We’re completists, okay? And it’s important for us to dig deep. Which is why Netflix delivered a DVD of 1984’s Body Rock to our home yesterday. We watched it immediately, of course.
The plot is simple! New York entrepreneur Chilly D (Lorenzo Lamas) wants a piece of the Downtown art scene of 1984 Manhattan. He has no talents himself—he can’t even button his shirt—but he brings together a group of breakdancers, spoken word artists, and club weirdos to put on a show for a big-time manager. Alas! The manager only wants Chilly, no one else. His friends convince Chilly to take the gig at the fancy new club, and teach him how to dance from scratch. (There are a lot of montages.) Success follows, and Chilly leaves behind his friends, his mother, and his home for a loft in the sky and some sexy new friends. But it all comes crashing down when he gets dragged to a gay bar by his high-flying bosses, one of whom kisses him on the mouth and receives a punch in the nose as payment.
Things end happily.
There’s a lot to say about Body Rock. The costumes alone are staggering, though no one could find a competent way to hide Lamas’ tattoos. The endless dance sequences quickly become a bore; the gay bar scene sets its tone with some shirtless clones who sit and watch silently; and the entire leaving-your-friends-behind-for-success plot is tiresome. But Lamas looks amazing, even if he only sometimes remembers to bring a New York accent to set with him.
There are some truly mind-boggling moments, like the glow-in-the-dark fight-dance sequence at the Fancy Club. Or how about Lamas’ unexplained strut through his rundown neighborhood, in which he frequently talks to the viewers about how his leather robe is the latest cut from Europe, and how he’s moving on up to a deluxe apartment in the sky? And OH MY GOD THE SONG LAMAS SINGS! “Smooth Talker.” And boy, is he! There’s also a love interest with ’80s eyebrows, but she’s a bit of a bore. The weird blonde who makes Lamas teach her how to breakdance is way more interesting, until she tries to instigate a threeway with Lamas and another man. Too far, Blondie!