Midnight Music Movies at The New Parkway: Streets of Fire

by Gordon Elgart on May 6, 2013

Streets of Fire plays at The New Parkway in Oakland on Saturday, May 11th at 10:30

Streets of Fire plays at The New Parkway in Oakland on Saturday, May 11th at 10:30

Unlike other movies that have entered the canon of “cult films,’ Streets of Fire is actually considered a good movie by some people who judge that sort of thing. But it’s over-the-top nature of the characters, the terrific music, and the combination of Michael Pare and Diane Lane that make this movie absolutely worth seeing. But why should I try to convince you when I can just quote the opening voiceover from the trailer:

You are about to enter a world unlike any you’ve ever seen before. Where rock and roll is king, the only law is a loaded gun, where the beautiful, the brutal, and the brave all meet. In Streets of Fire.

They call it a”A Rock & Roll Fable” and I call it an ’80s masterpiece, thought it was an utter flop at the box office. This was Walter Hill’s follow-up to the wildly successful Eddie Murphy film 48 Hours, but it was closer in tone to his classic, The Warriors. The cast is astounding, with appearances by Bill Paxton, Amy Madigan, Robert Townsend and a particularly over-the-top performance by Willem Dafoe.

No, he's not playing a vampire.

No, he’s not playing a vampire.

The music in this film is all over the place. There are two songs written by Jim Steinman, famous for his work with Meat Loaf. They’re performed by Fire, Inc., a band put together just for these songs. The band features Rick Derringer, Davey Johnstone, Roy Bittan and Max Weinberg, among other rock and roll veterans. There’s classic blues from Ry Cooder, a blast of obvious ’80s from The Fixx, and the giant hit single “I Can Dream About You” by Dan Hartman. And then there’s “Tonight Is What It Means to Be Young,” which has the worst lyric I’ve ever heard:

And if I can’t get an angel
I can still get a boy
And a boy’d be the next best thing
The next best thing to an angel

This is a completely nutty movie, and I love it.  I hope to see you all at The New Parkway this Saturday, May 11th.  Advance tickets are available here. You can win a pair of tickets, too. The first person to email gordon-at-spinningplatters.com with the name of their favorite Michael Pare movie (other than this one) will be put on the guest list, courtesy of The New Parkway in Oakland.

Gordon Elgart

A music nerd who probably uses that term too much. I have a deep love for bombastic, quirky and dynamic music.

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