Rock 'n' Roll High School

"Very Good"

Rock 'n' Roll High School Review


The film legacy of The Beatles was A Hard Day's Night, and I guess the film legacy of The Ramones is this, Rock 'n' Roll High School, the 1979 oddity about an oppressive high school (Vince Lombardi High, where "winning is better than losing") and its most exuberant student, Riff Randell (P.J. Soles), who only wants to share her love of The Ramones with her fellow students.

The film's hijinks largely follow your typical school's-out-for-summer comedy. There's hazing, there's rebellion, there's sex, there's quirky supporting characters (including Clint Howard, who has an "office" situated in a bathroom stall), and there's loud music. But everything's just a bit off with Rock 'n' Roll High School, starting with its star, Soles, who at 29 years old was playing what had to be the oldest senior on record. Soles, who would later become known best (arguably) for playing one of the military police officers in Stripes, is believable as a Ramones fan, though her haircut needs some attention if she wants to be a serious punk rocker.

The movie is at its best when the Ramones -- who drive around town in a car with the improbable license plate of "GABBA-GABBA-HEY" -- are on camera. It's not that they're good actors, or even passable ones. They're atrocious. They make Ringo Starr look like Alec Guinness. And that's where the film gets its charm, from Dee Dee Ramone oohing about pizza in the two lines he has, from their obvious displeasure at crossing guitar necks for Riff to walk through the threshold.

26 years later, the film has been reissued on DVD with two commentary tracks and a retrospective documentary that offers comments from virtually everyone involved in the production (Roger Corman wanted to make Disco High School, ) except for star Soles. Apparently she's too busy getting hacked up in bit parts of films like The Devil's Rejects to remember what is arguably her biggest -- and possibly only -- starring role.



Rock 'n' Roll High School

Facts and Figures

Run time: 93 mins

In Theaters: Friday 24th August 1979

Budget: $300 thousand

Distributed by: New World Pictures

Production compaines: New World Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 79%
Fresh: 19 Rotten: 5

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: P.J. Soles as Riff Randell, Vince Van Patten as Tom Roberts, as Eaglebauer, as Miss Evelyn Togar, as Kate Rambeau, as Mr. McGree, as Police Chief, as Screamin' Steve Stevens, Alix Elias as Coach Steroid, as Himself, as Himself, Dee Dee Ramone as Himself, as Himself

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.