by Craig Curtice
am among the forgotten films stacked on dusty shelves
in movie studio storage rooms. Sadly I’ve slipped
through the cracks in the modern digital age and worse
yet, my old worn-out rental copies on laserdiscs, Beta
and VHS are disappearing faster than mom & pop video
demand and deserve a proper release on DVD. And I want
lots of special features too, like deleted scenes, commentaries,
Dolby sound, and 1:85 widescreen aspect ratios too –
not that full-frame crap. It’s also tragic that
my corresponding soundtracks have still never
been issued on compact disc. For shame. Release Me!
the Edge (1979)
It Really Happened.
disguised as an after school morality play and other times
as a late-night horror flick, Over The Edge was
primarily discovered on HBO by a Fast Times-loving
audience in the early-80’s. A gritty film based
on actual accounts of kids terrorizing a planned suburban
California community, few theaters ran the film in 1979
for fear of copycat teen violence. Directed by Jonathan
Kaplan, Over The Edge was shot in Colorado in1978
with a large cast of young teens including Matt Dillon
prior to his S.E. Hinton character days.
before the advent of satellite television, Internet, and
ipods, the film depicts bored teens defying authority
figures, drinking & drugging, and listening to vinyl
records through giant headphones. This highly influential
movie left an indelible pop culture mark on kids everywhere
including Kurt Cobain, who related to character Claude
Zachary and with the prolonged ache of teenage existence.
a film is only as good as it’s soundtrack and this
one is superb. Over The Edge plays like a classic
hard rock musical yearbook signed by Cheap Trick, Van
Halen, Ramones, Jimi Hendrix, and The Cars. Van Halen’s
“You Really Got Me” perfectly captures the
urgent excitement upon entering a teenage suburban house
party, while Valerie Carter’s soaring vocals on
“Ooh Child” during the euphoric finale are
powerfully cathartic. This film rocks.
The Edge fan site
Fish That Saved Pittsburgh (1979)
As jocks they were jokes…the twelve nuttiest,
goofiest, spoofiest, singin’est, dancin’est
characters to ever call themselves a team!
on whom you talk to, The Fish is either the worst
basketball flick of all time or “really cool—it
stars Dr. J and has the best soul soundtrack ever!”
This movie’s kitsch factor is off the charts--even
the above tag line was strangely amiss as there were only
ten players on the team.
Erving plays Moses Guthrie, a high-flying superstar for
the lousy Pittsburgh Pythons. When the team walks out
in disgust mid-season, the ball boy (James Bond III) convinces
the owner (Jonathan Winters) to form a new squad in which
all with players are born under the astrological sign
of Pisces. With the guidance of astrologist Mona Mondieu
(Stockard Channing) the team magically goes from worst
to first. Glorious camp and bad acting abound. Check out
the appearances by Meadowlark Lemon, Harry Shearer, Debbie
Allen, Marv Albert, and a bevy of NBA greats like Kareem
Abdul-Jabbar, Bob Lanier, Connie Hawkins, and Norm Nixon.
outstanding musical arrangements make this oddball opus
worthwhile—in one scene Dr. J returns at night to
his old playground court backdropped by the emotional
groove of (Do It, Do It) No One Does It Better,”
and the ultra funky “Chance of a Lifetime”
punctuates the outrageous open tryouts. The Spinners’
Thom Bell painstakingly orchestrated a soul soundtrack
masterpiece enlisting Leroy Bell & Casey James as
well as The Four Tops, Phyllis Hyman, The Sylvers, William
Hart, Frankie Bleu, Eubie Blake, Doc Severinsen and Loretta
Lynn. Good luck finding a copy of the soundtrack however,
which was only sparingly released on promotional vinyl.
always wondered if a teenage Michael Jordan watched this
movie in high school and listened closely to the words
of Moses, “I had to learn to walk on air and listen
to the rhythm inside my body.” Sounds corny, but
this might have been the divine inspiration for Air Jordan.
Mysteriously in 1985, cheap retail VHS copies were issued
cutting out two minutes of on-court trash talking and
some locker room doob smoking. These scenes must be restored
and the film re-released before there’s a terrible
remake. Fish Fever—Catch It!
Fish That Saved Pittsburgh fan site
Curtice is a volunteer staff writer for 2 Walls Webzine.)