Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Bad Movie of the Month: Body Rock


I may not be devoting all of my time and effort to covering bad movies these days, but that doesn’t mean I stopped loving them. So once a month, I’ll spread a little bit of that love…



It’s been hot this summer. Real hot, damn hot, change three times a day cuz you’re sweatin’ through everything hot. And when it’s hot outside, you need an equally hot movie because… because otherwise the logic of my lead-in falls apart. You need BODY ROCK.

Cue wailin' guitar lick.


Body Rock takes the upbeat, sunny disposition of the L.A.-based Breakin’ movies and relocates it in dingy, crime-riddled early-80s New York City. We open with a group of inner city youths laughing and smiling and breakdancing in the streets (in the crosswalks – no need to be jaywalking savages). Then they hand out lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of cans of spray paint so they can elaborately tag a subway car. 

Does the subway car now read “Body Rock,” which is also the name of this crew? I think so. If it does, they did a terrible job cuz it all looks like a mess to me. Anyway, Body Rock stars Lorenzo Lamas, a fav—NO WAIT GET BACK HERE! C’MON!!

Body Rock stars a young Lorenzo Lamas, long before he started Renegade-ing around in leather vests or starring in every third film The Asylum makes or performing awesome self-parodies of himself. I admit, I get a big kick out of the guy. I’d love to see him in a reality show with some ridiculous title like Leave It To Lamas.

OH COME ON!


The Lamas is Chili, a guy who loves hanging with this crew and looking “fresh” (denim vest, open shirt with an extra side of chest hair, headband… you know, fresh). Chili and his best bud, DJ EZ, run an underground club called Rhythm Nation (yes, really) where everyone does all the breakdancing they do out on the sidewalk in Breakin’ but have to do indoors because the weather is crappier in New York City. It’s at the club that Chili suddenly realizes that EZ’s sister, Darlene – a girl he’s known his whole life – looks a lot like a young Tina Fey.

Anyway, Chili’s thought is that if they only had “management,” they’d be rolling in dough. With that in mind, Chili barges into an investment firm unannounced with the intent of getting a backer for his spray-painting art. That goes as well as you’d expect, but it comes out that the investor does need a DJ for his new nightclub…

Chili scores the Body Rock crew an audition, and here is where the film begins to veer into unintentional comedy:
Chili: “Check it out: We’re entertainers, right? You’re the DJ – the scratcher. Jama’s the rapper. Ricky Ricardo, Magic, Snake? They’re the breakers.”

EZ: “What do you do?”

Yeah, what do you do, Chili? That’s a good question… Eh… Time for a breakdance training montage!

The Body Rock crew puts on a show for the investors, and they somehow come out of it only interested in Chili. What follows is a plotline straight out of every TV show with teenagers ever, regardless of genre: Chili gets all famous (despite him being the one person in the crew with no actual talent) and begins forgetting about all the “little people” who are his real friends. His boys get left off the guest list to the club, he never calls Darlene (though after what appeared to have been one date, it’s hard to understand why he owes her his devotion). 

You see where this is all going, right? Of course you do. Here’s what you don’t see that makes it all laughable:
  1. Chili gets himself a personalized pleather duster. No, that “p” isn’t a typo – the thing is made of plastic leather. And has his name airbrushed on the back. If it’s not the single most absurd article of clothing I’ve ever seen in a film, it’s in the top three.
  2. The movie takes itself very, very seriously. Body Rock clearly aspires to be the Saturday Night Fever of breakdancing – Lamas even resembles a young John Travolta in the film. This is all well and good, except that it’s the most cliché storyline imaginable.
  3. It’s not until Chili has his “walk around the city brooding” montage that Body Rock remembers it’s a breakdancing movie. Insert random people breakdancing! 
  4. The nonsensical climax involves Chili Batman-ing along the rafters while the “All-New Body Rock” dancers perform some kind of cheesy Solid Gold number, a two-story tall boom box, Chili doing a giant flip off the aforementioned two-story tall boom box and going straight into a pro-wrestling “shoot” while the investors demand someone “shut down” the live event, all building up to a slow clap – A SLOW CLAP!!

An unintentional comedies go, this one’s pretty good. So good that congratulations are in order…

Congratulations, Body Rock: You are the Bad Movie of the Month.

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