Get Crazy (1983)

I hope everyone had a good Christmas, and will have a Happy New Year as well.

Last night, I watched a movie that I enjoy watching on or around the New Year's holiday. Get Crazy is a hilarious cult film from 1983. It's a wacky farce about attempts to stage a New Year's Eve Concert at an arena called the Saturn Theater. That fictional venue is based on the Fillmore East, where director Allan Arkush was once employed. Arkush is best known for directing the 1979 cult film Rock 'N' Roll High School. Get Crazy has the same energy and free-spiritedness as that movie, but for my money, it is far more inspired and amusing. It is a fast-paced series of cartoonish vignettes which are both sharp and funny.

Daniel Stern stars as the arena's stage manager, who is scrambling to get the venue ready for the event. Ed Begley Jr. and former pop idols Bobby Sherman and Fabian play villains who want to sabotage the Saturn, even if they have to blow it up in mid-concert. That may give you a clue about the movie's wacked-out sense of humor, but Arkush steadily keeps the laughs coming.

Malcolm McDowell stands out as an egomaniacal rock star who is clearly based on Mick Jagger. Almost as good are Lou Reed as a Bob Dylan-like folk singer with writer's block, Bill Henderson as a Muddy Waters-like blues singer, and Howard Kaylan of the Turtles as a Jerry Garcia type who thinks the year is 1969. (The movie is actually set in 1983, the year in which it was released). Former Doors drummer John Densmore plays McDowell's drummer, and former Fear frontman Lee Ving plays a barbaric punk-rocker named Piggy (based on Iggy Pop?) who wears barbed wire across his chest.

If you sit through the closing credits, you'll see and hear Lou Reed perform his great lost song "Little Sister", which has only been released on this film's soundtrack album and on Reed's box set Between Thought And Expression, both of which are out of print.

Get Crazy is the type of fast-paced farce that viewers will want to watch repeatedly to catch the jokes that they missed during previous viewings. I know that I have watched it countless times, and still get a kick out of it every time. The movie was only available on VHS in the '80's from Embassy Home Entertainment (Embassy VHS 2068). A DVD release will be welcome for those of us who are wearing out our VHS copies (I can't be the only one!). Amazon.com gives customers the option of "voting" for its release on DVD. If you ask Amazon to notify you by e-mail when the DVD becomes available, Amazon will let the studio know how many customers are waiting for the title. So, let's stand up and be counted!

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