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Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains (1982)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Music  -  October 1982 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,501 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 39 critic

The media and disaffected teens mistake the acerbic rants of an obnoxious teenage punk rocker as a rallying cry for the women of America, launching her and her talentless group to national stardom.

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Title: Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains (1982)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Donat ...
Harley Dennis
...
Marin Kanter ...
Tracy Burns
...
Jessica McNeil
...
Aunt Linda
Janet Wright ...
Aunt Linda's Friend - Brenda
Mia Bendixsen ...
Pregnant Girl in Ladies Room
Stuart Ferguson ...
Gold Key D.J.
...
Billy - Vocals for The Looters
Paul Simonon ...
Johnny - Bassist for The Looters
Steve Jones ...
Steve - Guitarist for The Looters
Paul Cook ...
Danny - Drummer for The Looters
Fee Waybill ...
Lou Corpse - Vocals for The Metal Corpses (as John 'Fee' Waybill)
Vince Welnick ...
Jerry Jervey - Guitarist for The Metal Corpses
Vern Willis ...
Corpses Bass
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Storyline

Corrine Burns retreats far into plans for her band, The Fabulous Stains, after her mother's death. So far that she gets them (she and two cousins) on a tour with a washed-out glam-rock group and a rising British punk band, radically changes her appearance, attracts a cult following and national media attention. With luck like this, what could go wrong? Written by Renee Ann Byrd <byrdie@wyrdbyrd.org>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

These girls created themselves See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music

Certificate:

R

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

October 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

All Washed Up  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The final sequence of the film was shot and added on after initial reaction to the film was unsatisfactory. Laura Dern is noticeably taller in these shots. See more »

Quotes

Corinne Burns: [lying about Jerry Jervey] He was an old man in a young girl's world.
See more »


Soundtracks

Waste of Time
Music by Barry Ford
Lyrics by Nancy Dowd (as Rob Morton)
Performed by The Fabulous Stains
See more »

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User Reviews

 
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11 February 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Ah, punk rock, how it came, saw, went, came back again, and maybe another time, and is now in so many varieties that one could just spend an entire semester in college studying all of the bands that have come from the early to mid 70s and beyond. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains, is a satirical document of the punk rock scene, but it works better as just flat-out punk and/or new-wave rock than as satire. The writer tries for a Network approach: the media latches on to The Fabulous Stains, a trio girl group started by Corrine Burns (aka Third-Degree Burns) with her sister and cousin, who aren't very talented but have Corrine as their wont-take-no-s*** lead singer with crazy hair and a "I don't put out" slogan while wearing skimpy clothes.

Because apparently every single punk girl watches the nightly news and believes every single word they say, suddenly the Stains have a HUGE fan-base of lemming-like girls who latch onto every word of their song "Waste my time" and, soon after, their rip-off cover of the Looters' "The Professionals", the real Brit punk rock group touring as the lead group following (original headliner) aging rock group's bitter demise. The script takes the point of view that it's probably as much the audience's fault, if not more-so, than the exploitation by the media, which was not uncommon to happen to certain bands (it even happened to the Sex Pistols to a degree, though the bulk of hype came about after they broke up). This part is clever but also not clever by half; we've seen this quick rise-and-fall story before and there's not a whole lot that's fresh that's brought to the table creatively, except for the cynical aspect that if you look pretty and bad and don't give a bleep you'll make it with a rip-off single that most of the audience doesn't understand anyway.

And yet for whatever flaws the film might have director Lou Adler aptly displays, amusingly and with a deft skill at capturing young-and-old rocker angst, life in the ever changing rock scene and specifically punk rock. While it's a given a band will be kick-ass if two members of the Pistols and Paul Simonen of the Clash are in it, as they are in the Looters with a young Ray Winstone as ornery front-man (one of his most compelling performances as a "tough" guy), it will have some punk rock cred. But very young Diane Lane and even younger Laura Dern bring some credibility of their own, and open up another sight for aficionados of the attitude and mood of punk rock, much like the attitude and mood of film-noir more than a real genre, is punk rock for girls. Inspiration for the likes of the Go-Go's can be seen here as "birds" as Winstone says can rock as hard, or just with enough spirit, while also not being too full of crap.

That's the interesting thing too in Fabulous Stains, what makes it more interesting as a punk rock flick than a satire: when it's at its best, like Suburbia did as well, we get a personal and sad look at wayward youth with nothing else but music, be that they can't read like Winstone's Billy or just have a parent that's dead like Corrine's father ("Died in war, beep, got lot of money, beep"). It's a fine little nugget of music/movie lore.


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