Mise En (Music) Scene

The Tragedy Of These Comedies, Is That The Highlight Of The Film Might Be The Soundtrack.

Up The Creek

Hollywood is an amazing place. It is amazing that really bad films like "Up The Creek" actually get made. But one of the most amazing things to me, is that someone actually said at a pitch meeting: "It's "Animal House" meets "Cannonball Run"... but on a raft!" and didn't get punched in the head straightaway. The ONLY people that ever profit from stupidity like that are cocaine dealers. So... with all that whiff talking, "Up The Creek" stands out as a very bad movie.

Bad college movies are like strip clubs--they both feature naked women, which is cool... until they start talking. That's why strip clubs have pool tables, and movies like this have rock soundtracks to make you forget the dialogue. Now, if a band is going to play a bad strip club, they should have good songs, the ability not to take themselves too seriously and the credibility to walk in and out of the place--reputation intact. "Ladies and Gentlemen...please welcome...Cheap Trick!"

Cheap Trick are one of a handful of bands that could be associated with a movie like this and still be cool.
"Up The Creek" doesn't have the flavor of a throwaway soundtrack song that "Spring Break' (released with the film of the same title the following year) seemed to have. This very well could have been on the album "Next Position Please", for it's Power Pop, in all it's electric glory, with the power coming from Rick Nielsen's dastardly guitar work and the dynamic throat of Robin Zander.

Bachelor Party

A bachelor party never seems to end up how you think it should. You get dressed to nines, ready to party and you end up eating chicken fingers with guys wearing sweatshirts and khaki pants. Your goal is to get arrested and you end up going home with a Brazilian stewardess. The movie "Bachelor Party" had the same vibe.

At first glance, this film looks like the "Bosom Buddies" movie with Tom Hanks joined on screen with 4 other cast members from that TV show. Hanks was not the original lead in the film, however. He replaced Paul Reiser (Wow! That is a completely different film!) and before that, Jim Carrey and Tim Robbins were being seriously considered for that part.

The soundtrack for the movie looked like a big winner. I.R.S. Records, which did the soundtrack, was having it's greatest year in 1984. Many of the artists had big albums in '84, and they were on the soundtrack (REM, Oingo Boingo and The Alarm), plus, radio had warmed to "alternative" music to the point that it was a big chunk of rock radio programming. But instead of being the New Wave "Footloose", this record was "Cut Loose" due to lack of promotion and label support.

"American Beat '84" by The Fleshtones should have been a big radio hit that summer but no one noticed. This was The Fleshtones 1st single (originally released 5 years earlier), an updated re-release of suped up Garage Rock, clean and fun, with bounce and bite. This song should have been on every car radio and beach sand infested boom box. Whose wife did this band have sex with to kill the careers? Their debut album peaks at #174 on the charts and is the highest charting position of any of their records. Lead singer Peter Zaremba appears on MTV's "The Cutting Edge" every week and still no ones buys the records. Eventually the band and I.R.S. parted ways. Undeterred, The Fleshtones continued to play "Super Rock" to this day, most recently on Yep Roc Records.