we had to talk about: The quirky witch girlfriend character;
The expected, but still dumb, romance story between student and the substitute music teacher;
Mojo Nixon as the Spirit of Rock 'n' Roll; and more.
It's a very busy film that doesn't spend a lot of time on any one thing. Also most things don't make sense. How does no one see this massive camera when they try to pull off that last set of pranks?
It says a lot about your movie when this is the best joke in the whole thing, though.
Actually there is one more connection to the original as they re-use some of the shots of the school blowing up.
Awards Talk - None to speak of, which isn't surprising for a direct to video release.
TRUE CRIME & POP CULTURE
This week our crime segment briefly covered the arrest of Corey Feldman for drug possession prior to this film's release, leading to it being removed from theatrical distribution consideration.
In terms of music, we focused our attention on the soundtrack of the movie (also unreleased officially):
It may not be The Ramones, but the theme song will still grow on you.
You know you want to hear "Love at the Laundromat."
The Eradicators provide a couple songs as well, of course, such as "Dare Dreamer."
Moving on to TV, here was the lineup for Thursday, May 23, 1991
We also go into more details about a few different shows that may have been forgotten by time.
Father Dowling Mysteries
My Life and Times
Throughout the episode, we reference a fun documentary that was recently produced and released on YouTube. Please consider taking the time to watch Adan Gonzales' film: "Forever: The Untold Story of Rock 'n' Roll High School Forever."
Here's an article if you want to read more: https://www.mysoutex.com/beeville_bee_picayune/news/features/rock-doc-goes-behind-scenes-of-cult-classic/article_8d040060-3254-11ea-b911-97053a6ecf6c.html
RANKINGS & RATINGS
Nikki 1-5 star scale - 3 out of 5
Jon 0-4 star scale - 1/2 out of 4
Would you watch it again? - For sure! Even though its not well made technically, and even though most of what happens doesn't make sense, it is still an enjoyable movie that encapsulates a lot of of the early 90s vibes we love so much.
If you want to watch Rock 'n' Roll High School Forever, as of this recording on July 2021, it’s available on VHS or DVD. Check your local listings.
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Join us next time for Fight Back to School available on Hi-Yah!, YouTube or import DVD.