Blast From The Past - "The Allnighter" Available On DVD - August 3

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sun, surf, sex, and Susanna Hoffs. Sounds like a winning combination, doesn't it? Although the movie critics back in 1987 didn't think so, The Allnighter has a loyal fanbase, albeit mostly comprised of hardcore fans of Hoffs' famous band The Bangles.

This fluffy but delightful campus comedy, directed by Hoffs' mother Tamar Simon Hoffs was made a couple of years before The Bangles broke up in 1989, although they would regroup in 2000, release a much-loved album in 2003 called Doll Revolution and bid farewell to their longtime bass guitarist, Michael Steele, who retired from the music business a year later.

Now fans of this underrated and sometimes even forgotten gem can look forward to the movie's DVD release on August 3, 2010. I personally have seen this movie more times than I can count, so much so that my old VHS recording is wearing out fast, so the news of the DVD is a welcome one.

Hoffs plays Molly Morrisson, a shy young co-ed at (fictional) Pacifica College who yearns for that one earth shattering, everlasting college romance. She does have an on again-off again relationship with a hot blonde surfer CJ (played by John Terlesky - pictured left - now more at home behind the camera as a writer/director.) Molly laments that CJ spends more time with his best beach buddy Killer (James Anthony Shanta) than with her.

Molly's best friends are  the aspiring filmmaker Gina (a hilarious performance by the evergreen Joan Cusack) and Val (Dedee Pfeiffer, the younger sister of movie legend Michelle Pfeiffer) who is engaged to - and incessantly mooning over - the man she thinks is "Mr Right" (Phil Brock). Molly tries to make CJ jealous by entering into an affair with the enigmatic musician Mickey LeRoy (Michael Ontkean) who only has eyes for her college counsellor Connie (Kaaren Lee). There is even a wonderful cameo for Pam Grier as a smart and sassy police officer who can spot a con a mile away.

The action takes place on the night before graduation, and for those who wonder what could possibly happen in one night, this film is a riotous romp which has all the answers. From hotel room trysts and hiding on top floor balconies, to spending a night in jail with prostitutes, a near drowning for one of the surfer boys, and the heartache and longing of making your crush realise you're even alive...this movie is packed with adventure, romance, a killer music score featuring songs like "No TV, No Phone," "Shangri-La," "Dangerous" (performed by Ronnie Spector with guest vocals by an uncredited but unmistakeable Susanna Hoffs), "Who's Gonna Dance With Me," "All In My Mind," "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades," "Never Thought", and even a little "Respect" by Aretha Franklin.

Here is just one of the many side-splitting scenes and quotes from the movie where Gina and Val (actress Dedee Pfeiffer pictured left) wind up in jail with some rather loose ladies.

Val: "Gina?"

Gina: "Yeah?"
Val: "What... what time do you think it is now?"
Gina: "It's time to ask about Brad again!"
Val: "Oh just FINE! FINE!"
Gina: "No, I don't mean that. I just mean, just ENJOY this! I mean Molly's gonna get us out of here. All we have to do is enjoy this. Look at this place... I mean would you look at that toilet? It's the most disgusting toilet I ever saw! What if you had to pee right now?"
Val: "Just shut up, I DO have to go pee right now!"

For a classic slice of 80's life from an eternally young point of view, you cannot beat The Allnighter for fun, frivolity, fizz, and frisking.


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