Tapeheads

1988, Movie, R, 97 mins

Review

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A wacky, high-energy satire of the music business, TAPEHEADS focuses on best pals Ivan Alexov (John Cusack) and Josh Tager (Tim Robbins) who are fired from their jobs as security guards and set up their own video production company. To pay the bills, they take a variety of taping jobs including a rap-style commercial for a local chicken-and-waffle emporium; a living will (a morbidly funny scene); a funeral; and a gala ball at the home of a fascist millionaire running for president (Clu Gulager). They get a chance to shoot a big-budget video for a fictitious heavy-metal band, and through a fluky disaster it becomes a hit. Meanwhile, the boys have accidentally taken possession of a private videotape belonging to the presidential hopeful, and now the Secret Service is after them. Former rock video director Bill Fishman crams more zany characters and off-beat subplots into his movie that you would think possible; the result is a sophomoric but occasionally hilarious outing, helped by good performances from the leads, a host of celebrity cameos, and a soundtrack that includes everything from Bo Diddley to The Ramones to a song, "Repave Amerika," from the right-wing folksinger-turned-politician character who would later get a film all to himself in BOB ROBERTS. leave a comment

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