Sunday, November 6, 2011

Trailer Trash: Bad Girls 1980 Edition

In an effort to, say, cleanse the pallet from our horror-packed Schlocktober festivities, I'm going to go in a decidedly more salacious direction with my picks for November. In the coming weeks on the podcast you can expect reviews of such tawdry sleaze classics as Chained Heat, Big Bad Mama and an entire episode dedicated to the king of cheesy late night T&A action flicks, Andy Sidaris.

So, in keeping with that trend, this installment of Trailer Trash is dedicated bad girls, those lovely ladies of film who not only blow you away with their looks and sense of style, but also have attitude and a desire to shake things up. And 1980 was a particularly good year for fans of bad-girlsploiation. So, without further adieu, here a three different, but equally badass bad girl trailers from that magical year.

Foxes (1980)

Between starring in Taxi Driver in 1974 and winning her Oscar for The Accused in 1989, Jodie Foster did some crazy flicks (check out The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane and Carny). However, my favorite of the post-Taxi, pre-Accused era Foster is still Foxes from 1980.

Foster along with Cherie Currie of The Runaways, Marilyn Kagan and Kandice Stroh (all 3 had never acted before) play a group of jaded teenage girls in the San Fernando Valley, trying to figure out life and have some fun while doing it. The standard girl gang character traits are applied; Foster is the level-headed leader of the group, Currie is the druggie, Kagan is the nerd and Stroh is the slutty one. While all the typical "growing up too fast" tropes are here and despite an unfortunate glam-disco soundtrack, Foxes manages to be an entertaining watch, mainly due to it's excellent cast, which also features a young Randy Quaid and an even younger Scott Baio. Check it out!



Little Darlings (1980)

While the late 70's and early 80's a filled with T&A summer camp movies about horny guys chasing girls, Little Darlings is the only one I know of that flips that stereotype and has the girls doing the chasing. The girls in question are the Irish tag team of Tatum O'Neal (Bad News Bears) and Kristy McNichol (TV's Family and later TV's Empty Nest).

O'Neal plays the rich goody goody to McNichol's lower-class badass. As you'd expect, the two polar personalities clash at first, culminating in a wager to see which one can lose their virginity first. Despite it's salacious subject matter and R-rating, this film is pretty tame, in fact, a TV version of the film was edited together which eliminates the sexual subplot all together. Nevertheless, this often forgotten piece of 80's summer camp nostalgia is a fun watch, especially for McNichols' bad girl persona and her onscreen banter with her romantic interest, a young, shaggy Matt Dillon.

The movie flaunts a decent soundtrack too, featuring the likes of Blondie, Rickie Lee Jones, Supertramp, John Lennon and The Bellamy Brothers. Unfortunately, it's that same soundtrack that has kept the film from having an official DVD release thus far, as the licensing of those tunes would cost a pretty penny. Still, if you can hunt down a copy, you should check out Little Darlings.

[My apologizes for the weird German advertisement before the trailer]


Times Square (1980)

Just like Little Darlings, Time Square uses the rich girl/poor girl dynamic, only this time the setting is not summer camp, but the mean streets of New York City and the goal is not to score boys, but to gain notoriety as a punk rock icon.

Trini Alvarado (later of The Frightners) plays Pamela Pearl, a rich girl, who meets homeless punk Nicky Marotta, played by Robin Johnson. With her wild eyes, raspy voice and heavy Brooklyn accent, Johnson is one of the most convincing street punks ever portrayed on film. The two quickly start a friendship (rife with a muted romantic subtext) and navigate the streets of the Big Apple trying to find truth, freedom and get Nicky's music heard. With the help of rebellious radio DJ Tim Curry, the girls do eventually find notoriety but turmoil as well and as the title (and trailer) implies, the film climaxes with a performance in Times Square.

Times Square is a really well-made, well-acted and likable film. The characters are believable and sympathetic and the film boasts one of the best soundtracks of the late 70's/early 80's with punk and new wave jams by the Ramones, Talking Heads, Suzi Quatro, Lou Reed, Roxy Music, Patti Smith, The Pretenders, The Cure and XTC. Director Allan Moyle would go on to direct such other teen fare as Pump Up the Volume and Empire Records.

The Starz/Anchor Bay DVD of the film is, sadly, out of print but this 80's bad girl epic is definitely worth seeking out.



That's all for now. Look for future installments of Trailer Trash in the upcoming weeks.

If you have any suggestions for a ridiculous, cool, absurd, perplexing or just generally Junk Food-y trailers, send 'em my way.

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