• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Rock ‘n’ Roll High School

TITLE: Rock ‘n’ Roll High School

YEAR: 1979

GENRE: Comedy

There are several ways to make a film about the topic of teen angst. First, there are the more serious films that deal in the more destructive end of growing up and end up acting as morality plays of sorts for the watcher. There was an entire genre of films called juvenile delinquent films that were released fairly regularly in the 1950’s. Then in the 1960’s AIP Films started releasing their line of beach films that were more about having a good time and were much lighter in content. Following in the tradition of lighter teen fare, Rock ‘n’ Roll High School was released shortly after the college classic Animal House and is just as memorable and enjoyable as the Jim Belushi classic.

Vince Lombardi High School has a problem with their administrators: they keep going insane to the kids’ irreverent love for rock and roll music. Evelyn Togar (played by Mary Woronov) is the new principal of the party hearty high school, and she beings working diligently to eliminate the influence on rock music on her school and students. Riff Randall (P.J. Soles) is the most rebellious of her students, and her insubordinate spirit is about to get a shot in the arm when her favorite band The Ramones comes to town for a concert for the ages. Principal Togar wants to stop the concertgoers in their tracks and does what she can to force Riff and her friend Kate Rambeau (Dey Young) from attending the shindig. Joey Ramone (played by himself) and the rest of the band will not stand for such authority, and they intervene to stop the overbearing administrator. Will Riff and Kate be able to rock out with their favorite band? Will Kate win the affections of football star Tom Roberts (Vincent Van Patten)? Will Riff be able to sell her song to The Ramones?

This film is an absolute classic in the teen movie genre for several reasons. First of all, we have some fantastic concert footage of the legendary punk rock band rocking a small club with a unique collection of rockers and assorted misfits, and the concert itself is worth the price of admission. The storyline is genuinely funny and a bit charming at the same time, especially when the main school stud attempts to teach Tom the art of taking off a girl’s bra and “The Rockometer”, a device created by Principal Togar to show how loud music has a detrimental impact on mice. Very funny stuff, indeed! The one liners in the film are also classic: Principal Togar exclaims to the band “Do Your parents know you’re The Ramones?”, on of the band members laments “Man, things sure have changed since we got kicked out of high school” while walking into the high school, and the police chief (Dick Miller) states at the end of the film “They’re ugly…ugly, ugly people.” Most of all Rock ‘n’ Roll High School is just a fun, entertaining time.

Rock ‘n’ Roll High School is like eating just one potato chip: it just can not be done and more need to be enjoyed. There are no real messages in this film, but that is not the point here. Rock ‘n’ Roll High School celebrates that time in our lives where we want to stretch out our wings and enjoy some of our own freedoms and make our own decisions. Roger Corman has created a brilliant look at rock and roll and teen culture while giving us a few great laughs and some classic concert footage in the same movie. There are a few must-see films in Corman’s repertoire, and Rock ‘n’ Roll High School is one of them. Rock ‘n’ Roll High School is essential viewing for any fan of The Ramones or light hearted films in general.

* * * * *

–Mark

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