5.3/10
1,235
10 user 11 critic

Slam Dance (1987)

An artist, framed for the murder of a woman, is drawn into a web of corruption, blackmail and deceit.

Director:

Wayne Wang

Writer:

Don Keith Opper (as Don Opper)

On Disc

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2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Hulce ... C.C. Drood
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio ... Helen Drood
Virginia Madsen ... Yolanda Caldwell
Don Keith Opper ... Buddy (as Don Opper)
Adam Ant ... Jim Campbell
Harry Dean Stanton ... Det. Benjamin Smiley
John Doe ... Det. John Gilbert
Millie Perkins ... Bobby Nye
Herta Ware Herta Ware ... Mrs. Raines
Judith Barsi ... Bean
Robert Beltran ... Frank
Rosalind Chao ... Mrs. Margaret Bell
Sasha Delgado Sasha Delgado ... Girl at Nursery
Joshua Caceras Joshua Caceras ... Boy at Nursery
Marty Levy Marty Levy ... Detective
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Storyline

A cartoonist who had an affair with a girl who is murdered gets himself embroiled in a high-level cover-up of a sex scandal involving his lover. By using his artistic talent to try and reconstruct the scandal, he attracts attention to himself by the people involved, and becomes a target himself. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An erotic thriller. It's _not_ about dancing. See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 October 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Slamdance See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$125,349, 4 October 1987

Gross USA:

$406,881

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$406,881
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After writing and directing Chan Is Missing and Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart, the latter receiving "mixed reviews [and] modest [...] box office earnings", Wayne Wang chose to direct Slam Dance to avoid being seen as a director primarily of stories about Chinese Americans; as such, it was Wang's first film in which none of the main characters are Chinese. See more »

Quotes

Bobby Nye: I overpaid a bit for that, but I think its value is about to skyrocket. That's what usually happens when an artist dies.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Videoclub (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Art Life
Written by Magie Song, John Dentino, Tom Corey, and John Berardi
Performed by The Fibonaccis
Produced by Mitchell Froom
See more »

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User Reviews

One of those films...
23 January 2005 | by madsagittarianSee all my reviews

I may be a one-person cult for this picture. I have had a soft spot for it ever since I saw the movie on the late show in 1989. Some of the other reviewers for this title have made a reasonable assertion as to why they don't like SLAMDANCE, and interestingly enough, I understand and agree with their decisions. Yes, this movie is a disjointed mess, but it has a strange beauty on a visceral and emotional level; this sets it apart from way too many films made in the decade which threw everything together in order to seem different, regardless of whether everything gelled.

For instance, this film veers uncomfortably from goofy comedy to more sordid material. However, that makes sense as the central character is a cartoonist- a man-child who teeters between the comic book sensibilities of his work, and the demands of the very adult real world (he seldom lives up to his responsibilities). Mr. Drood is a perpetual screw-up; he was barely supportive of his wife and child, and now must deal with unfathomable emotions since he is now implicated in the murder of a fleeting flame.

I've never been much of a fan of Virginia Madsen, particularly because this classy, slightly mysterious blonde has never been given good material... at least until recently. But Wayne Wang understands her screen presence perfectly. The highlight of the film is Tom Hulce's scenes with her (set in the movie's past). These moments with the femme fatale are beautiful evocations of allure, desire and implicit danger underneath the colourful settings- classic traditions of film noir. With their saturated hues and sexy jazz soundtrack, these moments work on an almost dreamlike approach.

Even though SLAM DANCE is a dog's breakfast of styles and tones, this segment is nonetheless indicative of the film's success on a completely non-literal level. Yes this is another 1980's quirky film which has the obligatory cameo by a punk musician... and the "hip" quotient also given by a Harry Dean Stanton role, but there's just something more about it that makes not just another curiosity piece. The first time I saw it in 1989, I was with two others who didn't like the movie at all. As much as I could understand their reasons why, I still feel that this odd duck of a movie has that special "something"... and I have still felt that after repeated viewings. It either works for you, or it doesn't. It just depends on whether the film hits you on the right emotional level.

If you looked up this title because you have a strange attraction to this picture, you're not alone.


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