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.
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.
Fee Waybill and Vince Welnick from San Francisco outfit, The Tubes, portray the ‘outdated rock group’, The Metal Corpses, which is a satirical jab at Kiss and Alice Cooper.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 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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Brisbane (Australia) based writer and music journalist. Passionate about all things Punk/Metal/Goth and alternative. Data nerd by day, gig-goer by night. Lawful Evil Mage with +5 Intellect and +2 foul language.