The Runaways “Edgeplay”

Runaways DVD

The Runaways “Edgeplay”

A film about the Runaways - DVD

The director of this documentary - Victory Tischler Blue - will be better known to any Runaways fans out there as their 2nd bass player - Vicky Blue - the girl who replaced original member, Jackie Fox. The making of this doc was seriously hampered by the fact that Victory was unable to secure much Runaways performance footage for use in the finished item – and, mysteriously - that Joan Jett refused to participate - leaving a rather large gaping hole in the story which Victory cannot fill with frankly boring new interview material with the remaining band members and their inner circle/ family members. Since the film’s completion, Sandy West has sadly passed away - aged 47 - from lung cancer - RIP.

In the 70s the Runaways were every teenage boys dream date pin ups: female rockers with nasty attitude! Cherrie Curries’ underwear flashing fueled the fire of many a spotty youth's raging hormones back then. Sometimes cited as a precursor to punk, the Runaways were really a yank cock rock band minus the cock - whose music was watered down glam/pop/rock – which, listening to it now without the benefit of hindsight, was really not that good (though I do have a soft spot for "Cherry Bomb " - not featured here) which still stands up today. In reality, they weren't that great a band: eye-catching image without the great songs to back it up. The new interview footage is interesting for a while - but is ruined by the constant whine of the soundtrack that runs beneath every word and becomes ever irritating as the film progresses (Jeez - a lot of it is Lita Ford's hair metal 80s output on a continuous loop!).

Talking of Lita - she comes across as sarcastic, obnoxious and full of self-importance - a faded rock star of the worst kind - and not a very nice person. Cherrie Currie still looks great - and like the others - hates Kim Fowley with a vengeance (which is understandable - as his sleazy reputation in the music biz has been well documented in the media over the years). He does not endear himself to the viewer in his interview, either - and he has horrible taste in suits! The late Sandy West looks really hard faced - the kind of girl you wouldn't have wanted to mess with - a real tough cookie. Like the late Arthur Kane with the Dolls - she had a lasting wish for the band to reform - sadly, in her case, it didn't happen. Jackie Fox comes across as the victim of the piece - and you do feel a small amount of sympathy for her plight (see! I'm a softie, really!) - and her eventual breakdown in Japan.

In my opinion, this documentary could have been - but isn’t - essential viewing! It would have been so much better if Joan Jett had given her support - maybe more performance material could have been included - but that’s not Vicky's fault. The viewer will still get a kick out of seeing the girls onscreen after all this time - but the novelty soon wears off. For diehard fans and the curious only - make your own mind up. I was very disappointed. I wanted it to be great.

Runaways dvd
Joe Donnelly – tMx 27 – 11/06
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