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This review appears direct to the web courtesy of THE CINEMA LASER.


For years, fans of cult film ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HIGH SCHOOL have been subjected to a really awful transfer on videotape. Now, thanks to the folks at Lumivision, ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HIGH SCHOOL finally gets some respect on Laserdisc with a good looking Letterboxed transfer, which is certain to appease the film’s many fans. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HIGH SCHOOL is the kind of film that is true wish fulfillment for every generation of teenagers. When their high school’s tyrannical new principal tries to ban Rock ‘N’ Roll from the school, the students rebel. As part of their rebellion, they take over the school and are joined by their favorite rock band for the siege. I don’t think there has ever been an uglier rock band than THE RAMONES, but it’s their kissers plastered up on the big screen, performing a number of their best tunes. The cast of ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HIGH SCHOOL features PJ Soles, Vincent Van Patton, Clint Howard, Dey Young and Dick Miller. Also look for Paul Bartel and Mary Woronov of EATING RAOUL fame (hey Fox! Are you ever going to release that cult classic on Laserdisc?).

Lumivision has done a good job transferring ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HIGH SCHOOL to Laserdiscs. The jacket notes indicate that ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HIGH SCHOOL was transferred from the best surviving materials, which happened to be the original camera negatives. The transfer is detailed and colorful, thanks to Dean Cundey’s cinematography, which shows the promise of his later, greater works. The transfer has been Letterboxed to the 1.85:1 aspect ratio, and the framing appears pretty accurate.

The digital monaural soundtrack is surprisingly clear and will take a fair amount of amplification. The Pioneer pressing had only a couple of errant speckles. Fans will certainly enjoy the supplements on this disc, highlighted by an audio commentary with director Allan Arkush, producer Michael Finnell and screenwriter Richard Whitley. Other supplements include a theatrical trailer, an interview with Roger Corman, a radio spot, as well as, live audio outtakes of THE RAMONES performing songs from the concert portion of the film. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HIGH SCHOOL is available on Laserdisc for $50.00.


Laserdisc reviews are Copyright 1997 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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