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Rock ‘n’ Roll High School Blu-ray Review

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“Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” is one of the best (if not the best) Roger Corman productions.

1979’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” is an ensemble B-Movie cult comedy set at Vince Lombardi High School. The story primarily revolves around the rebellious rock loving Riff who shakes things up at the school and dreams of writing songs for The Ramones. However, there are other main characters here including science wiz Kate (a friend of Riff’s), a virgin jock (Tom), a school entrepreneur (Eaglebauer), a crazed new Principal (Evelyn) and her 2 hall monitor toadies both named Fritz. The Ramones also play heavily into the story as they are doing a local concert and even visit the school.

Directed and co-written by Allan Arkush (and also written by Joe Dante), the now 40 year old Roger Corman produced “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” is essentially the punk rock equivalent of a Beatles movie. The plot is your standard authority vs. rebellious youth tale with a heavy emphasis on comedy. There’s a plethora of sight gags (including giant mice), corny lines, and quirky characters spread across the movie. ‘Rock’ could also be considered an energetic rock musical as The Ramones play numerous songs throughout including the catchy titular tune. The Ramones aren’t the only rock music featured though as songs from the likes of Chuck Berry and Alice Cooper also pop up here and there.

Cast wise, there’s plenty of familiar faces here with P.J. Soles, Paul Bartel, Dick Miller, Dey Young, Clint Howard, and Mary Woronov starring. Soles is clearly having a blast here and does a fine job of carrying the movie. Paul Bartel (who was also a director) scene steals as a teacher who becomes a rock fan.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? The Blu-ray disc contains a 4K scan from the original negative and, for the most part, this is an impressive transfer. Some shots look better than others, but the film has certainly been cleaned up.

Audio Track: DTS-HD MA Mono. How does it sound? A crisp Mono track that really comes alive when The Ramones are playing tunes.

Extras:
* “Rock ‘N’ Roll High School” trailer, TV spot and 2 radio ads
* There’s no shortage of commentaries here. In fact, there’s four! One by Allan Arkush, Mike Finnell and Richard Whitley, one by P.J. Soles, Clint Howard and Allan Arkush, one by Richard Whitley and Russ Dvonch, and finally by Roger Corman and Dey Young.
* An 11 ½ minute interview with Allan Arkush accompanied by stills
* Audio outtakes of The Ramones from The Roxy.
* An archival interview between Leonard Maltin and Roger Corman
* “Staying After Class”- Interviews with P.J. Soles, Vincent Van Pattena nd Dey Young who also show off props.
* “Back To School: A Retrospective”- The title says it all.
* Allan Arkush’s 2019 Sunday Slasher Rock ‘N’ Roll High School intro
* “Class of ‘79: 40 Years of Rock ‘N’ Roll High High School”- A new 70 minute extra with a wealth of interviews, discussions about what inspired the movie and how it came about, and much more.

 

November 18, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , ,

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