HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool
Piano, The
Deadly Games
King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen
Porky's II: The Next Day
It Happened Here
Giant from the Unknown
211
Top of the Bill
Set It Off
No Way Out
Traffik
Pitch Perfect 3
Insidious: The Last Key
Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, The
Dirty Carnival, A
King of Hearts
Crowhurst
And the Same to You
Racer and the Jailbird
Superman and the Mole-Men
Phantom Thread
Sweet Country
Loophole
Irma La Douce
Brigsby Bear
Wish Upon
Gringo
Finding Vivian Maier
Shape of Water, The
   
 
Newest Articles
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
   
 
  Heavenly Bodies Shape Up And DanceBuy this film here.
Year: 1984
Director: Lawrence Dane
Stars: Cynthia Dale, Richard Rebiere, Walter George Alton, Laura Henry, Stuart Stone, Patricia Idlette, Pam Henry, Linda Sorensen, Reiner Schwartz, Cec Linder, Micki Moore, Sean Sullivan, Mac Bradden, Michael Tait, Murray Westgate, Elena Kubada, Sugar Bouche
Genre: Musical, Drama, Romance
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Samantha Blair (Cynthia Dale) has been saving up money from her secretarial job to do what she really wants in life: open her own dance studio where members of the public can be led in the best exercise programmes available. After she and her two friends secure a lease on an empty warehouse which would be perfect for the enterprise, they set about publicising it with fliers photocopied in the office, and soon there's a television crew visiting to put them on the nightly news. It's all looking rosy for single mother Sam, with even romance on the horizon...

Watched Flashdance but didn't think there was enough focus on the dancing? Then step right this way for Heavenly Bodies, which was ninety percent montages, often featuring the art, and ten percent dialogue to propel the plot forward, such as it was. That storyline was almost insultingly simple, but as with many an eighties flick seeking to cash in on a pop culture fad you could have plonked everyone down here in bobbysocks and ponytails, including the men, and you would have a fairly serviceable fifties teen movie to contend with. The strains of synths and the beat of drum machines said otherwise, however.

Yes, you could tell the decade here within nanoseconds of the first number, for this was a musical in its updated guise with the singing relegated to the records played on the soundtrack but the movement very much in the style of puttin' on a show, only with aerobics. Our Sam finds everything to her satisfaction when business starts booming and she strikes up a relationship with nice, gorillagram-favouring football player Steve (Richard Rebiere) who she met while leading his team in exercise (he was acting the goat, a sure method of getting attention in a movie like this). As if that wasn't good enough, she also secures a job on TV as an aerobics instructor, but could that signal her downfall?

You see, she had a rival to that position from Debbie Martin (Laura Henry) who happens to be the partner of a health club baron (there are such things), Jack Pearson, played by the Pumaman himself, Walter George Alton, having left superhero guise far behind. If anything, he's the Lex Luthor of health clubs and with a spot of coaxing from Deb he seeks to derail the whole Heavenly Bodies establishment of Samantha and company. This may be starting to sound as if there's a lot of plot to this, but really that's about it, the majority of screen time is given over to those montages and dance numbers.

Almost as if director Lawrence Dane was grudgingly setting aside time that did not involve training his camera on lithe, leotarded female forms as they work out in formation. If Dane's name sounds familiar, it's not because he was a famous director - this was his sole effort at the helm of his own movie - but because he was a prolific character actor, often playing silver-haired professional types and very recognisable in that capacity. Whatever led him to shoot a Canadian tax shelter film is lost in the mists of time (Playboy co-produced), but it appears his first love was the editing suite in light of how much of this resembled a pop video of the era. It all climaxes in a dance marathon, though not before the boo-hiss Pearson knocks Sam over and injures her leg: does that put her off? Of course not! There follows a They Shoot Horses Don't They? for the eighties, complete with off-camera commentator and presumably somebody watching on TV if there really was nothing better on. But those montages, there certainly were a lot.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 963 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
   

 

Last Updated: