Corrine “Third Degree” Burns (Diane Lane) and her all-girl punk band The Stains ( featuring a surprisingly chubby Laura Dern ) are given a chance to tour backing up a young English punk band The Looters (featuring Paul Cook and Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols,Paul Simonen of The Clash, and a surprisingly thin Ray Winstone) and an old washed up heavy metal band The Metal Corpses. They’re driven from one dingy show to the next by affable Rastafarian, Lawnboy, on a bus which on a good day might be held together with duct tape.
When the Stains new song ‘I’m a waste of time’ ends up garnering more attention than the veteran bands that took them in, everyone wants a piece of their next move. A next move that may be hard to come by from three girls with such limited life experience.
This isn’t an Oscar winner by any means, but it does have a certain charm to it. The performances seem to come off without a sense of self awareness. Seeing three punk legends just after the crash of punk mix it up with several up and coming actors, well that’s a god damn piece of time right there. Without revealing any spoilers, several social trends are conspicuously revealed before they actually took place in our real world. You may notice some similarities between The Stains and 2010’s The Runaways, but outside of Michael Shannon’s fun performance, The Runaways is just a bright, shiny, forgettable movie. The Stains display of culture and character will stick with you even though the pace and visual imagery may not be up 21st century standards.
Ladies and Gentlemen The Fabulous Stains had a very limited release in 1982 and has never been available on vhs or dvd due to so many reasons, that the amount of questionable tit on display is probably the least of the studio’s worries. Viewing this has been hit or miss, receiving brief play on late night cable and art house/ film festival revivals. All of that and the right word of mouth has only added to it’s cult status.
You can have a Super Bowl party if you want, but it’d be a whole lot cooler if set your projector to The Fabulous Stains.