“Ow, doc, I can barely walk”
“What’s wrong, son?”
“I don’t know. I was trying to teach a bunch of small town kids the joys or rock’n’roll, rebellion and dancing like there’s no tomorrow. But suddenly my feet started to feel all wobbly, and now I can hardly walk at all.”
“You’ve got loose feet. I recommend 6 months of physical therapy.”
In 1984 a movie, song and dance sensation swept the country, with a little film called Footloose. No, Footloose isn’t another name for juvenile arthritis, but I can’t quite tell you what it is either. Only Kenny Loggins knows, but I’m sure it’s something good.
Today marks the films 27.5th anniversary, and to celebrate Three Dollar Bill OUTDOOR Cinema will screen it for free at Cal Anderson Park at 8:30 pm. The movie, starring Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer and John Lithgow, debuted at a very post-MTV time when Hollywood studios were keen to produce very music-oriented films, featuring extended video-like dance sequences and contemporary pop music. Very Flash Dance.
The premise is total cheese. A big city kid moves to a tiny mid-west (Utah?) town where dancing and rock music are forbidden by the town’s zealous religious leader, and the kid teaches the rest of the kids to dance. What sticks though is that in the absence of dancing and rock music, the townies aren’t just bored, they’re bad. Real bad–sluttin’, fightin’, boozin’ and playing tractor chickn. The lead girl, Ariel (Lori Singer) plays chicken with an on-coming semi while stradling two cars. It’s terrifying, and one of the films most memorable scenes. There’s a dark-side to this small rural town, and it’s a reminder how horrible small town people can be.
Flash forward to 2011, when every good movie (and some bad ones too) must get remade, because the studios have run out of ideas. Thus Footloose 2011 arrives on big screens in October. The trailer was just released:
How did the cast from Honey end up in middle-of-nowhere Utah? Also,
Randy DENNIS Quaid is more of a DILF than a religious bigot like John Lithgow. It looks like his character will get more depth in this version, but I’ll miss the anti-fundamentalist message of the original.
For comparison check out the original trailer (or what it will be called from now on Footloose 1984):
Now, that is a movie that you want to see! Playing tonight, Cal Anderson Park. Bring a blanket. Free bum-boxes. Come say hi, I’ll be working the concession stand.
Ryan Hicks is Development Manager for Three Dollar Bill Cinema, a film fan, and contributor to Seattle Gay Scene.