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Summing It Up:
A couple of strange, yet creative, guys accidentally become famous in the video music industry after they are fired from their day jobs. Seizing the once in a lifetime opportunity, they try to help revive the career of one of their favorite Soul groups. However, they soon find themselves tangled up with a crooked politician and his goons.
This is one that I constantly saw sitting on the video store shelves while I was growing up, but I never actually watched it. Over the last couple years, I had heard people talk about it more and more, so when it showed up on Netflix Instant, I decided to give it a go. Ultimately, it's a quirky comedy that was definitely worth my time.
John Cusack and Tim Robbins are great in this film, and there are tons of cameos by some of my favorites from the music industry of the 80s. Stiv Bators, and his then-band Lords of the New Church show show up, as do Fishbone, Ted Nugent, Weird Al, and a whole host of others. One of my favorite of these involves three odd-looking foreign synth-pop musicians rocking out to a very weird tune from Devo (you have to see it to understand, and the scene alone is worth watching the movie for). Clu Gulager (Return of the Living Dead) also makes an appearance as the crooked politician with a penchant form being spanked by fairy-tale characters.
If that sounds strange, it's because it is. In fact, the whole film is pretty off the wall. You can tell that Fishman was trying to make a cult film, and that's exactly what he did. The comedy is so bizarre at times that I really can't describe it. This is a film that could have only been made in the 80s, and the whole thing feels like a tripped out old-school tribute to MTV. I wish I had given it a shot sooner.
In the end, Tapeheads is definitely worth your time. I plan on adding it to my DVD collection in the near future. It's currently out of print, but there are still decently-priced used copies available. For now, though, you can always watch it for free if you are a Netflix subscriber.
3 1/2 out of 5