Movie: "Streets of Fire"
Year: 1984
Rated: R
Genre: Action / Adventure
Directed by: Walter Hill
Writing credits: Larry Gross

Reviewer: Dr. Boogie
Posted: 3/10/2008

Plot: Bikers kidnap singer! Waitress summons her mercenary brother! Hilarity ensues!

Review: Diane Lane, Willem Dafoe, Bill Paxton, and Ed Begley Jr.! It sounds like the lineup to a blockbuster movie. Nothing could be further from the truth, however. Long before any of them had achieved real fame, they all appeared together in a movie that would bring them more fame than infamy, a little movie called Streets of Fire.

Diane Lane plays Ellen Aim, a singer who just happens to have caught the eye of effeminate biker psycho Raven Shaddock (Willem Dafoe), and he and his group of rowdies wind up kidnapping her in the middle of one of her shows. Luckily, her ex-boyfriend Tom Cody (Michael Paré) is back in town, and he's ready to put all his army training to use in order to save Ellen, for the $10 thousand her boyfriend Billy Fish (Rick Moranis is offering for the job.

It sounds like the formula for a pretty generic action film, right. Well truth be told, it's actually the formula for a pretty bad action film. Cheesy dialog, bad acting, and questionable costuming choices do not a successful movie make. At the same time, however, this movie has managed to successfully do what so many movies fail utterly to do: it's so bad that it's good.

Seriously, when you watch this movie and you see Michael Paré decide that "acting" means "do your best Stallone impression for 90 minutes," or you listen to Rick Moranis call people stupid and declare that undesirable locations are "the shits", or you catch a glimpse of Willem Dafoe in a black vinyl dress, that's just good fun. There are plenty of shitty movies out there, but only a handful have been crappy enough to crest that last shit mogul to become a classic bad movie.

If you haven't seen it before, I highly recommend you check out this "rock and roll fable". I'm sure that at the very least, you'll find it very Warriors-esque.

Overall rating: WholeWholeWholeHalf
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Freak Power
Mar 10th, 2008, 04:55 PM
A truly classic film filed under the "so sucky it's cool" Between that and the cheesy 80's music crammed in this confused "is it 1950 or 1984?" background made it great

That and the sledgehammer fight... IMO DaFoe established himself as a 'pshycho white guy' in this movie.
Pickled Patriarch
Mar 10th, 2008, 05:03 PM
Dr. Boogie and I were lucky enough to catch a midnight showing of this on Saturday and it was simply amazing. Rick Moranis calling women "skirts", Michael Paré slapping bad guys in the face, and of course... the impeccable facial expressions of Willem Dafoe. All that on top of a gritty looking set with a solid 80's soundtrack makes this for one hell of an unsung movie gem and it's a damned shame it didn't do well enough in the theaters so that they could complete the trilogy that was planned for it.
James Brown in hiding
Mar 10th, 2008, 09:05 PM
Yeah but dude, the Warriors kicked ass.
Mar 14th, 2008, 02:35 AM
Oh man, I love The Warriors.
Funky Dynamite
Mar 14th, 2008, 02:48 PM
That was an interesting movie, yes. I don't think I've ever seen a movie with that much homoerotic subtext before, or since.
Mar 20th, 2010, 12:23 AM
Streets of Fire was HUGE in Japan. Huge. It even got referenced in the blockbuster anime film Megazone 23 (which TOTALLY inspired the Matrix but got no credit.).