As an "old guy" with a nervous disposition who has enough trouble sitting through many movies once, the ultimate tribute I can give this great "on the road" rock'n'roll saga is that I watched it numerous times when it was on cable in 1981, I have watched it several dozens of times on VHS, and now that it's on DVD, I have watched it several times again. You can put a lot of mileage on this road movie. The film has a rock'n'roll backdropa backdrop we rarely see from the workingman's eye the way we do here. The movie gives us what amounts to real-world views of several 70's favorites (Meatloaf, Alice Cooper, Blondie, etc.). It has a great premise, the howling self-reliant "Everything Works If You Let It" theme. It also enjoys a background soundtrack that fires on all twelve cylinders. But what keeps me watching the film is that it is really funny in an honest, straight-forward way that we have enjoyed far too seldom since Hollywood started grinding out its cookie-cutter farces in the wake of "Airplane." The dual surprises of the film are the really solid performances put in by Alice Cooper and Meatloaf in their respective roles as rock star and roadie. I am unqualified in my admiration of this movie, but I will tightly qualify the people to whom I would suggest the film. This is a "cult" movie in the most real sense of the word and anyone who is made nervous by rock music, farce that is outside of the "Scary Movie" mainstream, or three-hundred pound leading men (Meatloaf) should avoid this movie at all costs. Also, there is a certain good IL' boy mentality at work here that will not play for some parts of the audience. But to the core audience of the film, these are not qualifications, they are recommendations. The thing I am saddest about is that the movie's soundtrack is no longer available. The soundtrack was worth having simply for the long and messy "Brainlock" which plays during one of the few really funny car chases in the history of film.
Roadie is a fun movie with a chance to see some rock and rollers on the screen. Meatloaf stars and plays a roadie (big stretch there) who is great at fixing stuff and inventing things. A talent he picked up from his Dad played by the unforgettable Art Carney (the one and only Ed Norton from The Honeymooners). Well Meatloaf hits the road and helps the likes of Debbie Harry and her band Blondie, Alice Cooper, Hank Williams Jr among others. Blondie really sound great singing Ring of Fire. The movie is fun and humorous.
This movie, in my opinion has many of the features of a cult classic.
The acting is uneven, the comedy is uneven, and the plot is a cliche.
But the movie is worth watching (as a cult movie,) for a number of reasons.
1) Ecletic and enjoyable sound track including a fun cover of Ring of Fire (and you can't experience too many covers of Ring of Fire.) 2) A mix of different comic elements such as an amusing car chase, and Forest Gump like moments where Redfish is simply in the right place at the right time 3) Great rock and roll cameos 4) Occasional surreal moments, if you like that kind of thing
Another part I found refreshing was doing a rock and roll movie involving a groupie with no gratuitous sex or nudity. I have nothing against those things, but its refreshing to see a movie that had no need for them.
If you take the movie seriously for a minute, or are looking for a consistent style of humor you will be disappointed. You need to be the sort of person who likes off beat movies simply because they are offbeat.
This was a great movie and if you're into American pop music culture and history I think you would enjoy this movie greatly.
Meatloaf stars as Travis W. Redfish, an engineering genius who ends up being a rock and roll roadie and gaining the reputation as the greatest roadie that ever lived. He ends up in this situation when the bus carrying groupie Lola Bouilliabase breaks down on a stretch of road near Travis' home town.
Art Carney is wonderful as Travis' father and junkyard owner and the movie is full of cameo appearances by the likes of Debbie Harry, Roy Orbison, Alice Cooper (who Lola is in love with) and has music from a wide variety of 80's artists.
I was so impressed when I saw this movie I went out and bought the soundtrack, which is a double fold out album with pictures and some background information.
I also liked the movie slogan "The Bands make it rock, but the Roadies make it roll"
I think "Roadie" is deserving of cult-classic status, but unfortunately I don't think very many people saw it. I have not seen it in a video store to buy or rent in over 10 years.
So if you do see it, grab it! (and tell me where you found it!)
I'm probably one of about 5 people in the world who actually saw this in the theatres back in 1980, and I am absolutely thrilled it's now out on DVD. The film is a bonafide B-movie cult classic. Anyone who has ever lived in Austin, particularly in the pre-90's high-tech boom, will treasure the asthetics of the film. It has all the elements that make Austin the weird, unique town that it is. It totally stereotypes Texans, which makes it all the more funny to this Texan. People who don't understand Austin (or Texas) won't get the film, and probably won't like it.
High points of the film include a Hank Williams Jr./Roy Orbison duet singing "The Eyes of Texas" (the school song of the University of Texas at Austin) to break up a bar brawl; a high-speed chase through downtown Austin involving Austin police, a Lone Star Beer truck, and a limousine; and an outdoor rock concert, the "Rock N Roll Circus", featuring Blondie singing a
cover of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire". Notice the racetrack to the above right of the stage, which is supposed to be located somewhere in Idaho. Austinites will recognize it as Manor Downs.
I recommend the film to anyone who enjoys a mindless, entertaining movie. Brain power is not needed to see this film, and is actually discouraged.