Netflix Instant Pick – Vol. 3 – Tapeheads


Like any red-blooded American female who was sentient during the late 80’s, I fell in love with John Cusack as Lloyd Dobbler in Say Anything.  Let’s face it, ladies, Lloyd Dobbler is a fictional character, and in reality, John Cusack is an insufferable douche.

Before I came to that realization, however, I remember watching the movie Tapeheads .  I think only about ten people actually saw this movie in the theater, as it was a legendary flop when it premiered in 1988.  It’s now a cult classic and EXTREMELY hard to find.

Imagine my excitement when I saw that it’s available to stream on Netflix!  This one might disappear soon so watch it while you can.  Despite the fact that no one saw it, this movie is really fun to watch.  A forgotten 80’s gem!

Mike Nesmith of The Monkees was the producer of this film.  Some of you might remember his video album, Elephant Parts, which in a way led to the birth of MTV.  So what else could he do but produce a movie that illustrates the inanity of MTV?

John Cusack plays Ivan, who looks like the demented offspring of John Waters, and Tim Robbins is his friend Josh.  In what is now a very dated and quaint plot, they do their best to make it in the exciting world of music videos.  Their favorite band is the old time soul duo the Swanky Modes, and of course they run into them and end up working with them.  In between are some other adventures involving the FBI and a smarmy Presidential candidate.

For me, the best part of the movie are the music videos that the boys end up directing.  Maybe it’s just nostalgia on my part for the THOUSANDS of hours I wasted watching MTV…

First up is a commercial for Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles restaurant.  The rapper is King Cotton, but there really is a Roscoe’s in Long Beach. I ate there many years ago, and it was fucking amazingly good. I have had other chicken and waffles dishes, but nothing can ever compare to Roscoe’s. If you’re ever in Long Beach, you totally should go. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT.

Here’s the clip from the movie in the meantime:

The other really fun clip is of a song called Baby Doll, by Cube Squared, the biggest band in Sweden. “They’ve sold more records than ABBA!” In reality, this track is written and performed by DEVO. Once you know that, you can totally tell it’s them. I need to find the soundtrack to this movie:

Check this movie out while it’s available! There are a lot of fun cameos. Try to spot Bobcat Goldthwait. I died laughing when I realized it was him…and Mike Nesmith is in the movie for a brief minute as well.

Let’s get into trouble, baby!

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