Twist (1992)

"Very Good"

Twist (1992) Review


In Ron Mann's Twist, the third of his documentaries to recently be released on DVD, the dance crazes of the 1950s and early 1960s are laid out bare, with special focus on Chubby Checker's ubiquitous Twist.

Cleverly structured with archival dance instruction footage between vignettes, we are exposed to dances like the Lindy Bop, the Hop, and the Stroll, leading up to the infamous Twist, plus dances like the Monkey and the Mashed Potato that followed. Of course, nothing ever reached the popularity of the Twist (jeez, "Let's Twist Again" was #1 on the charts for over three months!).

The secret of the Twist was that it was (and is) so very simple but still looks good even if you don't have any moves. Checker readily admits all this, and in Mann's clever use of forcing his interviewees to dance for him before their talking head segments, you can see that the man has still got the moves.

The ending gets bogged down in the usual socio-political analysis, none of which really has anything to do with the dance crazes, but overall it's a fun little documentary.

The DVD includes a deleted scene, an interview with Mann, and a clever dance lesson vignette that teaches you the Twist, the Monkey, the Pony, and a couple of other classics. It's as much fun as hanging out at the malt shop.



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