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Tapeheads (1988)

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A couple of creative losers accidently become big shots in the video music industry.

Director:

Bill Fishman

Writers:

Bill Fishman (story), Peter McCarthy (story) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Cusack ... Ivan Alexeev
Tim Robbins ... Josh Tager
Mary Crosby ... Samantha Gregory
Clu Gulager ... Norman Mart
Katy Boyer ... Belinda Mart
Jessica Walter ... Kay Mart
Sam Moore ... Billy Diamond
Junior Walker ... Lester Diamond
Susan Tyrrell ... Nikki Morton
Doug McClure ... Sid Tager
Connie Stevens ... June Tager
King Cotton ... Roscoe
Don Cornelius ... Mo Fuzz
Ebbe Roe Smith ... Mr. G.
Keith Joe Dick ... Mr. B.
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Storyline

After being fired from their jobs as security guards, Josh and Ivan form Video Aces, a video production company. Using Josh's talent and Ivan's business savvy, they attempt to hit it big in the business while doing projects they want to do. Among those whose paths cross with theirs are Norman Mart, an extremely right-wing presidential candidate; Samantha Gregory, a scheming music reporter; and Mo Fuzz, a producer willing to give them a chance or three if they'll work on spec. Written by James Meek <james@oz.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A funny movie with music. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Music

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 October 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tapeheads - Verrückt auf Video See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$343,786
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

The FBI agent who makes the remark about Dead Kennedys' singer Jello Biafra is played by Biafra himself. See more »

Quotes

Norman Mart: Roses are red. Violets are blue. The Russians have satellite laser weapons. Why can't we, too?
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the final credits, there is one minute of video static with the following superimposed text: Oh ... and by the way, the next time you're passing through Santa Monica, CA., stop in at Renee's Courtyard Cafe. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rush Hour (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Put Your Hand Inside The Puppet Head
Performed by They Might Be Giants
Written by John Flansburgh and John Linnell
Produced by William Krauss
See more »

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User Reviews

Strange 1980s curio ripe for rediscovery!
30 October 2001 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

Looking back at 'Tapeheads' all these years later is a strange trip! John Cusack is now a respected leading man and Tim Robbins is Mr. Credibility. Back in the day they were two zany dorks up for just about anything. This movie is sometimes surreal, sometimes silly. Very uneven with some segments just falling flat on their face. But there is more than enough unhinged invention on show to make it something unique.

It might on the surface seem like the precursor to Bill and Ted and Wayne and Garth et al, but there is an underlying subversive, almost punk attitude, that puts it closer in spirit to 'Roadside Prophets' (which also featured Cusack) or even some of the movies of Alex Cox. Cox has no direct involvement with 'Tapeheads', but like his 80s cult classic 'Repo Man' it was produced by ex-Monkee Mike Nesmith, and several Cox regulars appear - Sy Richardson, Zander Schloss, Xander Berkeley, Bobcat Goldthwait, and even (an uncredited) Courtney Love.

The plot doesn't matter all that much, at times it's just an excuse for music video parodies, pop culture in-jokes, and cameos by an almost endless parade of musicians, familiar TV faces, and other oddballs, everyone from Jello Biafra to Connie Stevens. It's like channel surfing while tripping and listening to oldies radio. Just the sight of seeing 'The Killers' Clu Gulager being spanked by Courtney Love while cult favourite Susan Tyrrell urges her on (blink and you WILL miss it!!), is almost worth watching this alone for. 'Tapeheads' may not be THE great lost 80s cult movie, but it does deserve to be rediscovered. There's no other movie QUITE like it! And it will put a smile on your face, guaranteed.


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