Monday, October 06, 2008

Willem Dafoe as Raven Shaddock in "Streets of Fire" 1984

This Halloween, why not go as a true movie villain--Raven Shaddock, as played by Willem Dafoe? Reptilian, violent, and REALLY creepy--if you can find some high-waisted leather pants with extra-wide suspenders, grab a pot of hair gel and your look is complete. The rest is all in your demented facial expressions.

"Streets of Fire," came on the heels of Walter Hill's mega-successful "48 Hours" and had a big fat budget and high production values, but it tanked, mainly because it's so stupid. Critics almost unanimously hated this film. Its weird blend of rock opera, biker-gang action, witless tough-guy dialogue, and over-saturated neon glow, never found its loving-the-50s-while-living-in-the-80s audience. But people have adored the bombastic soundtrack over the years (and the hit single I Can Dream About You), so it's become a cult film. And a lot of new-wave butt gets kicked, if you like that sort of thing.

I found the violence, especially done to poor kidnapped, dragged-around Diane Lane, disturbing and unnecessary (especially in the romantic pairing of her and Rick Moranis--the humanity). It's not at all fun like the balletic choreography of Hill's earlier cult film, "The Warriors." Michael Paré looks good while kicking the shit out of everyone with his big gun, but the script-writers forgot to give his loner persona an actual personality. Amy Madigan butches it up as the sidekick, "McCoy" (watch her swagger!) but even her brittle presence can't make sense of the goings on. I also remember the poster to this film was really stupid and made me vow never to watch it.

But I've relaxed that rule, seeing it on DVD over the course of two nights to spread out the insanity. I still kind of hated myself for doing it, but I admit, the Ry Cooder incidental music has a nice rootsy appeal. Here's a Raven Shaddock visual guide.

This is your standard evil glare.
Willem Defoe in Streets of Fire But can you do this?
And then broaden your scope with maniacal grinning?
A costume template. Pleather will work just fine.
More posturing.
A good demonic look. Practice in the mirror daily.Being a supreme asshole is painful at times.
Leave this one to the professionals.
Work on your body language and you're set!


The making of

Stupid poster


Anonymous said...

only the mid 80's could warp the 50's so...

Christa said...

I LOVE IT!!! If they played this in the theater I would go, get blasted & sing along! :D