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USA 2004
Directed by
Victory Tischler-Blue
110 minutes
Rated M

3.5 stars

Edgeplay - A Film About The Runaways

Are there any happy rock documentaries?.It seems that although everyone dreams of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, the reality isn’t all it's cracked up to be. Like End Of The Century, the 2003 documentary about The Ramones,  to which this behind-the-scenes story of teenaged 70's femme-rockers, The Runaways, who at one time during their career.supported the "gabba-gabba-hey" boys, is a suitable companion piece, Edgeplay is pretty much all about youthful dreams turning to misery in a welter of drugs and endless crummy motel rooms on the road to nowhere whilst backstage, their "manager"gives then a right royal bilking.

Made by Victory Tischler-Blue who played bass in the latter days of the band as Vicki Blue (and who also appeared in the 1984 classic rock mocumentary,This Is Spinal Tap), the documentary, which assembles most of the band members with the exception of Joan Jett is an informative and quite honest, if clearly not entirely candid (the five and a half minutes of outtakes following the end credits are revealing in this respect), account of the band's 5 year history under the tutelage of their Svengali-like manager/promoter/exploiter Kim Fowley. Although there is is some archival footage it it largely the girls (all now feisty middle-aged women) telling their own story, from their 1975 inception to their sad and sorry dissolution in 1980.

Although The Runaways were no great shakes musically (only one song is featured in its entirety), they were pioneers in the all-girl rock band stakes (although preceded by a good decade by New York rocker Genya Ravan’s all-girl pop group Goldie and The Gingerbreads) and for anyone with an interest in rock history this is certainly worth the time. My only frustration is that it would be nice to know what the ladies are doing now. BH

FYI: The Runaways are the subject of an upcoming film of the same name with Dakota Fanning playing the part of lead singer Cherie Curie on whose memoirs the film is based.

DVD Extras: a six-minute montage of behind-the-scenes footage and three promotional trailers.

Available from: Shock Entertainment




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