Detroit Rock City
**** BM
Starring: Sam Huntington, James DeBello, Edward Furlong, Giuseppe Andrews, Shannon Tweed, Lin Shaye, KISS


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This movie is made in tribute to the kinda guys I used to hang out with occasionally - a little too late to really partake in the KISS heyday, but a healthy respect for them nonetheless, and really into stuff like Metallica and Iron Maiden. A bit reckless, never into high school popularity contests, didn't give a damn about 'hit radio,' had a confidence (sometimes overconfidence) in themselves that rarely hinged on anyone else's opinion... and were also kinda hairy and stinky and slovenly. This is their dream movie, which means you have to suspend a good hunk of disbelief to believe that Shannon Tweed would pay Edward Furlong for sex.

The story is this - four kids in a band called Mystery plan to go to a KISS concert (their holy grail) in Detroit from Cleveland without any sort of parental permission. Jam (Sam Huntington) is the well-meaning drummer with a psychotically holy mother (Lin Shaye), Trip (James De Bello) is a long-haired doofus rock 'n' roller, Hawk (Furlong) is the level-headed lead singer with stage-fright, and Lex (Giuseppe Andrews) is the guy whose mom has the car they're going to take to the show.

This is a full-length movie about four guys trying to go to a KISS concert. That's genius in itself.

The opening '1978' montage is also genius, and the film itself is chock full of stupid laughs, made even funnier by the fact that I could recognize that behavior instantly. The four split up in Detroit and have amazing adventures - stuff that'd never happen... EVER. But it's the DREAM, man... the DREAM movie. Nooky from nowhere, coincidental opportunities for extreme bravery, and even the all-important "anti-overzealous-parent" monologue... the standard "I wanna rock" declaration of independence. The way it should be.

You don't have to completely check your brain at the door, but this is big testosterone fest, basically, and as a member of the less-fair sex, I enjoyed it thoroughly. It's good to realize that stuff like AC/DC and Nazareth wasn't written with trailer trash in mind as the target audience. It was all originally done with the rock 'n' roll rebel spirit... a spirit that is always evident somewhere... and it's a whole lotta fun to live through.

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