This week we finally come to the conclusion of our Airball category (pro athletes in film). This also means that we are excited to make the transition to the second cycle of the year. We are proud to announce that this cycle will be… [drumroll] … [more drumroll] … [still drumrolling] … [even more drumroll] … [seems like the drumroll is coming to an end] … [he tricked you, still drumrolling] … [now he’s done] … [JK, still drumrolling] … [and now it’s done] … One and Dones! That’s right, the next cycle will be films where the director never made a feature film prior to or since making the film. It will be the only feature film in their filmography. So for the Scattegories week we were required to find a film that fit both categories. This led straight to a Razzie classico (the week of the Razzies nonetheless) as we were able to watch Can’t Stop the Music, the Village People film that won the first ever Razzie award for Worst Picture. It stars Caitlyn Jenner (at the time of filming Bruce Jenner, of course), Olympic Gold Medal winner in the Decathalon. It was also the only feature film directed by famed television actress Nancy Walker. It’s rare that we find such a perfect transition film, but this time we did. It feels good. Let’s go!
Can’t Stop the Music (1980) – BMeTric: 26.2
(So, now having some experience reading these graphs this actually is indicating that Can’t Stop the Music is, illogically, decreasing in BMeTric over the last 6 years. Why people are feeling compelled to give this higher ratings I wouldn’t dream of speculating on. Regardless, 25+ for a film from 1980 is incredible.)
Leonard Maltin – 2 stars – One or two catchy production numbers aren’t enough to salvage otherwise stiff comedy about the music-publishing biz, though some will feel they have to see what V. People and Jenner are doing in same film. Gay subtext abound, despite eye-boggling profile shots of Perrine.
(Funny little review here. Why does he call them the “V. People” (Patrick’s guess: This was for a newspaper blurb which restricted him to a certain number of characters)? Super strange. I’m also not sure I like Leonard talking about the “eye-boggling” profile shots of Perrine. Getting a little Rhinestone “look at that body” vibe and I don’t like it. Deep cut right there, guys. Deep cut.)
(What… the… fuck.)
Director(s) – Nancy Walker – (BMT: Can’t Stop the Music; Notes: Nominated for Worst Director, Can’t Stop the Music (1980). Much more famous as a television actress she won multiple Golden Globe and Emmy awards for Rhoda and McMillan & Wife)
Writer(s) – Bronte Woodard (written by) – (Known For: Grease; BMT: Can’t Stop the Music; Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay, Can’t Stop the Music (1980). Died in August 1980 6 months prior to “receiving” the Razzie Award.)
Allan Carr (written by) – (Known For: Grease; BMT: Can’t Stop the Music; Notes: Won for Worst Screenplay, Can’t Stop the Music (1980). Won a Tony for La Cage aux Folles in 1984. Well known for his disastrous production of the 61st Academy Awards, which became a laughing stock and destroyed his career.)
Actors – The Village People (BMT: Can’t Stop the Music; Notes: Obviously a highly successful band from the 70s and 80s)
Valerie Perrine – (Known For: What Women Want; Superman; Superman II; Lenny; Slaughterhouse-Five; The Electric Horseman; BMT: Can’t Stop the Music; Maid to Order; Boiling Point; 54; The Amateurs; Notes: Nominated for Worst Actress, Can’t Stop the Music (1980). A former Las Vegas Showgirl.)
Budget/Gross: $20 million / $2 million
(No entry on Box Office Mojo, so all we know is that this was clearly a massive flop. The release of this and another flop Raise the Titanic, both in 1980, are blamed for the failure of the film company AFD.)
Rotten Tomatoes: 7% (1/13), No consensus yet.
(Per usual a film this old just doesn’t have the review numbers to give a solid RT score or consensus. I’ll make one up. Consensus: For those that weren’t convinced that disco was dead, this film just killed it.)
Poster – Can’t Stop the Headache (D)
(Wow. I’m not sure I can even unpack everything on the poster. There are the V. People, NYC skyline, a giant piano keyboard, and showgirls dancing on said keyboard. It’s giving me a headache.)
Tagline(s) – The Movie Musical Event of the 80’s (D)
(It’s 1980! You can’t say that! Booooo.)
Notes – The lead role was originally offered to Olivia Newton-John, who turned it down to do Xanadu (1980). (oooooof, out of the frying pan into the fire!)
Tensions on the set between Walker and Perrine rose to the point where Walker wouldn’t be present for any scene Perrine had to shoot. Cinematographer Bill Butler had to step in to film those scenes
The film was originally entitled Discoland: Where the Music Never Ends! (egad!). But when the disco craze failed just prior to the film’s release, the producers tried to distance themselves from the genre. (Ha! Good luck with that. I’m sure no one suspected that the Village People film was about disco).
The film “won” the very first Razzie® award for Worst Picture. It was nominated for every category of the inaugural Golden Raspberry Awards except Worst Supporting Actor. (That year was literally in the guy’s living room and had waaaay more nominees. It was a super weird year, look it up, I guarantee you won’t recognize most of the films)
Half of the film’s $20 million (US) budget was spent on a lavish world-wide publicity campaign that included spectacular openings across the United States and Europe. (See, this is the stuff I like to hear about. I wonder who got fired for that blunder)
After the movie’s theatrical release, Village People member David Hodo said “When I first read the script, I threw it across the room. I thought it was a piece of crap. It read like one of those stupid old Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney pictures. We didn’t believe in the movie, but no one would listen to us! You can only go on for so long being a joke.” (Poor form, just embrace it, man. Like Jane March in Color of Night, smile and say you liked being in the film so much you didn’t even notice it was bad until it was too late).
Razzie Awards 2005: Nominated for Worst ‘Musical’ of Our First 25 Years
Razzie Awards 1981: Won for Worst Picture, and Worst Screenplay (Bronte Woodard and Allan Carr); Nominated for Worst Actor (Caitlyn Jenner), Worst Actress (Valerie Perrine), Worst Supporting Actress (Marilyn Sokol), Worst Director (Nancy Walker), and Worst Original Song (Jacques Morali, For the song “(You) Can’t Stop The Music”)