Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains

Director: Lou Adler
Year Released: 1981
Rating: 0.5

Following the death of her mother, Diane Lane's wayward teen forms a band with two of her girlfriends (Laura Dern and Marin Kanter), gets a job as an opening act for Ray Winstone's slightly more competent punk group and eventually earns national notoriety and adoring fans - all this without knowing how to sing, write songs, play instruments, think, etc. Credibility is (of course) exceptionally strained here: even some of the crudest punk outfits (The Adverts, The Ramones) had memorable tracks and/or some kind of dynamic persona (like Joan Jett and Debbie Harry or even the ladies of Le Tigre), but The Stains lack stage presence, intellect and pizzazz, with Lane little more than a dolled up Lolita with one idea in her head that isn't explored ("Don't put out" she says ... yet she does). It's true America tends to get wrapped up in trends and in emulating vacuous pop stars, but this isn't the picture to explore that sort of hero-worship.