Saturday, June 3, 2017

Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo

Turbo's dance moves


***
Too often I resort to “well, it was of its time” when talking about, particularly, 80s films. But that is what makes the revisits so special. Yes, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo (1984) is of its time, and I’m glad of the chance for those of us who grew up with it to return and revel in its delights. The breakdance culture has never died, I don’t care what those who critique it say. I can see it living and breathing with great fire even today. In popular culture, in dance and music, breakdance has endured. As a kid, I knew of Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo from HBO. I was introduced to this vibrant, electric, enthusiastic, energetic form of expression in dance and music that allowed “those street kids”, the urban youth, to voice their talents in amazing ways. I dug their expression. And I dug the graffiti and music. The music has most certainly not went away as some forgotten fad. Graffiti might have been doomed as a crime—but what an illegal expression! I remember just staring at train cars as a youth, transfixed with the graffiti expression of those who left their “mark”. Of course this form of expression was earmarked as destruction of property. But there was just something cool to me about the idea that a graffiti artist left his mark on a train car that would find its way many, many miles away.


Din Dada

Breakin’ 2 concerns itself with a rec center, not as open to a larger distance or scope as the first film. Kids wanting a place to congregate, in a positive atmosphere without the influence of crime; the rec center could provide a positive experience for the youth of the day. The rec center, however, was headquartered in a structural hazard, with $250,000 needed to renovate it. The “villains” of the film are greedy white guys. The father of Lucinda Dickey wants her to marry a lawyer, go to Princeton, and give up her “silly hobby” of dancing. Her dancing had actually landed her, after an audition goes well, a part in Paris. The “pesky” ‘save the rec center’ operation plans to deter all of that if Dickey decides to help out her pals, Ozone (Shabba-Doo) and Turbo (Boogaloo Shrimp). Dickey’s Kelly is from white privilege and there’s even a comment from her mom to her griping dad about how she at least wasn’t continuing to hang around those “street people”. I kid you not, this was actual dialogue! Kelly, though, loves Ozone, Turbo, and their family of breakdancing youth, always drawn to them, particularly won over by an older mentor of them all, the rec operations manager, Byron (the wonderful Harry Caesar). Byron has the support of the youth because he has taught them all the meaning of responsibility, working together, and helping each other. A role model, Byron will obviously achieve the impossible dream…but not without Daddy Warbucks and his checkbook. Yes, that is what I immediately joked aloud to those watching this with me. I would have kind of liked it had these kids urged major donors in their own community and those similar to them (and perhaps those who are from the community that were successful) rescue the rec center than Kelly’s dad, having this change of heart when he realizes his girl had contributed to something more meaningful. The clash of Ozone and Turbo with Kelly’s affluent world during a dinner invite had me in ribbons, but this is handled in a non-confrontational manner, not to truly assert the inequality in classes as much as how hip the kids are in comparison to the square rich folks. It is asserting that Dickey’s attraction to Ozone and Turbo’s world makes sense…the expectations of wealth are passed onto Kelly by her dad and she resists treading a path similar to him. She prefers to follow Ozone and Turbo because they practice non-stop dance and beat, totally in line with what appeals to her the most. Meanwhile the other “villains” of the film is a land developer and those on the city council wanting to bulldoze the rec center in favor of a shopping mall. Breakdance and awareness with the kids out and about to raise the proper funding, and just resistance itself, stands in the way of “progress” as land developing greed plans to seize upon “decaying property”. Therein lies the plot which serves as a skeleton for all the beat and break that surges athletic dance and highly performed choreography. No matter how one sees the styles and dress of those involved—how 80s this all is—I think it is impossible to not notice the influence that is everlasting. A Beyonce concert or a Madonna tour, the sheer number of pop/hip hop artists with background dancers that hit multiple cities and countries; take a gander at Breakin’ 2 and compare. Take notes.

The film goes off script on different tangents that break from realism, such as Turbo breakdancing upside down inside of his pad, up the walls and on the ceiling. The entire breakdancing sequences with hot nurses joining Ozone and the gang inside the hospital. The use of nun-chucks and garbage lids (as shields!) in a breakdance imitation fight as Ozone’s gang are at odds with “Electro Rock”. And there is the inclusion of a love triangle as Rhonda (Susie Coelho), mincing no words, charges Kelly to stay away from her man…that man, according to her, being Ozone. Ice-T raps, the kids stand in the way of bulldozers, and a news crew insert themselves into the mix by drawing attention to Ozone’s cause for the rec center. The connection to A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) is neat considering it was the same year the movie was made and provides Turbo with his “whack” dance number, completely giving the film a detour into the surreal.

This film doesn’t dare allow the plot to overwhelm what its chief goal is: to spotlight what was hot at the time and give breakdancing and its music center stage. The choreography is always handled with spirit and vitality. You don’t have folks participating that aren’t fully able to give breakdancing an allure and style, further motivating its appeal to a wider audience. The Cannon attachment will always give the two films extra punch when those who came after my generation might desire to study and research, out of curiosity, what was released when we were kids. A cult now follows Cannon, and its recent documentary might bring a new appeal to the films released by them, Golan-Globus. Ahh, yes, those were the days.

It was fun researching Dickey's small resume. She was in a couple films I thoroughly enjoy that are also so wonderfully 80s: Ninja III: The Domination (1984) and Cheerleader Camp (1988), both cult films in their own right. She decided to not pursue a career out of the 80s which kind of surprises me considering how talented she obviously was. I guess I was indeed expecting more cult films starring her, but alas...

Adolfo Quinones and Michael Chambers are both, right now, making breakdance films, much to my delight. I can only imagine what each artist will bring to their respective properties. A new generation of dancers might just take what they can give and incorporate the moves into dance updated for a 2017/18 audience. Step-Up and its films are obviously not immune to what Breakin' had brought to pop culture.

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Dexter - Seeing Red

Sure enough, Pellegrino pops up yet again, as Rita's loathsome, trouble-making ex. Tonight's episode presented Dexter with yet anoth...

Ahs

Ahs

Edc

Edc
Blog's Dead all Over
"... perhaps we invent artificial terrors to cope with the real ones."

--host, Donald Pleasence, Terror in the Aisles (1984)

Sbut

Sbut
Snip. Snip

Hal

Hal
There are many things under the sun
---Dr. Werdegast, The Black Cat

hal1

It's Halloween, everyone's entitled to one good scare.

Jtm 2

Jtm 2

Rave

Rave

Mrub

Mrub

Gb

"Back off, man. I'm a scientist."

--Ghostbusters

sm6

sm6

Rv1

Rv1

Nas

Nas

nos3

nos3

Lok

Lok

Po

Po

Ra6

Ra6

dawn

dawn

Dracula's Daughter ('36)

Countess Zaleska: Be thou exorcised oh Dracula, and thy body long undead find destruction throughout eternity in the name of thy dark unholy Master.

mh2

mh2

z2

z2

Hiii

Hiii

Fred

Fred

Ghspo

Ghspo
Movie, so-so, but poster, cool

Enl

Enl

nos4

nos4

gm

To a new world of gods and monsters!


No 2

No 2
Jason Lives

clothes line

clothes line

Ahorr

Ahorr

Cbi1

Cbi1
Case of the bloody iris

Wsha

Wsha

Mouth3

Mouth3
In the Mouth of Madness

Fdfn2

Fdfn2
Freddy's Dead '91

Vyr

Vyr
Vampyres 1974

Sh fr

Sh fr
Friday the 13th Part 2

Vlov

Vlov
Carmilla's kiss

f133

f133

Edpos

Edpos

Ttf2

Ttf2

Jm2

Jm2
El Hombre Lobo

Psycho '60

It's sad, when a mother has to speak the words that condemn her own son. But I couldn't allow them to believe that I would commit murder. They'll put him away now, as I should have years ago. He was always bad, and in the end he intended to tell them I killed those girls and that man... as if I could do anything but just sit and stare, like one of his stuffed birds. They know I can't move a finger, and I won't. I'll just sit here and be quiet, just in case they do... suspect me. They're probably watching me. Well, let them. Let them see what kind of a person I am. I'm not even going to swat that fly. I hope they are watching... they'll see. They'll see and they'll know, and they'll say, "Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly..."

Kife

Kife
Knife is calling, Psycho 2

Meg

Meg
Meg Tilly, Psycho II

ring 2

ring 2
the ring 2002, "the tape"

poster

poster

exor1

exor1
"the visitor" The Exorcist (1973)

Conj

Conj

Tz1

Tz1
"Masks", Twilight Zone

In the kitchen, The Shape

In the kitchen, The Shape
In the kitchen, The Shape

exc4

exc4

Ps56

Ps56

Hun

Hun
Murders in the Rue Morgue 1932

Ps89

Ps89

Cof

Cof
Victor and Paul, with their Monster

pcushig

pcushig

His

His

Efny

Efny

sus

sus
I'm going to grind you down to blood and screams.

--Innocent Blood 1992
Rest in Peace, Robert Loggia

wb

Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.

WZ

WZ

Edfen

Edfen
"Do not enter the city...It belongs to the dead now."

h1

h1
Look behind you!

Bs

Bs
"There is no terror in the bang, only the anticipation of it."
--Alfred Hitchcock

linnea

linnea

Amer

Amer
Taste of metal

The h gang

The h gang

Nlc

Nlc
Old Skool Nostalgia

Hp

Hp

Smoke

Smoke
Got a smoke?

Strek

Strek
Live long and prosper

Hill

Hill

Castle

Castle

SRW

"This seems to be the place where the plot begins to thicken..."
--Spooks Run Wild (1941)

Frere and dummy

Frere and dummy

Mlove

Mlove

Alone/dark

"There are no crazy people, doctor. We're all just on vacation."

--Alone in the Dark (1982)

Lips

Lips

Fhz

Fhz

Ph

Ph

Vestron

Vestron
Vintage VHS

sm 3

sm 3

Monique parent

Monique parent
Erotique in Review

Were5

Were5

f13

f13
November 2015

Bmate

Bmate

--Wes Craven

I think there is something about the American dream, the sort of Disneyesque dream, if you will, of the beautifully trimmed front lawn, the white picket fence, mom and dad and their happy children, God-fearing and doing good whenever they can, and the flip side of it, the kind of anger and the sense of outrage that comes from discovering that that's not the truth of the matter, that gives American horror films, in some ways, kind of an additional rage.

Ms45 w

Ms45 w

Churcvh

Churcvh
The Church 1989

Ww

Ww
The Whip and the Body 1963

Lsho

"Now, no novacaine....it dulls the senses"

--Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

Christopher Lee

Every actor has to make terrible films from time to time, but the trick is never to be terrible in them.

Vampyros lesbos

You are one of us now. The Queen of the Night will bear you up on her black wings

The Unknown 1927

No....not sick. But I have lost some flesh.

Alonzo, the Armless.

Ckvh

Ckvh

Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969)

Glen: We'd like to speak to the Townsends, please.

The Butler: They are not available till after sunset.

Bw5

Bw5

Jill

Jill

Mad Love 1935

Doctor Gogol: Did you ever hear of Galatea?

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: Gala - who? Not wanting a statue of him, are you?

Doctor Gogol: I don't want a statue of Galatea. You see, she was a statue herself. Pygmalion formed her. Out of marble, not wax. And then she came to life in his arms.

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [calling to his assistant] Start the motor, Henry. There's queer people on the streets of Montmartre at this time of night.

Doctor Gogol: [handing him his card] Here, a hundred francs if you deliver the statue to my house.

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [reading card] It's a go, Dr. Go... gol. First thing in the morning.