Can’t Stop the Music


No, you can’t stop the music and there’s also a good chance you won’t be able to stop the laughter when this gigantic, gyrating, glitter-dusted ode to dirty dancing, disco decadence and dudes hanging out at the YMCA works you over like a Village Person gone wild!
Intended to be “The Movie Musical Event of the ‘80s!”, the whacked out disco disaster Can’t Stop the Music instead ended up driving the final, coke spoon-shaped nail into the coffin of the disco movie genre in particular, and maybe even the entire late ‘70s disco boom in general. Envisioned as a cinematic vehicle for the mega-popular, mega-campy music group The Village People, Can’t Stop the Music (produced by infamous movie producer Allan Carr, who also gave the world the original Grease, as well as a string of notorious turkeys including Grease 2 and Where the Boys Are ’84) is a truly insane musical/comedy/work out video that seems like it was beamed down from another planet … a planet populated entirely by macho men in jeans shorts, loose women in spandex onesies and a whole lot of hilarious camp subtext. From the opening credits, in which a young Steve Guttenberg blissfully roller skates through Times Square to the over-the-top finale, in which the Village People gyrate wildly on stage for hundreds of squealing disco fans being blasted by confetti cannons, this may be the ultimate mash note to ‘70s disco excess.
Guttenberg plays an aspiring music composer just itching to get his hot dance tunes out to the public. Trouble is, he’s broke, so naturally he hooks up with a glamorous high fashion model (Valerie Perrine) and a rich uptight lawyer with a hidden wild streak (’70 Olympian Bruce Jenner, looking more than a little confused), and together they mold a group of “super straight” West Village dudes into the successful singing group known as The Village People – and these questionably macho men are ready, willing and able to take his tunes straight to the top of the charts! Filled with such unbelievable camp moments as a ridiculous production number devoted to the love of milkshakes (featuring the Village People slurping frosty shakes while decked out in white leather bondage gear and chanting “Do the Shake, Do the Shake, Do the Milkshake!”) and a classic bad movie montage featuring an all-male chorus working it out to the hit song “YMCA,” this mesmerizing train wreck of a film, which did NOT launch the ‘80s in a particularly successful direction, is a “must-see” for any lover of camp cinema. (Nancy Walker, 1980, USA, 124 mins., Rated PG) Digital