DETROIT ROCK CITY (1999)

Detroit-Rock-City-1999-00-23-31

Directed By: Adam Rifkin
Written By: Carl V. Dupree
Cinematography By: John R. Leonetti
Editor: Mark Goldblatt & Peter Schink 


Cast: Eddie Furlong, Sam Huntington, Giuseppe Andrews, James DeBello, Lin Shaye, Natasha Lyonne, Melanie Lynskey, Emanuelle Chriqui, Joe Flaherty, Nick Scotti, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss, Lindy Booth, Ron Jeremy, Kevin Corrigan, Shannon Tweed, Steve Schirripa, Kristin Booth 


Four members of a high school band called Mystery do everything they can to attend a KISS concert in Detroit. In order to make it to the show they must steal, cheat, strip, deal with an anti-rock mom and generally do whatever it takes to see the band that has inspired them to be musicians.

I remember going to see this movie opening weekend. I was one of the few patrons the theater was empty that was fine to me more room to enjoy the film. Like my own screening room too bad for the movies box office which wasn’t good but has become more of a cult gem on dvd and streaming’s

I just remember as soon as the movie started it took me on a journey that felt like a rollercoaster. As it also felt like a town machine of sorts. Not only does it show a love for the band but saturated you in the time period. This feels more like a mad movie, just as the poster makes it looks like.

It grabs you as soon as it starts and the credit sequence really persisted you got the magnetized of what you are going to experience.

The movie moves swiftly but is edited tightly. So that it makes you feel like nothing is wasted no matter how much is stuffed into it.

It does feel like a film of that era or should have come out in that era. This film foes for the band KISS what ROCK N ROLL HIGH SCHOOL did for The Ramones, but maybe as it takes place from more a group of male fandom rather then female fans with a Crush . Kiss makes an appearance but are barely in it and come off more as rock gods then down to earth.

This is a movie if youth as the characters show a love and passion for what seems to be trivial but means so much to them. That they have based their lives and beliefs behind.

Each character matures and grows once they Separate from each other. Which kind of gives a preview that for all the time they have spent together. Soon they will Separate and grow up but will be ok without one another. So this is their last hurrah of youth and with one another. Learning to stand on their own.

This is essentially a Kiss fan film that is set in the 1970’s/80’s and could easily have been made in either decade. As even though it was made in more modern times it seems to run on a light nostalgic trip to those simpler times.

As much of the film’s inspiration and humor seems to be in trying to make a modern day ROCK N ROLL HIGH SCHOOL type movie only here offers a road trip movie. Where the characters run into all sorts of problems, situations and even some stereotypes. As the film lives up to it’s Poster art work and feels like a MAD magazine inspired comedy that is episodic leading to a goal. Where the film is more lighthearted, fun and full of energy.

It’s more an ensemble film where the characters while in a cover band together aren’t really all that cool. They are what most would consider burnouts. As they are more the school outcasts. As they are one in the beginning like a horror movie they soon split up and have their own adventures away from one another in trying to get either access to the concert or money to buy a ticket.

This is one of the last movies that made it into a theater that started Eddie Furlong. Who I was always a fan of. Though shockingly he’s not the scene stealers James DeBello is actually the one who is the most memorable and has the funniest scenes and best lines. Though furlong’s attempt at stripping is memorable.

The film lightly touches on the satanic panic of suburban parents who were convinced that by listening to rock music their children were being influenced by the devil. Though of course here like everything else it is played for laughs.

This is a strange kind of animal a teen film aimed at teens. Unfortunately it’s actually seems like it more would be enjoyed by adults who actually remember the band and the days which are portrayed. So that you may wonder who it matches more. As it’s too soft core for adults but might be a little to nostalgic for teens (unless they were hoping to get the television show THAT 70’S SHOW crowd at the time)

Either way Even though you could really replace kiss for certain members of the audience. As most will have a music star they would go through all this trouble just to see. As it is more a Mecca than just entertainment For them.

Though as with any product devoted to Kiss. While it is a must see for die hards. Anyone who enjoys more ridiculous teen films will enjoy this. Even though there isn’t as much sex, drugs and Rock n roll as one night hope for. As after all this movie was aimed to be marketed to more modern day teens. Which might be why it is more suggestive than shown.

While it is fun. I can’t say it’s too noteworthy. As it’s not that original and the jokes are familiar. Filled with gross jokes and the usual girl Crazy guys. It is actually light when it comes to the opposite sex.

It’s a wild ride

Grade: B-

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s