Saturday, March 13, 2010

Dance or Die (1987)

Fear 0/5
Gore 1/5
Entertainment 5/5
Creepiness 0/5
T&A Factor 2/5

For me, the trashiest of trashy and oh so terrible movies that have that je ne sais quoi factor are the ones that I'll continue to come back to. While recent films I've watched and reviewed like The Dead Next Door are certainly cheesy and dopey, its the overabundance of that, combined with fantastically atrocious dialogue, the visual stylings which only the 80's can provide (sorry 70's, you just don't have that 'it' factor), along with some fabulous T&A, which all makes for an instant classic. The stars have to align in order to get it right, with all the necessary ingredients accurately combining in equal amounts including that special 'something'. And when its done right, you have a film that should be watched and celebrated for years to come. I proudly add Dance or Die to my awesomely bad, best of the best list of films that the 80's has to offer. OK, so I have to admit, its not really a horror film. But we oftentimes overlook that fact when a film merits special recognition. This is one of those times.

Before I get into it, the movie kicks off with the first of many an awesome dance sequence:

Meet Jason. He loves to dance. He also loves to choreograph dance routines and put on shows. He also loves nose candy. He attends AA meetings to kick the habit. And against all sense and better judgement, he decides to move into the same house as his buddy who's a coke dealer. Let me say that again. Coke addict, attending AA meetings, loves to dance and who happens to be in the middle of choreographing his magnum opus, lives with his buddy who's a high profile coke dealer. Oh, and they also live in Vegas. How can this NOT turn out good?

Roaming the aisles of his local grocery store one day, Jason comes across a scantily clad (AKA slutbag) who he stalks, er I mean purposely positions himself so that he bumps into her cart. He mentions to her that a barbecue will be going on that weekend which his roommate will be throwing and he invites her over. BTW, who wears this to the grocery store. Seriously?

After a trip to his weekly AA meeting, what occurs next is series of scenes involving alternating shots between Jason and his class:

His roommate BBQ'ing:

Jason and his class:

The BBQ getting lit up by some druggie henchmen:

Jason and his dancers again:

His roommate getting lit up, while wearing a Guess hoodie and flipping da' bird:

The gal he met at the supermarket arrives on the scene after Jason has come home to the carnage with police officers trying to collect info. The lead dic thinks that Jason had something to do with it. He is a recovering nose candy addict afterall.

So after that traumatic event, Jason almost starts using again but falls for the skanky supermarket girl. After cooking dinner over at his apartment one night, they get down to business but not before our girl reveals that she's a palm reader and tells him:

Girl: 'It says here that you are going to meet a very beautiful woman.'
Jason: 'Does it say that???'
Girl: 'Uh huh.'
Jason: 'Does it say that I'm going to kiss this woman?'

Couple proceeds to boom boom fucky fucky

But we soon come to find out that the skanky palm reading girl is not really a skanky (OK maybe not that part) palm reading girl. She's actually an undercover narc. She's follwing Jason to see if he had anything to do with the massacre. Instead, what she discovers is that the dealers who worked with his roommate are hot on poor Jason's tail, looking for a lost stash of nose candy and some 'secret' files.

Jason's falling in love with the narc proves to be too much for his sponsor who's 20 years his junior and who has a secret crush on him. This creates a weird love triangle and after Jason gets upset by skankalicious's confession, he tries to make a move on her. But not before he discovers a tattoo on her shoulder which resembles the family name of one of the head drug dealers. He flips out and feels like he can't trust anyone. But his show must go on!

So on the day of his big show, his sponsor still comes to support him and they reconcile. The henchman and head crime boss who've been stalking him come to his show and try to fuck shit up but not before narc lady comes to save the day and she rescues everyone. But she dies in the process which sends Jason into a downward spiral and he almost starts using again. But he's ultimately saved by some sage advice that he remembers his sponsor giving him.

As you can see, this movie has it all: sleaze, cheese, coke fueled madness and only the best in Shakespearean theater. And epically awesome dance scenes. The film was like a combination of Flash Dance and Aerobicide (minus the kills although, there were a couple of neato kill scenes).

No trailer for this one. But if the screenshots and review don't convince you, well can go pirouette off a short pier.

Cortez the Killer

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Ricky Sprague said...

I have a feeling your review was more entertaining than the movie itself.

Cortez The Killer said...

Make no mistake, this movie is a heaping pile of shit. But if you love sleazy and cheesy 80's films, this is right up your alley. This is right in my wheelhouse.

Copyboy said...

It's flashdance, zapped, once bitten and a Thriller Video all rolled into one. Great review.

Jeff Allard said...

Looks epic, PoT - can't believe I never saw this one! Thanks for giving it a shout-out!

Matt-suzaka said...

The photos are more than enough to sell me on this one. This review once again proves that you are a true dancing queen, Cortez!

Cortez The Killer said...

@Copyboy, indeed sir, indeed.

@Jeff, it IS epic. Epically, retardly, awesome.

@Matt, I know you'll dig this. And I did win a breaking contest in high school once. No lie.

Matt-suzaka said...

Yo dawg, we gotta start ourselves a crew then! The Horror Hopsters?!

Geof said...

I NEED to see this!!!! But in that woman's defense, people wear that kind of gear to supermarkets all of the time. Supermarkets and gas station attendants.

Cortez The Killer said...

@Matt, how about the Elm Street Breakers?

@Geof, gas station attendents? REALLY? Maybe thats a Philly thing...

The Film Connoisseur said...

Ha ha, its like flashdance mixed with Nice Dreams, the film in which Cheech and Chong start snorting cocaine thanks to Pee Wee Herman.

Sounds like it would be a hilarious blast to see this one! Thanks for that review Cortez!

Mrs. Holly Hall said...

AWESOME blog you have here! (I'm here via Final Girl). I must say, I am very impressed with your writing. AWESOME!!

and now I'm gonna follow your blog!


Cortez The Killer said...

@TFC, I think its right up your alley.

@Mrs. Holly, many thank yous. And thanks for following us!