When I worked at BookPeople in Austin, Texas, we used to play a game entitled “Count the Ramones T-Shirts”. My personal best was 25 separate shirts in one day. I love the Ramones. I hate Ramones t-shirts. Especially on people younger than I am. Especially on people younger than some of my tee shirts. Especially on people who think that Rock ‘N’ Roll High School is only a song. Rock ‘N’ Roll High School is so much more than a SONG. It’s only the GREATEST MOVIE EVER MADE YOU PRETENTIOUS YOUNG WHIPPERSNAPPERS! Now GET OFF MY LAWN!!!!
*Achem*, yes, well, I would like to present to you with my top 10 reasons why the above statement is not so much opinion as irrefutable truth:
10. Riff Randall
She’s half rockstar, half cheerleader, half gutter punk, and half Kimmy Gibbler, and my own personal hero. Growing up, I wanted to be her. I wanted to wear leotards without irony and sleep in line for Ramones tickets. I wanted to become an honorary Ramone and have inexplicable costume changes while we chaotically run around the school and then burn it to the ground. I guess what I’m saying is, I love you Riff Randall. And I blame you for my fashion sense.
9. Clint Howard
Have you seen a Ron Howard film? Yes, you have. Admit it. Then you’ve seen his brother, Clint. He’s the ultimate character actor. But let’s face it, his turn in RnRHS is probably the best. Who else could pull off the enterprising yet somehow charming and well-meaning asshole that is Eaglebauer? NO ONE. That’s who.
8. The Hall Monitor Nazi Bike
When this thing shows up, I fully expect Indiana Jones to show up and clothesline the hell out of these weird, misogynistic, creepy, touchy feely crap bags. I mean, these fools molest at least three separate women in this movie, and you just KNOW they’re getting some weird side action from Togar in the science lab. Don’t you want Indy to show up and Last Crusade their asses? Because I do.
7. Rock ‘N’ Roll High School Forever
Ok, bear with me. The 1991 sequel to Rock ‘N’ Roll High School is not as terrible as you think it is. It’s worse. I mean, really, just god awful. But so much so that the very fact that this thing EXISTS sort of rocks. We all like a good Corey Feldman shit storm, and this is like Grease 2 without the charm. Yeah, you heard me. I still love it, though.
Also, side note, the actor who plays Eaglebauer in RnRHSF, while not up to the glittering standards set by Clint Howard, is none other than Michael Cerveris. While Cerveris is an accomplished Broadway actor, you probably know him as the omnipresent Observer from Fringe. Which just sort of adds to this film’s awful awesomeness.
4. Pizza Porn
There is an overabundance of pizza in this movie. And references to pizza. And references to Joey Ramone eating pizza and….omfg I love pizza.
Riff Randell: I like Joey Ramone because he’s tall and handsome. He looks like a poem to me.
Kate Rambeau: A poem?
RR: All he eats is pizza. I just love the way he, he just holds the pizza dripping above his mouth. He just slithers and slides it into his mouth and it’s so sexy the way it’s.
Dee Dee: Hey, pizza! It’s great! Let’s dig in!
Now I’m hungry.
3. The Mice
In some of the more “herbal-inspired” moments of the film, a giant mouse shows up to the Ramones show at the Rockatorium. There is no mention of there being a giant mouse with a leather jacket at the show. Later, the mouse’s mom (complete with hair rollers and an apron) shows up at the school. And let’s not even get into the exploding mice. And Togar’s complete and utter disregard for a mouse’s safety (or the wrath of PETA) in the science lab. The punk rock RUOS’s push this movie from simply “awesome”, into the stratosphere of “Things that I absolutely need to watch RIGHT NOW”.
The pimp van to end all pimp vans. How does it have a phone? Where did they get all that shag? How do you install a mirror on the roof of a conversion van? Why didn’t this inspire more Eaglebaur/Tom Roberts slash fiction? WHY DO I NOT OWN THIS VEHICLE??? WHY GOD WHY??
1. The Lip/Guitar/Bass/Drum Syncing
I wish I had an image to properly illustrate how ridiculously amazing the music syncing in this film is. I don’t. So I’m using a Simpsons screengrab. Deal with it. But you need to go back and re-watch this film and notice how incredibly off the singing is. Sometimes it’s as if Joey is singing a completely different song. Dee Dee and Johnny’s instruments are plugged into NOTHING (possibly the same magical 1979 wireless power source that fuels the phone in WARLOCK). Also, note that they recorded stick clicks for the scene where Marky doesn’t have drums and only has sticks. I’ll say it again: THEY RECORDED CLICK STICKS. They DUBBED Marky Ramone hitting TWO STICKS TOGETHER.
Thank you, and good day.