"Do your parents know you're Ramones?" With those withering words, Miss Togar (Mary Woronov), the uptight neofascist principal of Vince Lombardi High School, addresses the four mop-haired, leather-jacketed members of Ameri... more »ca's first and most famous punk band. And you know it won't be long before the Ramones's jackhammer riffs are blaring through the public address system at maximum volume, the kids are running--not walking--wild in the hallways (without passes!), and Miss Togar's gulag is re-christened "Rock 'n' Roll High School." Then, in keeping with the outrageously nihilistic animus of punk, the high school students and the Ramones just blow the place to smithereens. It's a crowd- pleasing, fantasy-fulfillment climax that combines the apocalyptic finale of Michelangelo Antonioni's Zabriskie Point with the explosive conclusion of Alice Cooper's "School's Out." Rock 'n' Roll High School is a blast, a goofy and liberating salute to the rebel spirit behind the teen rock 'n' roll movies of the 1950s, which always pitted the kids' insatiable appetite for fun against the adults' fear-based authoritarianism. The film is emblematic of the disarmingly silly, tongue-in-cheek humor of the youth-oriented B-pictures cranked out in the '50s and '60s by renowned low-budget exploitation mogul Roger Corman (who gave many a hungry young filmmaker, including the creators of this film, their start in the biz), and of the noisy, anarchic energy of '70s punk rock, as personified by the inimitable Ramones. In the words of the maestros' beach-blanket-buzz-saw title anthem, this movie is "Fun, fun, oh baby, fun, fun..." The digital video disc offers audio commentary by the filmmakers, including director Alan Arkush, a Leonard Maltin interview with Corman, and some audio outtakes of the Ramones. --Jim Emerson« less
"Hey Ho! Let's Go! Listen up, kids. Rock 'n' Roll High School may have been released way back in 1979 but it still kicks the ass of any of those square MTV movies. Forget about Britney Spears and Mandy Moore's brand of bubblegum pop music and their equally bland movies - they don't hold a candle to the unbridled power of those punk rockers from New York City, the Ramones!
From B-movie veterans like Paul (Eating Raoul) Bartel and Mary (Death Race 2000) Woronov to newcomers (at the time), P.J. (Halloween) Soles and Dey (Strange Invaders) Young, the entire cast has a lot of fun spouting the film's wonderfully inspired cornball dialogue ("If you don't like it, you can put it where the monkey puts the nuts."). The Ramones are good sports and mumble their way through the film and truly coming alive during the music sequences. The movie rightfully cements their reputation as legends.
Rock 'n' Roll High School embodies the essence of the punk rock music that made the Ramones famous. The film is bursting with youthful energy, a dose of good ol' fashion anarchy and is loads of fun to watch. These are also the ingredients that made Rock 'n' Roll High School a cult film. It was a commercial and critical failure upon its initial release but repeated midnight screenings, coupled with steady appearances on TV, have helped the film endure over the years.
New to this edition is a "Back to School: A Retrospective" that takes a look back at this cult film with new interviews with producer Roger Corman, Alan Arkush and cast members Clint Howard, Dey Young, Mary Woronov and Loren Lester and the surviving Ramone from that time, Marky. This is an affectionate, fun look at this movie with everyone reminiscing fondly about their experiences.
Producer Michael Finnell, screenwriter Richard Whitley and director Alan Arkush deliver an engaging and rather chatty audio commentary. The three men laugh and joke about working on Rock 'n' Roll High School. They clearly have fond memories of their experiences on the movie.
Another new addition is an audio commentary by Corman and Young. She admits that in reality she was more like Riff Randell than her character. There are several lulls but it is nice to hear these two reminisce about their experiences on the movie.
Also included is a dynamic theatrical trailer that gives away the ending! Definitely watch this last if you haven't seen the movie.
Gone is the Leonard Maltin interview with Roger Corman.
A real treat for fans of the Ramones are several audio outtakes during the filming of the concert sequence. These are the original audio tracks of the band in action.
While Rock 'n' Roll High School will appeal predominantly to fans of the Ramones (duh!), it is also one of those fun, goofy movies to invite friends over and watch with copious amounts of junk food on hand. Despite a lackluster transfer, the audio commentary and audio outtakes are worth the price of purchase for this fantastic cinematic oddity."
A ROGER CORMAN CLASSIC! GABBA GABBA HEY!
firstname.lastname@example.org | Texas | 01/27/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Being a Ramones fan, this movie has a special place in my heart. The commentary by the director , screenwriter, and producer is a real treat to liten to; you can feel their passion for film making and rock and roll. Most humorous is how they convinced Roger Corman to change the film from DISCO HIGH to ROCK AND ROLL HIGH SCHOOL. Just a fun, fun movie. The DVD presentation is wonderful, though there are a few scratches from the transfer (What do you expect? It's Roger Corman!). And the audio outtakes are a must for Ramones fans. And with Clint Howard, Paul Bartel, and Dick Miller in the same movie, how can you go wrong?"
What kind of Idiot wouldn't like this movie?
Marc A. Coignard | Denver, CO United States | 08/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Its Roger Cormin...Its Punk Rock...Its every High School kid's fantasy!! Fantasy being the key word...of course the Ramones wouldn't REALLY go blow up some kid's school with them! But this is a cult classic that's the most fun you can ask for in a movie! Plot? I dunno...I don't care either! When I want plot I'll go for a Akira Kurosawa or Michael Antonioni film. When I wanna see sexy PJ Soles and Dey Young rockin' out this is what I'm after! Rock 'n' Roll High School Kicks @$$ and I feel sorry for any moron who can't just have fun watchin' this cheesy, B-movie cult classic!"
An Ultimate Band Film
Thomas Calhoun | Charlotte, NC United States | 09/08/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rock, Rock, Rock, Rock, Rock and Roll High School.
That's how the song begins for one of the best Ramones songs and surely the most unique event in their history, a starring role in a feature film! I love movies with rock bands. A Hard Days Night, Head, and this film are probably my all time favorite "Band" films. When I was in high school and college, we had a ritual of going to see the midnight movies on most weekends. Usually they featured such "gems" as H.O.T.S. and Flesh Gordan, but occasionally you would come across a real sleeper. In 1979 I walked into Eastland mall to see a film I had never heard of and walked out a Ramones fan forever. It was still early in this films release, but it had already skipped most of the big theatres and gone straight to midnight showings. I guess a movie about a punk band (actually a straight up rock band) and a bunch 0f kids who blow up their school was never going to cross the 100 million mark. Made with virtually no budget and featuring PJ Soles, Clint Howard and Vincent Van Patten, along with the Ramones this movie is funny, has great tunes (Rundgren, McCartney, Alice Cooper etc), cute girls, and features a great scene where they blow the school up while the Ramones play the theme.
This movie came out right after PJ Soles had made her screen debut in Halloween and just before she played Bill Murrays girlfriend in Stripes. She was perfect for the role of the Ramones fanatic and she can sing too. She does a great version of Rock and Roll High School, upstaging the preppy cheerleaders in the gym. Clint Howard (Rons brother) actually has something to do in this film. He plays the school "dealer". Not in drugs mind you, he is the guys that sells you hall passes and gets you the makeout van for your hot dates. A very different role from all his walkon roles in Ron Howard films. The rest of the cast is well chosen and we even have a great villain in the evil principal Miss Togar. Someone you love to hate. Don't worry, she gets hers. This is just a great cult movie.
It was followed with a sequel, minus the Ramones and starring Corey Feldman. I don't think anyone ever saw that one. What was the point?
Highly recommended if you love rock band films. Get it while you can, it was out of print and was brought back after Joey died. It most likely will go out of print again."
It's The Ramones' "A Hard Day's Night'
Thomas Calhoun | 09/22/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Loud,frantic, and very funny, I remember loving this movie intensely from the first time I saw it at the Calvin Theatre in Dearborn, MI where my dad only paid a buck for each of us to see it on a double bill with "Battle Beyond the Stars". I had never seen the Ramones before (I would go on to see them live 6 times after) and I recall, with a sense of pride, how my mom chose to walk out on the movie and wait in the car, whilst my dad (who bought the tickets) stayed and enjoyed the film with my sister and myself. I think it was either the exploding mice or just The Ramones themselves that did it for her. P.J. Soles never had a better vehicle for her talents than this film (notable appearances in "Stripes", "Halloween", and "Carrie" notwithstanding) and I'd extend the same to Ron Howard's brother and Dick Van Patten's son just the same. Mary Woronov and Paul Bartel established definatively here their "indie-cred", after a decade of consistently intriguing work, and it's a pity you kids don't know them better. Also nice, as always, to see Dick Miller (Don't bother, junior). The pace is frantic, it could have been a good bit more raunchy (rated PG go figure), but what ultimately comes thru is a rock 'n' roll CLASSIC. The total anarchy that accompanys the final title song will live with me forever. Gabba gabba hey!"