Can't Stop the Music

Can’t Stop the Music (1980, Anchor Bay, 123 mins., PG, $19.98, also on DVD) Camp classics cannot be judged by the same criteria as “normal” cinema. While the success of most movies is based on inspiring a suspension of disbelief, great works of the camp genre succeed in their suspension of other qualities: namely, competence and good taste. Perhaps no film of the field shines brighter than the Village People’s Can’t Stop the Music, which strives for ridiculousness at every turn. What other film begins with over six minutes of Steve Guttenberg on roller skates? Where else can you see a male Olympic gold medalist (Bruce Jenner) in Daisy Dukes and a skintight cutoff tee? And you’d be hard-pressed to find another feature directed by the Bounty towel “quicker picker-upper” lady (Nancy Walker). Sure, it’s odd that in a movie about the creation of the Village People, we don’t even meet two of the members (Leatherman and G.I.) until over an hour in. And yes, Jenner does some of the worst athlete overacting on record, but he also gets mugged by a granny and has lasagna thrown on his crotch, so whaddya want? (Did we mention the Daisy Dukes?) Throw in a half-naked Oscar nominee (Valerie Perrine) and a why-wasn’t-it-a-hit song (the “Milk Shake,” whose lyrics are merely instructions for enjoying a killer ice-cream-based beverage) and you have all the bases covered. Young man, there’s no need to feel down, because this video gets a YMCADalton Ross

Can't Stop the Music
  • Movie
  • 118 minutes