Archive for National Lampoon

Great Soundtracks of 1980: Up The Academy

Posted in 1980s, films, Humour, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2013 by 80smetalman

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There is many a film out there where the film itself wasn’t up to much but it had a kick ass soundtrack. One I covered already with “The Last Waltz” although the film itself was a concert and there are more out there which will appear here. One such film from 1980 was the film from Mad Magazine called “Up The Academy.” One doesn’t need a college degree to figure out that Mad Magazine made this film in an attempt to cash in on the success of their rival National Lampoon whose film “Animal House” is one of the forever classics. Unfortunately, there is no comparison between the two films, “Animal House” wins hands down.

This is not to say that “Up the Academy” is a bad film. Actually, I thought it was funny in many places. The film is about four teenage boys who are sent to military school by there parents on account of things the boys have done to bring dishonour to the family. One got his girlfriend pregnant and his father is a politician campaigning on the anti-abortion platform. One, played by a young Ralph Machio, is the son of a mafia kingpin and is not interested in the family business. Then there is the son of the Arabian Sheik and the pot smoking African American boy whose father is a TV evangelist. Without going into full details, the main characters immediately fall foul of the gung-ho commandant and there is a lot of funny moments as they try to get one over on him. For months after I saw the film, one of my marine buddies who I saw it with, (he went by Mooch,) would impersonate the commandant with “Say ageeen, say ageen.”

A scene from the film

A scene from the film

What stood out for me more than the laughs was all the great songs that were played in the film. Now classics like “One Way or Another” from Blondie and Cheap Trick’s “Surrender” lead a string of cool rock tunes. There are also contributions from Pat Benatar, Sammy Hagar, The Kinks, Dwight Twilley and a ten minute song from the legendary Lou Reed. Ok, they only played a small part of the song. As the case with many soundtracks, there is some unknown band that makes its mark. On this soundtrack, it is the band Blow-Up. Three of their songs appear on the album and I was impressed with all of them. The opener, “Kicking Up a Fuss” reminds me of The Ramones or The Dead Kennedys and the other two, while less punk are still good rock tunes as well. This is definitely a cool soundtrack.

Blondie

Blondie

Cheap Trick

Cheap Trick

PatBenatar-CrimesOfPassion

Track Listing:

1. Blow-Up- Kicking Up a Fuss

2. Iggy and the Stooges- Gimme Danger

3. Dwight Twilley Band- Trying to Find My Baby

4. Blondie- X Offender

5. Eddie and the Hot Rods- Do Anything You Wanna Do

6. The Kinks- Yes Sir, No Sir

7. Ian Hunter- We Gotta Get Out of Here

8. Lou Reed- Street Hassle

9. Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers- Roadrunner

10. The Boomtown Rats- Rat Trap

11. David Johansen- Girls

12. Blondie- One Way or Another

13. Cheeks- Coquette

14. Blow-Up- Local Hero

15. Sammy Hagar- Bad Reputation

16. Iggy Pop and James Williamson- Night Theme

17. Cheeks- Bony Moronie

18. Nick Lowe- Heart of the City

19. Pat Benatar- We Live for Love

20. The Babys- Midnight Rendezvous

21. Cheap Trick- Surrender

22. Blow- Up- Beat the Devil

So if you want a good laugh while rocking out to some great tunes then your task is simple. Watch “Up the Academy” and then listen to the soundtrack, it’s definitely worth it. But it does seem a shame that Blow-Up never seemed to make it big.

Next post: Great Rock One Hit Wonders of 1980

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to: http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

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Great Party Films of 1978: National Lampoon’s Animal House

Posted in 1978, films, Humour with tags , , , , , , on May 13, 2012 by 80smetalman

In 1978, we were treated to not one, but two great party films. The first, “Up in Smoke” was covered last week. The second one was the all time classic “National Lampoon’s Animal House.” This film revolutionised the party attitude, especially in colleges for the next few years. I remember toga parties springing up around the area and not just in colleges. This film became an inspiration to anyone who wanted to party.

Animal House was the first film for John Belushi from Saturday Night Live fame. His role as Bluto made him a legend. It also encouraged a lot of people to smash cans on their head, but who cares, it was funny like the entire film. Also, how many of us wished they could down a fifth of Jack Daniels the way he did?

“Animal House” has another importance to the heavy metal world. If it hadn’t been for this film, we never would have been treated to the ranting father in the Twisted Sister video “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” No one could have filled that role better than Mark Metcalf who played the infamous Niedermeyer in the film.

This film does get a mention in “Rock And Roll Children,” since it is such a great party film, it was only natural the characters would want to watch it. So if you feel like drinking a skinful in the future, watch “Animal House” before you go out. You will be truly inspired! One word of warning though, stay away from the mayor’s thirteen year old daughter.

Next Post: AC/DC- Powerage

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and for sale at Foyles Book Shop in London.