Streets of Fire
Our next Rialto Recommends is pure 80's B-movie in all its over-blown excess. Directed by Walter Hill from a screenplay by Hill and Larry Gross 1984's STREETS OF FIRE features opening and closing songs by the late Jim Steinman who just passed away. Raven Shaddock and his gang of merciless biker friends kidnap rock singer Ellen Aim. Ellen's former lover, soldier-for-hire Tom Cody, happens to be passing through town on a visit. In an attempt to save his star act, Ellen's manager hires Tom to rescue her. Along with a former soldier, they battle through dangerous cityscapes, determined to get Ellen back. STREETS OF FIRE may sometimes buckle under the strain of its ambitious fusion of disparate genres, but Walter Hill's bravura style gives this motorcycle musical fuel to burn. Roger Ebert said "Walter Hill's Streets of Fire begins by telling us it's a rock & roll fable ... from another time, another place. The movie is right on the rock & roll, but the alternative time and place are mysteriously convincing -- especially if, like me, you believe the most beautiful post-war American cars were Studebakers." While Cinevue says "STREETS OF FIRE is fairly devoid of anything resembling a cohesive plot or lacking even a shred of subtext. It exists purely as pop action cinema, sweeping you up with a fevered enthusiasm and an overpowering desire to entertain which proves incredibly difficult to resist." Purely a film where you should just go along for the ride as well as a terrific turn by a young Amy Madigan STREETS OF FIRE is available to rent for a modest fee from Amazon, GooglePlay, YouTube, Vudu and others. The songs Steinman wrote for the film, Nowhere Fast and the operatic rocker Tonight Is What It Means To Be Young which open and close the film are under-appreciated examples of Steinman's songwriting and production. Enjoy STREETS OF FIRE for the schlocky 80's b-movie it is and nothing more.