It’s nearly impossible to flip through TV channels or go to a karaoke bar without running into some remnant of Grease. The enduring appeal of the teenybopping musical spawned a knock-off sequel, a Broadway revival, and countless high school productions (not to mention setting the formula for countless teen flicks since).
The first-ever DVD offers plenty of perks, from the convenience of clicking straight to ”Summer Nights” (and past ”There Are Worse Things I Could Do”) to hearing those famous tunes in digitally remastered sound. But ”Grease” junkies will find the long-awaited special-features fix as flimsy as Kenickie’s condom.
There’s the original cheesy theatrical trailer and a songbook to help you sing along with the musical numbers (if you don’t have them memorized). But the coolest offering is the 17-minute retrospective documentary assembled for the film’s 20th-anniversary rerelease four years ago, in which you’ll learn and see some ”fun” new stuff. (In fact, the word ”fun” is repeated at least a dozen times in interviews with John Travolta and other cast members.) Stockard Channing reveals that costar Jeff Conaway insisted her character’s ”hickey from Kenickie” actually come from him, while Conaway pontificates about improvising his hug with Travolta as the T-Birds prepare for Thunder Road.
But ”Grease” fans have heard a lot of it before — like the yarn about Olivia Newton-John being sewn into her bad-girl pants. And when she recalls her screen test with Travolta, you can’t help but wish for a glimpse of that footage. At the very least, a commentary track would have given hopelessly devoted fans a new perspective on an old favorite.
There are worse things you could do than check out the kitschy classic on DVD. But it may leave you saying ”Tell me more.”