We’re all at home with lots of free time right now- so here are my top 5 picks of things to watch on Amazon Prime Video right now. I love campy B movies and horror… to me this goes together with rock and metal like PB & chocolate. Some of these might be a stretch, some not so much. But here you go!
Voyage of the Rock Aliens
I discovered this movie a while back and watched a shitty transfer somewhere in the depths of the illegal internet, so I was thrilled when it appeared on Amazon Prime. Starring the infamous Pia Zadora and the completely awesome Ruth Gordon who is not only in one or two but three of my favorite films (Harold and Maude, Rosemary’s Baby, and Every Which Way but Loose), this musical is very 80s. Start out filing it under ‘how did this get made’ but by the time you finish it wins you over with it’s weirdness.
Slumber Party Massacre II (via Joe Bob’s Drive In)
Slumber Party Massacre II is an incredible slasher film. Meaning that it is incredibly aware of the tropes. I mean the pillow fight? COME ON. Why is the driller killer so cool? Who knows? I always prefer to watch these kinds of movies via The Last Drive-In to get the extra context and trivia. Like that the driller killer in this movie is actually the heir to a Detroit real estate fortune. Joe Bob Briggs is freakin’ awesome.
Murder in the Front Row
A great companion piece to the book about the Bay Area thrash metal scene of the 1980s, I will probably always remember this documentary as the last music thing I did before quarantine (going to the Austin screening). And if you enjoy the film, be sure to buy the DVD, because not only is the packaging super cool, but there are A TON of awesome extras that are not to be missed.
Creem: America’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll Magazine
Creem was pretty much gone when I was coming of age, so I was super interested to learn from this doc. Rolling Stone was my rock bible. I’ve been buying old issues of Creem to collect in recent years. But this doc really brought the magazine to life for me. I especially appreciated the attention it gave to it’s female writers. In particular, Jaan Uhelszki, who I reached out to waaaaay back in my baby blog days via MySpace trying to interview her. I heard back from her once and then never again. Oh well! She rules.
Bringing Out the Dead
OK, hang with me here. I am a HUGE Nic Cage fan. I will watch pretty much every movie that comes out with him in it. But there are some older movies of his that I just missed for whatever reason, and this was one of them. So I was adding movies to my queue, and watched this late last year. It is amazing. It’s a Martin Scorsese film that also features other amazing actors like Patricia Arquette, John Goodman, Ving Rhames, and John Sizemore. This is definitely Ving Rhames best work beyond The People Under the Stairs. In particular that club kid scene. Do I randomly scream “I Be Bangin!” sometimes? You bet yer ass. Perhaps there’s something about this movie being about paramedics and hospitals that really resonated with me during this era. But it is on this list because it’s use of music is superb. Van Morrison, The Clash, Johnny Thunders, one of the only R.E.M. songs I can stand. Soundtracks are only part about song choice, but also about the timing of how the song works with the action, or void of action.
P.S. If I see one more film use “London Calling” when a film gets to London I will walk out or turn the film off. Seriously, be more creative.
P.P.S. One of my dream jobs was always to be a music supervisor.