Detroit Rock City

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The year is 1978, disco might be king in society, but you will not see the members of the band, Mystery, Lex (Giuseppe Andrews), Trip (James DeBello), Hawk (Edward Furlong), or Jam (Sam Huntington) busting down any doors to get into Studio 54. These guys hate disco with a passion. They are all about the rock n roll and they are the most devoted fans of KISS. Well, about as devoted as four teens from Cleveland, Ohio can get, anyway. They have some issues when it comes to getting to see their favourite rock gods.

The first hurdle is the wall of Irish Catholic morality, and the guard is Jam’s mother, Mrs. Bruce (Lin Shaye). This chain-smoking, wine guzzling woman is convinced that KISS are servants of Satan, and she is going to make sure that her son is saved from the fire and damnation he’ll most likely be seeing when he dies for being a fan of this band. She is so against KISS, she has a church group called, MATMOK, Mothers Against the Music of KISS. When she finds out that Jam has tickets to see KISS in Detroit on fateful Friday morning, that is the day Mystery takes matters into their own hands. Mrs. Bruce burns the tickets, using them to light another of her many cigarettes, and the boys are devastated. Their one chance to see the greatest rock n roll show and party has just gone up in smoke at the hands of a madwoman. Not only that, Jam is to be transferred to a Catholic boarding school that day. It is up to Lex, Trip, and Hawk, not only to rescue Jam, but to find new tickets to their show.

Just a quick note… This is Musing’s 500th post!
What better way to mark it than with one of the rockin-est movies ever!

What Jam does not know, is that a very cute girl, Beth (Melanie Lynskey) that sits next to him in study hall has had a crush on him for years, and he is not only going to lose his concert, his freedom, but this sweet thing, because she is moving to Grand Rapids this weekend as well. During lunch, the remaining members of Mystery devise a plan to win tickets from radio station, WURP, to get four tickets, front-row center, backstage passes, to see KISS in Cobos Hall. They leave this up to the most inept member of the band, Trip. The boy has indulged in so many narcotics, it is amazing that he can function as well as he does. The fates have smiled evilly on Mystery, because not only does he win the tickets, he is so overjoyed that he hangs up, and runs off to tell his friends the great news. Ouch! Not so great news…

Then starts the adventure of a lifetime in only one night, a rescue mission to save Jam, a commute to Detroit, a run-in with some disco freaks, and once they find out about Trip’s screw up with the radio station, various ways to scam their way into the show. These boys have some of the most mixed-up luck, it is pretty amazing to see how it all plays out. From getting busted by Mrs. Bruce, to entering a male stripper contest to earn money to pay a scalper for some hot tickets and more, Mystery may have more chutzpah than the band they are trying to see.

If you remember the days when disco might have been king, but hard and glam rock were emperor, and want to kick back with some jammin tunes in a fun, fast-paced movie, then pop this DVD into your Playstation tonight, and turn it up. This movie was meant to be played loud, and the music, featuring Thin Lizzy, Van Halen, Blue Oyster Cult, and of course, KISS, just can’t get any better. It might not be the best rock n roll movie out there, but it good fun, and worth more than one viewing. Flip open so beers, and let the good times roll with Detroit Rock City.

I give this film a Musing review of ★★★★☆☆