Get Crazy (1983) Poster


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This should be a classic but no one has seen it.
ronwall25 March 2000
This is one of the most under viewed movies I can think of. If you have a sense of humor about musicians and their lifestyles, this is a great watch. I recommend this as the second feature on a double bill with 'This is Spinal Tap'. This movie is funnier than many 'A' list comedies and should have a larger fan base. Check it out.
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Only Rock N' Roll But I Like It!
Bill Slocum14 February 2005
"Get Crazy" is as '80s as a Flock Of Seagulls haircut or a Ms. Pac Man machine, but when people talk about the decade, for some strange reason it's off everyone's radar screen. No one mentions it when you talk about cool '80s cinema, but it's better than a pack of "Fast Times" or a pair of "Breakfast Clubs" for my money.

It's a rare thing to see three such beauties as Gail Edwards, Stacy Nelkin, and Anna Bjorn all adorning the same film, but who on Earth in 1983 could have thought it would be the career highpoint for all three of them? Why isn't Malcolm McDowell's fantastically hilarious Mick Jagger send-up as celebrated as Bill Murray's Carl Spackler in "Caddyshack?" What more evidence do you need that life's unfair! How about one of the zaniest films since "Hard Day's Night" celebrating rock 'n roll passing though the chasm of time with barely a whisper of recognition? Ouch!

Okay, I'm through ranting. Since you are reading this, you don't deserve this spiel. You care enough to look through these reviews. Perhaps you even managed to find a copy of the film, which may be like climbing K2 for video collectors, forget DVD. Here's why "Get Crazy" is worth your time.

1. Killer songs - "Hot Shot" and "Take It No More" are pretty boss send-ups of hard rock and new wave from the period. The latter even has some great Shirelles-style harmonies and sax breaks, very B52s.

2. Spot-on sendups - McDowell is great as Reggie, even his last name is a funny dig at the head Stone. Strutting onstage with a giant codpiece and frilly tunic, McDowell has a lot of fun playing it very silly for a change, and the results suit him. It's great to see such a fine actor cutting up.

3. Goofy set pieces - I like the bit where King Blues is at the graveyard ceremony for his blues musician friend, and every other mourner is blind! Or when Reggie prods his girlfriend with a lobster claw. When we first see Lou Reed as the Dylan send-up Auden, he's lounging in the same pose and background as Dylan's "Bringing It All Back Home" album cover except everything's covered in cobwebs, including the girl with the ciggie! You have to watch this film a few times to pick up even most of the craziness.

4. Political incorrectness - You want sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll? "Get Crazy" has it. There's walking joints, ganja so potent it can suspend 220-pound blues legends in midair, and a strange thin man with no face and a suitcase stocked with pharmaceutical cornucopia. And plenty of nudity, even one actress in a bathtub playing a high school girl. Yet you can't really hold it against "Get Crazy," because the sex and drugs are there for jokes rather than titillation, sending up the lifestyle we all associate with the music.

5. Relevance to the time - The 80s were the decade of greed and ugly silver-plastic pants, so who is a better movie villain than Colin Beverly? He's played to perfection by Ed Begley Jr., star of such sleazy late-night R-rated period fare as "Private Lessons" and "Eating Raoul" and just oozing corruption from every pore. The clash of cultures between Beverly and Allan Garfield's idealistic Max Wolfe, owner of the Saturn Theater and hero of our story, makes for a nice microcosm of the period. It's like Michael Douglas taking on Martin Sheen in "Wall Street," only with some drop-dead bass guitar underneath. And then there's the other culture clash, that of New Wave performer Nada (Lori Eastside crossing Joan Jett with Toni Basil) and McDowell's take on Jagger's "Emotional Rescue" period, including a Keef substitute in John Densmore playing drums.

"Get Crazy" can be sad to watch. The director, Allan Arkush, had a lot of talent we never really got to see again because of this film's unfair fate. Likewise, it has too many good actors who never got another serious chance. There's also an eerie opening where Wolfe, riding a flying machine, crashes into an electrical apparatus, which is exactly how Wolfe's real-life basis Bill Graham died years later.

But otherwise this film is just a ton of fun, a time capsule that hasn't gotten a minute older for all the New Years that have passed between then and now.
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I got a ripping laugh from this movie
jsc12158 June 2004
I laughed my butt off when I first saw this flick in college. The parodies of famous rock stars (courtesy of Malcolm McDowell), punk rock, and blues artists was very well done. The drug jokes (one guy sneaking into the theatre dressed as a joint, the magic water) were absolutely hilarious for their time. One of my favorites was when several different versions of "Hoochie Coochie Man" were performed onstage. King Blues opened the set with a Jewish backup band; I rolled on the floor laughing as Blues was frustrated over the band sent to perform with him. Once King Blues was finished, the band Nada (featuring Lee Ving as Piggy) blitzed their way through a fast, furious, and very impassioned rendition. Piggy was a definite show-stealer as Nada'a masochistic lead singer! Ah, then Reggie Wanker steps onstage and does his slick version. The Wanker almost falls flat but is saved by a ripping drum solo by Doors beatmeister John Densmore. Another scene which got me laughing was when Reggie Wanker started listening to his private member...I always thought listening to IT would get me in trouble, but it saved Wanker's career! Lou Reed, in a Dylanesque role, was wonderful as the singer/songwriter Auden who uses the scenic route on a cab to give him inspiration for his music. Don't try to think your way through this movie...just sit back, put your mind on cruise control, and enjoy the ride!!!
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love it, love it, love it!
liinah17 February 2000
When I was about 13 I saw this on TV and afterwards kicked myself for not having taped it. Some years later while travelling I saw it through a video store window and, well, flipped out. After getting home I called up my estranged father and blackmailed him into buying it for me. The video title has a very unfortunate Finnish translation (which translates back to "Star Gang")and the absence of letterboxing results in booms aplenty, but NOTHING can ruin my joy of watching this movie again and again!
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Malcolm MacDowell is AWESOME!
Kalex114 August 2002
Malcolm MacDowell is an incredible actor with cohones of steel. Just seeing him take the risk of playing an aging hard-rocker and actually singing is just unbelievable. Playing off Daniel Stern with the line from Blue Thunder "Catch you later" with the forefinger pointed like a gun was just too cool.

Electric Larry was too much like people I went to high school with. I died watching this film.
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Still funny after all these years
Junkill27 January 2000
Over the years I have probably viewed this picture about 20 times, and I really don't get tired of it. It is so full of silly things, injokes about the Rock n Roll 'thing' and absolutely outrageous performances that it is always fun to watch and to show to friends. Malcolm McDowell's scene-chewing Jagger-Bowie character of Reggie Wanker is an absolute highlight and look for some amazing personalities in roles in this movie. This is one that never loses its charm.
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Funny beyond belief
parbuck18 March 2006
I can't say enough good about this one. If you've ever tried to perform live, under pressure, with everything going wrong around you - I don't care if it's a high school play or Madison Square opening for the Megaband of the Minute - you'll identify with this. Lou Reed gets to play himself, basically; the hippy bands of the 60s that just won't leave are portrayed as they are (and this was 1983, for Pete's sake, never mind 2006!), the ego-glamrockers get their due with Malcom MacDowel, The punkers have their turn, and the blues godfather kind of watches it all from the wings.

My favorite scene is at the beginning at a bluesman's funeral - King Blues does the graveside eulogy, in which he says, among other things, ..."You were the greatest...musician, drinker of whiskey, and lover of women (minister starting to wince at this point)... 'God, this is my man, and if you don't take care of him, I'm gonna wax your a_s!" - thunder rumbles, minister backs away from the grave, and the blind a capella blues singers who've been crooning away all through the scene start bumping into each other, saying "'scuse me, scuse me" - one of them falls in the grave and yells "I'M NOT DEAD!!!!" - OK, it loses in telling - just get the film and enjoy!
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Climb K2!
ksveaj2 May 2006
Yes, this video (DVD? Dream on!) is tough to find, but definitely worth it! I haven't checked Netflix--my source for easy access to some obscure entertainment--but I'm betting you just can't find it for rent these days.

I agree with the review, in all its enthusiasm and detail. This really is a time capsule--but unlike traditional capsules, this one doesn't get stale the second--or third, fifth, tenth...-- time you peruse the contents!

Today's Lou Reed is way too serious (what did you feed him full of anyway, Laurie Anderson?!?), so this is a great look back on my musical hero when he was still a real person. Love his unresolved meditation on "It's a Deathbed Request."

But you're sure to find resolution among the various takes on a favorite blues standard. Arena rock, punk, beyond-punk, blooos--take yer pick. You'll love the interpretations.

So--begin your search, and prepare for some great watchin'!
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A Classic Rock Parody Equal to Spinal Tap
Bruce Cavender22 February 2005
This movie is a great parody! I love it! Being a musician I loved how all the acts play off King Blues. Lee Ving is Piggy and is at his best in this movie. Malcolm Mcdowell plays the part of the Egotistical Rock Star as only he can. Howard Kaylan of Flo and Eddie (AKA the Turtles) plays a great parody of Jerry Garcia. Fabian and Bobby Sherman make great henchmen for bad guy Colin (Ed Begley Jr.) Lou Reed As Folk Singer Auden is eccentric and closes the movie as only he can. Director Allan Arkush captures the world of Rock Concerts perfectly with all the characters you would fine at any event. If you can't tell I love this movie. A must see for any rocker who enjoys a good comedy about the industry. Needs to be on DVD!!
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The funniest film you probably never saw
Rebel-148 December 1998
I first saw this film over ten years ago, and still think this is the ultimate drugs, sex and rock and roll picture ever made, and certainly one of the funniest films I'ver ever seen. It's a bit dated now, but I agree with one writer who called it "the funniest film most people haven't seen."
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Love that Lou Reed
NicoBanana9 September 2002
True, the movie is funny for many different reasons, but for me, the best thing about it is Lou Reed. Granted, I would consider any Lou Reed cameo the best part of any film, but in this particular case, he truly does steal the show. So funny, so deadpan (because, c'mon: it's Lou), and a great performance of "Little Sister" at the end. He still does Lou Reed better than anyone.
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Watching this movie has became a yearly tradition for me!
Robin Silver31 December 2004
I just finished watching it for the 18th time...I only watch it on New Year's Eve. I first found this movie in 1985 and have watched it EVERY New Years Eve since, except for New Year's 1990 while I was in Saudi Arabia for Desert Shield/Storm.

The name of this movie fits perfectly, it IS "CRAZY"! Every time I watch it, I notice something different, especially different characters in the crowd at the concert and other things in the background. Malcolm McDowell is one of my all time favorite actors and he puts on a great show, although he should stick to acting and NOT singing. Lou Reed plays a pretty decent song during the credits, so don't turn off the tape as soon as the credits start to roll! The other music consists of the same song in different forms, blues, metal, and whatever you want to call the version that Malcolm McDowell sings.

It's well worth a viewing, preferably on with friends and on New Years Eve!!
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the funniest and most original rock comedy ever!!!!
stinky-0125 October 2002
The funniest and most original rock comedy ever! I first saw this film as a 14 or 15 year old and have seen it many times. Its music is fabulous with piggys version of hoochie coochie man a stand out. it is very rare to get the right mix of comedy/music in a film and i believe that they did this superbly with spinal tap a not to close second.And although i have not seen it for many years it still holds a very special place in my movie memory.
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Why isn't this a cult classic?
Connie-719 July 1999
Rock and Roll High School (from the same director, and not half as funny) gets the cult treatment, but this gem, with so many injokes about the music business, and some great comedy moments, and a cast full of "is that who I think it is?" gets lost in the shuffle. It should be famous if only for Malcolm McDowell's over-the-top impersonation of Mick Jagger/Rod Stewart.
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Everybody knows I'm here
russdaren27 July 2006
This is what I love about late night TV watching. Back before it all turned into infomercials. You could actually discover weird monster movies and b movie abortions. One night I was scanning the dial and discovered this gem. It's a mix of genres "battle of the bands" meets "we got to save the orphanage" Like "Blues Brothers" meets "Up in Smoke". Plenty of drug references. As the night progresses every band that plays does a version of the blues standard "hoochie coochie man". Even an all girl "punk "band fronted by Lee Ving of FEAR (its actually Fear on the soundtrack). Nothing groundbreaking, but fun for fans of "Cheech and Chong" style yuk fests.
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A great movie with a great cast especially Stephen Dunn and Gail Edwards
fightclubj7 July 2003
"Get Crazy" is one of the best movies around. When watching the movie the viewer should take notice of the actor with the big hair and beard. His name is Stephen Dunn and he actually is one of the hero's of the movie. Without giving too much away, let's just say he helps to get rid of the bomb. He doesn't have a single line in the movie but his presence is unforgettable. I highly recommend this movie to anyone who likes wild movies. The very beautiful Gail Edwards is also one of the stars of the movie.
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Mean-spirited but hilarious send-up of the rock and roll scene.
jamil-57 March 2000
When I saw this flick, it was titled "Get Crazy" but "Flip Out" conveys the same message. (Un)fortunately, the director and the author of the screen play don't exaggerate all that much in this wacky and sometimes really nasty (but you still can't help laughing) satire. They may not know what "Schadenfreude" ("malicious joy at another's misfortune") means but this movie certainly has its share. Malcolm McDowell is so good that you may wonder if he's actually acting. Unfortunately, there aren't enough sick senses of humor out there so the movie is seldom shown and has been "promoted" to cult status.
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as funny as a Big Electric Cat!
Brian Markovitz27 July 1999
This is a shining satire on Rock'n'Roll including tributes to concert impresario Bill Graham and the whole hippie music scene, but with swipes at many others. A funny funny funny movie from the director of Rock N Roll High School.

Featuring hilarious cameos by Lou Reed and Howard Kaylen (of The Turtles). If you see it on the shelves, rent it.
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Ushering in '83, with every cliché of the era magnified, satirized and blown to smithereens
moonspinner5529 August 2016
Allen Garfield (billed as Allen Goorwitz) plays the owner of a concert hall in Los Angeles, preparing for a New Year's Eve rock and blues blowout, who is threatened with a takeover attempt by slimy concert promoter Ed Begley Jr. Director Allan Arkush knows how to make a cult film, and this one comes complete with hip casting, some great music, wild gags and in-jokes, but what is accomplished with cheerful rebellion is soon mitigated by shapeless scenes and static slapstick, one out-of-control, overeager sequence after another. Despite the work of three credited screenwriters, the dialogue is pothead-smug and has no snap, and Arkush frequently resorts to tastelessness to get a cheap laugh (such as a naked babe sharing space in a bathtub with a guy in scuba gear). The overall tone is jovial and chummy, as if we were co-conspirators in the picture's euphoric craziness, but Garfield is too intense an actor for his role--he pretends to have a good time, much like the rest of the cast, and it doesn't wash. There isn't, in fact, one character in this group as lovable as Riff Randell from Arkush's 1979 midnight-movie entry, "Rock 'n' Roll High School". ** from ****
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GET CRAZY (Allan Arkush, 1983) ***
MARIO GAUCI5 June 2011
Allan Arkush's lesser-known but superior follow-up to ROCK'N'ROLL HIGH SCHOOL (1979) was an affectionately cheeky tribute to his own days as an usher at the legendary New York concert venue Fillmore East which, during its four year tenure between 1968-71, housed live performances by scores of major rock and jazz artists. The light-hearted satirical film provides the viewer with a rare opportunity to see actors being rock stars (Malcolm McDowell as a vain Mick Jagger-like superstar named Reggie W**ker) and vice versa (Lou Reed as a recluse folkie in the Bob Dylan mould named Auden and John Densmore, the former drummer for The Doors, as W**ker's drummer who goes by the name of Toad); other renowned musical personalities who are respectfully sent up are Jerry Garcia (via Howard Kaylan leading a group of hippies who believe themselves still back in 1968 rather than 1982!) and Muddy Waters (played by Bill Henderson who also utters the film's funniest line while delivering, of all things, a funeral eulogy: "God, this is my man, and you'd better take care of him, or I'm gonna wax your a**!"). This is also followed by a blind man falling into the open grave, the dead man's son driving like a demon to reach the concert venue on time and, much later on, Henderson getting another big laugh when he is 'struck blind' after sipping an acid-spiked drink when he had really only walked into the closet!

The rest of the cast includes even more colorful characters, namely: Daniel Stern as the overtaxed organizer of the star-studded New Year's Eve concert; Allen Garfield (billed as Goorwitz and portraying Stern's employer who is struck down by a mild heart attack); Miles Chapin (as Garfield's overly ambitious and treacherous nephew); Ed Begley Jr. (who, made up to resemble Andy Warhol, plays greedy billionaire Colin Beverly and is looking to buy off Garfield and take over his property); 1960s teen idol Fabian (unregonizable as one of Begley's monosyllabic henchmen!) Lee Ving (as an animalistic punk rocker, prone to head-butting anything from car booths to stone walls, and fronting an all-girls band!), Paul Bartel (as the proverbial "doctor in the house" who, overtaken by enthusiasm, eventually leaps off the balcony into the audience below!); and Robert Picardo (as an overzealous fire marshal); ubiquitous character actors Dick Miller (as Stern's father) and Mary Woronov also have cameos. As if all of the above were not enough source of entertainment already, we also have a Jewish Blues band, an electric ghost-cum-drug pusher(!), a motorcycle gang and Stern's overeager younger sister (to whom Reed croons "My Baby Sister" – a song later retitled "Little Sister" and issued in a Reed compilation album – over the film's end credits, a performance only witnessed by her, a dog and a human joint!); on the debit side, I do not think it was such a great idea to have all of the bands performing at the New Year's Eve concert doing their own take on the same song i.e. Willie Dixon's Blues number, "I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man".

Apparently, McDowell had not read the entire script before accepting the role of Reggie W**ker and hence was not aware that he was expected to, at one point while inadvertently high on acid, conduct a conversation with his own dick (who is subsequently appointed the band's new manager!)...not that this should have unduly troubled the lead of Tinto Brass' infamous star-studded epic CALIGULA (1979)! On the other hand, while Lou Reed's character may have ostensibly been channeling Dylan (in its clear reference to those eight years in the wilderness following his 1966 motorcycle accident) but Auden (a reference to poet W.H. Auden, perhaps?)'s lifestyle and working methods – living with what looks like a transsexual (a reference to Reed's 1970s relationship with "Rachel") and composing lyrics right off of the streets (he spends most of the film stuck in a taxicab that takes him all the way out to the desert while strumming his guitar and coming up with lyrics) – is pure Lou Reed!

I had previously seen the film via a pan-and-scan screening on the MGM Cable TV channel but I eventually upgraded my copy to a Widescreen one in time for my mini-Bob Dylan tribute. From the director's other works, apart from ROCK'N'ROLL HIGH SCHOOL I am also familiar with DEATHSPORT (1978) and have just gotten hold of Hollywood BOULEVARD (1976) which he co-directed with Joe Dante. Curiously enough, Arkush had also directed the video for Bette Midler's cover of The Rolling Stones' "Beast Of Burden" - originally from their ground-breaking disco-tinged SOME GIRLS (1978) album!
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One of the funniest, most unseen films of the '80's
EL BUNCHO20 February 2002
Truly great comedies about rock 'n' roll are about as rare as a dog that speaks Norwegian. If the only great rock comedy that you can think of is THIS IS SPINAL TAP, you owe it to yourself to give this forgotten gem a chance. Set backstage at a New Years concert (at a venue that is clearly modelled after the Filmore West), GET CRAZY chronicles the loopy adventures of a bunch of techies, insane bandmembers, scheming relatives and an extraterrestrial drug dealer (???). The musical numbers are all good for once, and you get to witness every conceivable permutation of HOOCHIE COOCHIE MAN that you could possibly imagine (Lee "FEAR" Ving's version is particularly memorable). There are too many great moments to go into here, so I won't even try, but pay attention to Malcolm McDowell's turn as a David Bowie/Mick Jagger character named Reggie Wanker. DON'T MISS THIS ONE.
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Death Bed Request
racerdex30 June 2004
I saw this movie, many years ago, during the Christmas season. I remember feeling very bored while waiting for my woman to get home, and being willing to try just about any movie.

When I found that Lou Reed was a star, I had no doubt that I was not wasting my time. Sure, it was silly, and even a bit affected (or over the top, camp), but some movies are simply meant to entertain a specific market (or type of viewer). In this case, I would say that this is a musician's movie, not because there is so much good music, but because it parodies that "rock and roll" lifestyle.

My favourite parts are, Lou Reed's journey while writing the song (I believe that the journey is supposed to be influencing it, but "Death Bed Request" is not a real song, as far as I know), and the dog being kicked across the room, by the person whom I believe to be the antagonist.
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tell your friends to see it
watcherr6 July 2001
i'm surprised to see so many favorable reviews of this movie... in fact, i'm surprised to see any at all, considering i've only seen it once or twice late at night on some obscure channel and once on video probably ten years ago and have never heard anybody mention it at all in any situation. but everybody's right, this movie is hilarious. remember of course the title so it's not for right-wing christian fundamentalists, but if you have no problem with sex drugs and rock and roll, hey, check it out. you might actually find something besides what is currently being handed down as "comedy" by the hollywood assembly line. another movie that comes to mind like this you never hear about either is brian depalma's phantom of the paradise. why don't they ever show these movies on tv anymore? do we really need to watch the same movies over and over? are these cult-classics being censored, or have people just forgotten about them? can we please start a revolution to take back this medium from greedy corporate tapeworms who know more about leather interiors and economics than they do about movies or even life as we know it in this world and all others? think about it. vaya con dios.
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Get Crazy
d_m_s20 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Started off OK but quickly got boring. Couldn't see the point of this film after about 20 minutes.

The best thing about it is Lou Reed's performance of Little Sister at the end
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