The Daily Cup 37 Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains

Welcome to The Daily Cup a movie blog/writing project by Kyle B. Dekker, presented by Hot Chocolate Media. You can read series concept here. The basic rules, Kyle must watch 365 movies in 2018 and write about all of them. 292 of them have to be movies he's never seen before. Thanks for reading.

I was born a little too late and in a little too rural of a town to learn about and experience punk rock during its origin and height. As I’ve come to discover and explore the music and culture of the punk scene in the late 80s and 90s, I find myself very fascinated by the music, the culture, and the people involved in the punk movement. I find myself intrigued by the anti-consumerism, individuality, and the attitude of “it’s art even if it sucks.” Enter the film Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains (1982), a coming of age tale about some cool women rockers, and some real scumbags.

The story centers around young Corinne Burns (an amazingly young Diane Lane). A young high school dropout living in a shitty rust belt town. Her parents are dead and she’s fed up with the hand of cards life has dealt to her. She’s a bit of a local celebrity having been on the regional news losing her shit while getting fired on the air from her burger joint job. Out of work and prospects she decides to join a rinky dink music tour with her band The Stains. She bills herself as the lead singer and manager of the band which consists of her sister Tracy (Marin Kanner) and cousin Jennifer (Laura Dern). They’ve only had three rehearsals but they “were very long.”  On the bus are two other bands: The Looters and The Corpses. All three bands are at different apexes of their musical journey. The Stains are unproven noobies that can barely play music, The Looters are an up and coming British punk band, and The Corpses are a washed up one hit wonder rock band. The tour embarks on a janky tour bus driven by a rastafarian driver and tour manager.

The film shows the grind and ugly parts of touring musicians. There is a real feel a legitimacy to this as the director of the film Lou Adler was primarily a music producer. The tour goes to several backwater bars, and community centers, there is no glitz or glory in their life on the road. The Stains first show is a disaster, but their nonchalant competitive attitude appeals to young women and they gain a following. Soon the regional news is doing interest pieces on The Stains and their fans who call themselves Skunks. There is a strong message of female empowerment in the film, and Corinne calls the shots throughout the film

The performances in this film are quite good. Diane Lane plays an amazing edgelord kid, finding her way in the world, even if she fucks over her friends and companions while she does it. Laura Dern is great in the few lines and work she is given. A special thing to note is very young Ray Winstone as Billy, the volatile and charismatic lead singer of The Looters. Ray Winstone oozes sex appeal in this movie and is truly fantastic, I’m 100% serious that Ray Winstone was a sex pot for 5 hot minutes in the 80s. The other members of The Looters are played by Steve Jones (guitarist of The Sex Pistols), Paul Simonon (bassist for The Clash), and Paul Cook (drummer for The Sex Pistols). They add legitimacy to the punk rock tone of this film and are more than cameos.

 Yes please, I would like one sexy, young Ray Winstone.

Yes please, I would like one sexy, young Ray Winstone.

Historically this film bombed when it came out in 1982, and has since became a cult film with some regard. This film is very worthy of this praise and more people should see it. An insightful look into the life of touring musicians, punk rock, and the volatile love from fans. The performances by the young cast are strong across the board. It’s a shame this film ended Lou Adler’s directing career because I really loved the raw feel of it and would have loved to have seen more films from him. If you are a fan of punk rock and or badass women in film I highly recommend Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains.

Tally

Movies new to me watched: 28/292

Other movies: 9/73

Total movies watched: 37/365

Have your own thoughts or opinions on this movie? Comment below or contact Kyle at kyle@hotchocolatemedia.net or on Twitter at @kbdekker.