The Ramones kick fucking ass. They’re the greatest rock and roll band to ever live, and I will listen to them till the day I fucking die. And this movie is all about the Ramones and more, so how can I not love it, even with all it’s flaws? The movie takes your basic 50’s juvenile delinquency rock n’ roll movie and tries giving it a more fun edge, trying to capitalize on the punk rock notoriety of the times, although to be fair there really isn’t that much punk rock music on the soundtrack excepting the Ramones and an Eddie And The Hot Rods song I heard. PJ Soles plays Riff Randall, a rocker girl who loves the Ramones and can’t wait to see the Ramones, much to the chagrin of the school’s high school principal, the ultra-conservative Ms. Togar. After the concert, Riff, the students and the Ramones decide to take over the school, and the film goes on full comedic war mode as it’s students vs. adults, with the freedom to rock n’ roll being the ultimate prize.
As you can see, the movie is a fairytale. It’s basically an American punk remake of the English film “If…” by Lindsay Anderson, although to be honest this is nowhere near as accomplished or as deep. The acting is pretty good on the most part, with PJ Soles being her cute, ditzy self in her first starring role. Vincent Van Patten, Dey Young and Clint Howard round up the main supporting cast and they’re all great in their teenage roles, particularly Van Patten, who plays one of the biggest geeks I’ve ever seen in a movie. My favorite, however, is Mary Woronov, who is in her usual scene-stealing self, playing what could be the ultimate dominatrix, as the school principal. Her hatred of rock n’ roll seems genuine and made me hate her even more. I love Mary Woronov.
Now for the Ramones themselves. The best scenes in the film are the ones they appear in, from their entry with “I Just Want To Have Something To Do”, the romantic fantasy with “I Want You Around”, and of course, their live performance, which is uncut and features the band at it’s rawest and most primal setting. Sadly, their acting scenes are terrible. The four guys really couldn’t act, particularly Dee Dee, but thankfully this is in only one scene and the rest of the film they’re just rocking around. This is a pretty funny film and it’s very enjoyable, but only if you’re a huge fan of the Ramones like yours truly. If you’re not, don’t even bother.