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Long-Lost Cult Punk Movie Now Available On YouTube

The stains on stage

To much excitement the 1982 cult punk rock-inspired movie, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains, has just been made available for rent or purchase on YouTube. However, back in 1982, the Paramount film bombed so badly when shown to a test audience movie executives decided to sweep it under the Paramount rug and pretend it never happened.

Sadly, the movie didn’t even make it on to video, but slowly it gained cult status through late-night TV shows and via those fans who would tape and share it. It eventually got its first official cinema screening in 1998 to a full house at the Chicago underground film festival.

It’s biggest fans and advocates were other musicians including Hole‘s Courtney Love and Tobi Vail of Bikini Kill who called it called it “the most profound and realistic film” she’d ever seen.

The movie follows a trio of teenage girls who can’t play or sing form a punk group, The Stains. However, their front woman’s onstage outbursts are touted as the new wave of feminism and the group gain an army of female fans. This skyrockets them to stardom but not without friction and jealousy from their tour mates, The Looters and The Metal Corpses.  

The Looters are played by ex-Pistols Paul Cook and Steve Jones (who also wrote most of the music for the movie) and Paul Simonon from The Clash along with British actor Ray Winstone.

Fee Waybill and Vince Welnick from San Francisco outfit, The Tubes, portray the ‘outdated rock group’, The Metal Corpses, which is a satirical jab at Kiss and Alice Cooper. These two bands clash on tour as the new younger band gains popularity over the older headliner.

The Looters

The original screenplay was written by academy award winner, Nancy Dowd, who worked closely with punk journalist and sex-positive feminist, Caroline Coon – who had been a part of the London punk movement since its genesis.

Like a good whiskey, this film gets better with age and think it’s worth renting! We hope its resurgence can inspire a new generation of Riot Grrls. Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains!


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1 Comment

  • Mark

    Re: “Sadly, the movie didn’t even make it on to video…”

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but the film was officially issued on dvd in 2008, via Rhino/Paramount. The dvd contains bonus commentary throughout from stars Dern, Lane and, separately, from Adler.

    Curiously, the soundtrack was issued the same day — as digital download only — and promptly yanked offline a day or two later. The four tracks credited to The Looters [Cook, Jones, Simonon & Winstone] were included on the 2015 Complete Professionals boxed set. Doubtful anybody needs the rest of the soundtrack!

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