Sunday, June 21, 2015

Scenes from the Goldmine (Marc Rocco, 1987)

Do we really need another movie to tell us that the music industry is full of assholes? Since I'm the only one here at the moment, I'll go ahead and answer that question myself. No, we do not. We do, however, need more movies that star the amazing Catherine Mary Stewart, an actress who you might know from Night of the Comet, Nightflyers, Dudes, etc... Oh, and The Apple! (God, how could I forget The Apple?) And Scenes from the Goldmine provides us with more C.M.S. than all those other movies combined. (Even more than The Apple?) Oh, you better believe it. This film is the ultimate C.M.S. experience. Sure, it's premise is basically this: The music industry sucks. But nothing is gonna stop me from enjoying the sight of Catherine Mary Stewart playing keyboards in winklepicklers alongside... (Wait a second. Did you just say, winklepickers?) Yeah, so? (How are you so calm right now?) Trust me, I'm not calm. In fact, my mind is racing like a cocaine-fueled tornado. When the camera zooms in on Catherine's multi-buckle winklepickers while her band was jamming at a local bar at their rehearsal space, I had to stop watching for a minute, as my psyche suddenly found itself inundated with pure, pointy-footed pleasure.

As far as I'm concerned, there's no other type of footwear on the planet that brings me more joy than winklepickers. Okay, creepers make me smile as well. But when it comes right down to it, I'm a winklepicker man through and through. Always have been, always will be.

Of course, I own pair of winklepickers myself. Unfortunately, due to financial constraints, I could only afford a pair of winklepickers that sport two buckles. Don't feel too sorry for me, my two buckle winklepickers and I have had some pretty good times together. It's just that I feel that I could have had an even better time if my winklepickers had more buckles.

Anyway, what caused me to react so intensely to the sight of Catherine Mary Stewart's winklepickers was the fact that they had [are you sitting down?] six(!) buckles (that's a total of twelve all-together). When I would dream about owning a pair of winklepickers that had more than two buckles, I would usually stop at four buckles. So, as you might expect, the sight of C.M.S. wearing a pair with six... (Yeah, yeah, you like pointy, goth-friendly footwear.) You don't understand, they're very important to me.

Besides, I'm sure everyone would rather listen to me bather on and on about winklepickers, than listen to me describe the plot of this toothless jab at the music industry. Yes, people who work for record labels are terrible human beings. We get it.

While it's true, the film, written and directed by Marc Rocco, does cover a lot of familiar territory, it does have a few nice twists here and there. The biggest one being that Niles Dresden (Cameron Dye) of Niles Dresden and The Pieces is just as big of a phoney as the music execs.

To an outsider, the red flags should have started waving immediately. But I guess Debi DiAngelo (Catherine Mary Stewart) was too awestruck by Niles' mega-mullet to think clearly. I mean, the way Niles and the boys, Dennis Lameraux (Timothy B. Schmidt) on bass, and Kenny Bond (John Ford Coley) on drums, fired Stephanie (Pamela Springsteen), their previous keyboard player, should have sent alarm bells ringing in Debi's head. But like I said, his mega-mullet is pretty persuasive.

I know, how can an overgrown clump of hair cause someone to lose touch with reality? It's simple, really, the clump in question is flowing from the back of the head attached to Cameron Dye (Valley Girl), a man whose sharp bone structure could moisten even the most obdurate of panties.

Of course, I don't mean to imply that Debi's new wave panties are soaking wet after successfully auditioning to be the band's new keyboard player. I'm just saying her judgment must have been hampered somewhat. As the quote that opens the film says, "A good girl falls for a wild one every time."

Now that Debi is a fully-fledged member of the Pieces, Harry (Steve Railsback, Lifeforce), the band's manager and Niles' brother, get them a gig at a local club, where Manny Ricci (Joe Pantoliano), an artists and repertoire man for Rush Records, will apparently be in attendance.

Even though the song they play, "Listen To My Heartbeat," is a non-threatening slab of banal mid-80s pop rock if I ever heard one, the band still manages to impress Manny, who tells them to basically keep at it.

After having dinner with her drug addict brother and her disapproving parents (her father, played by Alex Rocco, doesn't like the fact that his daughter is performing at clubs with names like, "The Lingerie"), Debi hangs out at the beach with Dana (Jewel Shepard), her best friend/roommate. It wasn't until near the end of the movie that I realized that Debi's pal was played by Jewel Shepard. I blame the director for this, as he seemed to like to shoot everyone, except for the two leads, from afar; the same goes for Lee Ving, who plays an eccentric music video director.

Taking Manny's advice to keep at it, Niles and the Pieces perform "I Was Just Asking" at their rehearsal space. On top of being my favourite song in the movie, this is the sequence where we first see Catherine Mary Stewart in her six buckle winkpicklers.

In a weird twist, Catherine's winklepickers get more close-ups than both Jewel Shepard and Lee Ving combined.

Speaking of weird twists, the decision to feature three bands performing covers of "Twist and Shout" during Niles and Debi's club crawl courtship sequence was the film's most interesting from a stylistic point of view. Of course, the version I liked the most was the robo-synth one by James House's Roberto Roberto.

Now, I don't want to say too much about what happens after Niles and Debi eventually become a couple. Though, I will say this, Debi should have never shown Niles her giant binder of songs. Seriously, that was a bad decision (you'll see why). But I like said earlier, it's hard to say no to a fully-mulleted Cameron Dye... he's a wild one.

Even though you'd be probably better off watching Ladies and Gentlemen... The Fabulous Stains, Breaking Glass, or even Eddie and the Cruisers, if you're a fan of Catherine Mary Stewart (who does all her own singing), music movies, winklepickers and zebra print, you should probably check this film out. If you can find it (there's hardly any information about this film on the interweb).


  1. This question is about the 2 images you have displayed as a banner on the website. What films do they belong to? The two girls sitting down in bikinis and the other image of the girl sticking her tongue out toward the wall with a tongue?

    1. Bikinis: Daises (1966)

      Wall tongue: Dr. Caligari (1989)

  2. I am a fan of Scenes from the Goldmine, and yep there is a lack of info on in on the web... but Jewel Shepard wrote a few thing about it in one of her books. She said that a huge chunk of her scripted part was left out of the final film... also I think that Melissa Etheridge wrote the song Lonely Dancer.... I for one want a bluray of this paired with The Running Kind from scream factory or someone like that...

    1. I did a search for "Scenes from the Goldmine" on tumblr and was shocked by the lack of results I got. No GIFs, no posters, no screencaps, no nothing.

      I can understand leaving out certain scenes to tighten things up, but to not give Jewel Shepard a close up?!? Outrageous! ;)

      I've had The Runnin' Kind on my "to watch list" for donkey's years.

    2. Hi, I will give you some interesting facts about this film. My name is Kim and I lived in the house where they filmed the record producer party (with the white lights). They saw our house, paid my Mom $2400 to film there over three days and that was it. I was off to veterinary school so..awhile later I asked her about it and she thought it never made it!

    3. Hi Yum Yum,
      The producer party scene was filmed at my house. They paid my Mom $800/day for three days, strung lights all over, and asked us to wear white. I was on my way to live in the Caribbean for veterinary school. When I asked my Mom later, she was under the impression that those scenes ended up on the cutting room floor.....

  3. As I recall (it's been years since I read Jewel Shepard 's book: If I'm So Famous, How Come Nobody's Ever Heard of Me) she seemed to think that her story line was dropped because she wouldn't sleep with the director..

    the poster for the film is pretty bad (I have a copy of it from the early days of ebay... god did I just say that??) it's got some model with a guitar who is not even in the film... I kinda wish that someone would do a new poster for it..

    the Running Kinda isn't a great film but it's a fun film with a bit of heart and a nice message about not letting yourself get stuck with the life your family expects.. I think it's well worth a look and there is some great late 80s LA fashion in the film...