Can’t Stop the Music


The “Official Film of the Village People.” We’d expect nothing less and accept no imitations. Can’t Stop the Music (as much as we’d like to try) is a trailblazer of sorts: it won the first ever Razzie.

A fictionalized account of the gimmicky West Village disco act, it also features Bruce Jenner, of all people, as a square partner in a tax law firm that branches out into the entertainment space to sign the young upstarts (who at this point, weren’t particularly young and whose career was backsliding a bit after knocking it out of the park with hits like “Macho Man” and the second most ubiquitous stadium singalong in the world, “YMCA”).

Steve Guttenberg is Jack, the roller skating principal songwriter and creative force behind the new group (a phrase that conjures up insult king Jeff Ross’ hilarious put-down of Gene Simmons* during the latter’s roast, “why’d you guys break up, un-creative differences?”)

Jack is in a platonic relationship with roommate and ex-model Samantha, who has connections in the music business that eventually lead to a new group being formed in a Greenwich backward. How they got their name is a decidedly underwhelming set piece and pretty far removed from, say, a John Lennon dream about putting a beat behind a beetle.

Cant_Stop_the_Music_movieSamantha then gets a gig as the TV face of the American Dairy Association, and uses the advertising platform to somehow plug the band’s music, featuring kids dressed up as each one of the People.

Goes without saying that Can’t Stop the Music is pretty darn wacky stuff.

In the book, Party Animals: A Hollywood Tale of Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll Starring the Fabulous Allan Carr**, author Robert Hofler describes the reception the film received: “audiences were respectfully quiet,  but in San Francisco they guffawed at the movie’s strong current of homoerotica…”

The Washington Post asked, “Does anyone believe that the Village People is a singing group with staying power or lasting appeal?” And Yahoo! called it “an absolute trainwreck of a movie,” which is just the way we like ’em.

Not as charmingly cool as Xanadu, nor as criminally misguided and bordering on the offensive as The Apple, it’s still worth a look.

**1/2 (out of 5)

*We both dig KISS regardless and speaking of the group, they were also signed to the Village People’s record label, Casablanca].

**Carr managed Tony Curtis and Peter Selllers among others, and produced Can’t Stop the Music

The Muthers

MUTHERSWord to your Muther.

The Muthers is a plantation shoot-em-up set in the Philippines, whose topography seems endlessly dotted with island prisons (if Cirio Santiago b-movies are any indication).

While this is definitely a WiP production, it’s absent the lingering shower brawls and resentful square-jawed female guard/tormentors. That’s a bit of a bummer, but there’s enough other kinds of action to make up the deficit.

The answer to the question “What are you black beauties doing in a place like this?” is apparently, a rescue mission.

Brigand Kelly* and hash-slinger Angela (that’s the marijuana variety, not potatoes in a diner) are looking for the former’s teen sister, apparently imprisoned on a coffee plantation.

They’ve gone undercover, deep undercover. And to do this, they’re giving up their day jobs as pirates on the high seas, robbing cruise ships and the like.

The plantation prison is run by the sinister Monteiro (Tony Carreon, best known for American Ninja). He’s a marble-mouthed Spanish villain who traipses around in equestrian boots wielding a Tommy gun, who executes far more capably than he um, “elocutes.”

Would-be escapees, when caught, are hung from their ponytails. Male accomplices are beaten down by female inmates after they’re told they’d lose canteen provisions + lunch breaks.

the_muthersThat being said, as far as back-breaking women-in-prison locales go, this plantation isn’t too bad compared with what we’ve seen. The “house negro” Serena (Jayne Kennedy, best known to our readers for Santiago’s Death Force) sneaks preferred inmates smokes and rides around on horseback. But things aren’t too peachy for her as she has to service Monteiro.

When our heroes inevitably escape, it’s fairly unremarkable save for a fantastic gun boat catamaran shoot-out. And what movie is complete without a gun boat catamaran shoot-out?

You can grab a restoration copy at Vinegar Syndrome.

**3/4 (out of 5)

*The role of Kelly is played by the always amusing Jeannie Bell (she of the hugely entertaining, and very inept martial arts caper, TNT Jackson)