GUEST POST by D.L. Richardson
It seems as though writers are getting good creating their own genres. We have Young Adult and that gave birth to a term genre of New Adult. First we had Steam Punk. Now we have genres such as Trench Punk, Diesel Punk, Atom Punk, Dark Punk. I’m making up my own genre too, only it’s a genre for movies that I call Punk Chick Flick.
I define Punk Chick Flick as movies for chicks with an edge. They either have a tragic ending or dark, disturbing content, or even lots of violence all in the name of love. These are not Disney-type boy meets girl, boy fights for girl, boy wins girl movies. They have an edge of truth, and degree of coming of age, great soundtracks, costumes, outfits, hair and/or fabulous looking actors, and sometimes drugs and violence but only for the sake of the story. They’re movies that a lot of guys do like, but on they’re still best loved by girls.
Here’s a list of my top six Punk Chick Flicks and the reasons why I have them sitting in this new genre.
Starring James Spader and Robert Downey Jnr. Morgan Hiller (James Spader) moves to Los Angeles and chooses the wrong girl Frankie, (Kim Richards, I remember her from the TV series Diff’rent Strokes) to have a crush on. Frankie is attached to Nick, the leader of a gang who drives a cool car. Nick doesn’t like Morgan pursuing Frankie and shows it by nearly running Morgan down with his car. Morgan and his friend (Robert Downey Jnr) then take on the whole gang in a warehouse fight (What is it with boys fighting over girls that we girls just love love love!). The movie was released in 1985, and I was 15 at the time. I so wanted to be Frankie because she had great hair and clothes.
Less Than Zero
Another one starring James Spader and Robert Downey Jnr. Well, I do love them both as actors. This movie was loosely based on a novel by Bret Easton Ellis. The film stars Andrew McCarthy as Clay, who returns home for Christmas to spend time with his ex-girlfriend Blair (Jami Gertz) and his friend Julian (Robert Downey, Jr.), who is a drug addict. James Spader plays a despicable character named Rip who deals drugs to Julian then forces him into prostitution to repay his debts. The film portrayed wealthy, decadent teenagers in Los Angeles. The book was released in 1985 and, although I haven’t read the book, it’s reported to be more sordid than the movie which was released in 1987. Many scenes were cut out so although the movie adaptation is tamed down, it’s still dark, disturbed and absolutely brilliant. The movie grossed 12 million US. The book sold 50,000 copies in its first year. The one thing I also love about this movie is the soundtrack. It features Poison, The Bangles, Joan Jett, Red Hot Chili Peppers, David Lee Roth, Roy Orbison. The Cult…it’s an awesome soundtrack, and awesome movie, and the book is on my To Read list.
Interesting fact: it was Robert Downey Jr’s 50th birthday the other week.
She’s cool. He’s hot. She’s from the Valley. He’s not. That’s the poster blurb for Valley Girl. Released in 1983, Nicolas Cage is very young in this movie. Nicolas Cage is Randy, a Hollywood Punk who crashes a party in the “Valley” and meets a Hollywood Girl, Julie. Randy isn’t liked by Julie’s friends, especially not by her Prom King boyfriend, Tommy. Randy does everything he can to convince Julie to dump Tommy. But Julie and Tommy are Prom Queen and King so what she do. Really, the prom is only a few days away. Fights ensue between Randy and Julie’s boyfriend Tommy at the prom, and Randy and Julie ride off into the night in a stretch limousine. The film grossed $1.8 million when it opened. The soundtrack is amazing with “I Melt With You” by Modern English, and a song by Josie Cotton titled “Johnny, Are You Queer?” that would probably never be allowed in any of today’s movies. The soundtrack was never actually released due to problems with licensing problems but Rhino Records did release a compilation of songs from the film in 1994. Technically it’s a romance comedy, but Nicolas Cage’s attempt at Punk helps push this movie across the line.
My husband watched this with me recently and he hated it. So by default this is a chick flick because he doesn’t do chick flicks. He’s missing out because the imagery in Francis Ford Coppola’s version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula is beautiful. The movie won Oscar awards for Best Costumes. What does it for me is the implication that we’ll meet our soul mate hundreds of years later and that we’ll do anything to protect that person, even if they are a vampire.
The casting is superb. I love Gary Oldman in this; he actually made me feel sorry for a vampire, something that even Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise in Interview With A Vampire couldn’t do. I loved Winona Ryder as Mina Murray. Sadie Frost got to wear amazing gowns. Opening weekend the movie grossed 30 million.
This is a true romance story with a lot of blood and a few liberties taken to present the story in this light.
Dracula is based on Bram Stoker's 1897 novel of the same name. The novel was adapted for this movie by American screenwriter James V. Hart. At the first "cast meeting" called by Francis Ford Coppola, he got all the principal actors to read the entire Bram Stoker novel out loud to get a feel for the story. According to Anthony Hopkins, it took two whole days to complete.
The idea of vampires being destroyed by sunlight is something that was invented by motion pictures, specifically Nosferatu (1922). It is not part of vampire folklore at all, and Bram Stoker's novel Dracula actually features at least one scene where the Count is seen in daylight hours. Original vampire lore said that vampires only became powerful after sundown; during the day, they would appear as normal people, when at night they would gain the supernatural abilities that were attributed to them. They were required to return to their graves or coffins filled with earth from their burial place, but this did not mean that they couldn't move about during the daylight hours if they had a reason for doing so. This film stays true to the original novel as far as that detail is concerned.
Interesting fact: Francis Ford Coppola, the director of Dracula, is the uncle of Nicholas Cage, the actor in Valley Girl.
Forget flowers and chocolates, when your man comes back from the dead to avenge your brutal death by causing more brutal deaths, as Brandon Lee’s character Eric Draven does in this movie, you know that’s a sign of true love. The Crow is the movie adaptation of the comic strip by James O’Barr. Sadly, Brandon Lee died during this movie when one of the guns firing blanks shot real bullets instead.
Many scenes required being filmed by a body double. According to IMDb, (International Movie Database) the following scenes were completed after Lee's death:
· Draven first enters the apartment after digging himself out of his grave. The effects team digitally added footage of Lee walking through an alley to a scene in which he walks through a doorway. They added drops of water to the door frame to explain the drops of water on Lee's back.
· Draven puts on make-up. The effects team added Lee's face to the reflection in the shards of the mirror.
· Draven walks to the window, with the crow on his shoulder. A body double played this scene. The effects team added Lee's face during lightning flashes.
· Sarah visits the apartment. A double plays the scene. We don't see Draven's face.
This is perhaps my favorite love story of all time. Released in 1994, this film is dedicated to Brandon Lee and Eliza. Eliza Hutton was Brandon’s fiancée. They were to have been married less than two weeks after the film wrapped.
I’m not sure if it’s this tragedy that makes this movie so special, and without it, would I wholeheartedly love it so much? I’m not sure. But it is a beautiful movie with a kick-ass soundtrack.
Light of Day
Whenever I am at a crossroads in my life, I seek counsel from the one thing that has constantly provided a shining light to guide me as I take a new direction. This light never shows me which way to go; I have to make that decision on my own. That light is my idol, Joan Jett. I was 12 when I Love Rock and Roll came out. Her music and her strength were then, and is still to this day, a source of inspiration for me. Her music picks me up.
It stands to reason that a film starring Joan Jett would make it to my top six list of Punk Chick Flicks. “Punk” because of the hard rock music, and “Chick Flick” because it shows the strength of a woman.
Light of Day is Joan Jett’s acting debut. The movie also stars Michael J Fox; in an attempt to portray a tougher character he ends up being the nice guy anyway. Jett and Fox are brother and sister, Patti and Joe Rasnick, who play in a rock band called The Barbusters. Patti, estranged from her parents and a single mother struggling to make ends meet, takes off when a real shot at a music career presents itself, leaving her brother, Joe, and Patti’s mom to raise her son. When Patti’s mom ends up in hospital, Patti comes home and they make amends.
The writer and director, Paul Schrader, originally had a working title Born in the USA. Schrader showed the script to Bruce Springsteen to make sure he had the details right about a blue-collar bar band. Springsteen ended up using the title for a song he had been writing about a Vietnam veteran. Bruce Springsteen wrote the title song "(Just Around the Corner to the) Light of Day" for the film. It was also the Barbusters' signature song. It gave the film its new title and it’s more suitable than Born in the USA. The director was quoted as saying that he wasn’t happy with the choice of Joan Jett in the role, but she is actually better in this movie than Fox is, who does not fit the rocker image at all.
I haven’t seen this movie for a while because I only have it on VHS and I don’t have a VHS player anymore. (Who does!) I guess I’d better track down a DVD version.
ABOUT THE BOOK
by DL Richardson
Ethan James, Florida Bowman, and Jake Inala are three teenagers who need organ transplants. When they receive the organs of deceased CIA agent, Dylan Black, they inadvertently take on the task of completing the mission Dylan died midway through, that of deactivating bacteria bombs threatening millions of lives. The teenagers are kidnapped by a man who believes in the theory of feedback, that information is retained in the memory of organs, in this case those of the dead CIA agent. And their captor will stop at nothing to get the information retained inside their bodies. With their lives under threat, the memories stored in the CIA agent’s mind begin to awaken within each of them, except the one piece of information they are abducted for - the location of the bombs.
Wanting to run and actually running were two different things. For many reasons. My legs were like concrete pylons, numb from sitting on the plastic chair for so long. The acrid perfume wafted toward me again like an invisible web, trapping me to the seat. Miss Redkins blocked my exit, and the incessant beep-beep-beep of her phone from texting the encyclopedia acted like a sensor alarm. I’d never liked the sense of being trapped.
I nudged Melanie, and she begrudgingly moved over half an inch. No amount of fresh air would appease me. I should be the one up on stage, not Katrina.
“Sit where you can watch me,” Katrina had demanded during breakfast this morning.
“She’s practiced real hard,” Mom had added, kissing Katrina on the cheek. “She’s always wanted to be a dancer like her big sister.”
The spotlight dimmed. I wanted to cheer and applaud Katrina’s tiny feet in first position, but my heart had sunk to somewhere stinkier than the bottom of the trash can.
I slid down into the chair. If I had to be stuck here, at least I’d attempt to shrink into myself. Hiding behind my fringe would have been a good option, except that clips held my hair on top of my head. I couldn’t lift up the collar of my school blazer. It hung in my locker. I might have used the collar of my white shirt to shield my face from the crowd, but that look was so last year. My final hope lay in covering my face with my hands, but I doubted I’d be able to stop the flow of tears if I did.
Why couldn’t Katrina have been born with a bad kidney? She’d be in the audience and I’d be the one up there on the stage.
But Katrina didn’t have a defective kidney. She had a tutu and a dance coach.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
D L Richardson writes speculative fiction. She currently has three young adult teen novels published and one short story anthology. Her first two YA novels The Bird With The Broken Wing and Feedback were best sellers and highest ranked YA fiction at OmniLit. Her third YA novel Little Red Gem was runner up on Paranormal Books Best Standalone YA book of 2013 and the book trailer was featured on USA Today website.
Upcoming works include Curious, a limited edition bundling of three YA novels, a serialized science fiction novel, Fear of Falling Further the second anthology of short stories, and Poison in the Pond, a novella adapted from of an unpublished novel written in 1996.
She lives in Australia on the south coast with her husband and dog.
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