PSYCHOTRONIC VIDEO GUIDE
By Michael J. Weldon
DESPERATE TEENAGE LOVE DOLLS (We Got Power Films 1984) P/D/S... Dave Markey, P/S/act Jordan Schwartz, S/star Jennifer Schwartz
The success of this hour long do it yourself 8mm to video tape classic was the inspiration for TWISTED ISSUES, ROCK AND ROLL MOBSTER GIRLS and other local rock movies. Although it's one of the cheapest (the original cost was said to be $250.00!), LOVEDOLLS has more spirit, better music, and is funnier than the others. Filmed in and near Hollywood, this is the story of the rise and fall of Bunny (Hilary Rubens), Kitty (Jennifer Schwartz, the producers sister) and Patch (Janet Housden), a likeable female gang/rock group who record a hit single ("Come On Up To Me"), but end up killing several people. An original member, Alexandria (Kim Pilkington) escapes from a mental hospital after killing her doctor with a a guitar, starts shooting up and has to be replaced. Kitty's mother (played by the producer, who also was the doctor) says "I try to be a mother and father to you!". Her rebellious daughter answers, "Well go fuck yourself then!". The She Devils, a murdering rival gang led by Tanya Hearst (Tracy Lea) causes trouble, and the Love Dolls drug their sleazy manager (Steve McDonald of Redd Kross), who has a bad trip and is attacked by Felix the cat. The original soundtrack apparently included lots of actual famous records by Blue Cheer, Sweet, The Seeds and others. Nobody bothered to pay the rights to use them so the records were replaced by other new songs (or cover versions), but many of the familiar original intros remain, a great disorienting (accidental) concept. A soundtrack album (on Sympathy For The Record Industry) features Redd Kross (their theme song is a classic!) who also back the Lovedolls, Black Flag and others.
DOLLS SUPERSTAR (We Got Power Films 1986)
In this welcome sequel, the Lovedolls reform and "climb back from the bottom", Tracy Lea shows up as the mother of Tanya, who was killed in the first film, and Steve McDonald (of Redd Kross) as a "freedom school" hippy shows up to avenge the death of his brother. Plotwise, things gets a lot more out there than in DESPERATE TEENAGE LOVEDOLLS. Bunny returns as a ghost, Alexandria is a hooker, Bruce Springsteen is assassinated by a guy possessed by a Kiss doll(!), Patch starts a new religion, and the Lovedolls massacre their own fans Jonestown style (at Bronson Canyon, used in ROBOT MONSTER, IT CONQUERED THE WORLD and countless other movies), then head for outer space! There's also a funny hard core punk band take-off. The SST soundtrack uses the same great groups again plus Sonic Youth and others. Any rock movie that mixes references to Billy Jack, Manson, and Jim Jones is alright with me, even though I liked the original better. How about part three?