HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
True Don Quixote, The
Babymother
Mitchells vs. the Machines, The
Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Unholy, The
How to Deter a Robber
Antebellum
Offering, The
Enola Holmes
Big Calamity, The
Man Under Table
Freedom Fields
Settlers
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
   
 
Newest Articles
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
   
 
  Legend of Billie Jean, The Hair Is Fair
Year: 1985
Director: Matthew Robbins
Stars: Helen Slater, Keith Gordon, Christian Slater, Richard Bradford, Peter Coyote, Martha Gehman, Yeardley Smith, Dean Stockwell, Barry Tubb, Mona Lee Fultz, Bobby Jones, John M. Jackson, Rodney Rincon, Caroline Williams, Rudy Young, Bobby Fite, Kim Valentine
Genre: Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Billie Jean Davy (Helen Slater) lives in a trailer park in Texas with her teenage brother Binx (Christian Slater) and her mother (Mona Lee Futz), and Binx has recently gotten himself a brand new scooter which is his pride and joy. One day he takes Billie Jean out for a ride on it down the grocery store, but as they are zooming along a car full of local yahoos pulls up alongside and starts harrassing them. It gets worse: when they arrive at the store, the youths continue to try and wind Binx up and leer at his sister, but the pair manage to get away and down to the lake where they cool off with a swim. However, as they lounge on a raft, their tormentors reappear and begin fooling with the scooter - this will end in tears.

But it develops in a manner the characters would not have anticipated when Billie Jean turns into a heroine for her generation, or at least the generation living in Texas where she becomes a local celebrity. In much the same way that writer and director Matthew Robbins penned The Sugarland Express for Steven Spielberg, the plot for this goes the same way, with an innocent party branded an outlaw thereby inspiring a media circus in the process. Some have compared this to Bonnie and Clyde, and it did contain a similar appeal, only Billie Jean was far more upstanding and righteous (and surely so named thanks to the Michael Jackson hit that had been in the charts over the past couple of years, though they had little else in common).

Helen Slater was your golden girl here, a willowy blonde who draws on heretofore unsuspected reserves of grit and energy so she never seems over her head. She was of course just emerging from the publicity of another heroine role, that one a superheroine in the shape of Supergirl which may not have set the box office alight but did raise her profile. Alas, that wasn't enough to make this a hit either, but Robbins was on to something here as feisty, strong, female role models were in fashion in the eighties and Billie Jean suited that personality to a tee, so it was only a matter of time before her story would be embraced by those young enough to be impressed when they either rented this on home video or caught it on a late night TV showing.

What happens to place Billie Jean on the road to redemption is when the yahoos steal Binx's scooter and when he tries to get it back they smash it up, then smash him up too. The cops, led by Peter Coyote's Ringwald (there was an eighties teen movie crossover waiting to happen), are no help so she goes round to the ringleader's father's shop and demands he pay for the repairs at least, though what happens is that he lures her upstairs with the promise of money and then attempts to rape her. She escapes, Binx finds a gun in the cash register, accidentally shoots old man Pyatt (Richard Bradford, impeccably sleazy) and they go on the run with their friends Ophelia (Martha Gehman) and Putter (Yeardley Smith, a short while away from Lisa Simpson), since they are in possession of a car that will propel them across the state.

Pyatt may try to badmouth them, and petty crimes are blamed on them unfairly, but public opinion is on the runaways' side and Ringwald acknowledges he may have handled this situation badly so spends the rest of the movie trying to make up for it. If this has a rather empty, contrived tone about it with bits like Keith Gordon as a rich, willing hostage, then that appears to be partway intentional as Robbins observed the way media cause célèbres operate, building up the participants into celebrities when the fact that real people, who may not be handling this very well, are involved and the accompanying fame isn't doing them any good, really. So you could take the ruminations on the news in much the same way as Sugarland Express went, though this is rather milder in its final conclusions because it still especially likes the idea of Billie Jean as a fighter against injustice, a figure that many sections of society feel the need to champion: not so much in the wrong place at the wrong time, as in the right place at the right time. Oh, and no, they're not related. Music by Craig Safan.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2274 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 star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: