Last Night in Austin

The Alamo Drafthouse showed the 1984 film Streets of Fire last night, bringing in two of the actors: Michael Paré and Deborah Van Valkenburgh.

When I was a kid, I loved this (super melodramatic) movie and the associated music. Seeing Streets of Fire again was great and the event was made more fun by the cast member Q&A.

As usual, my camera-phone photography is atrocious and might blind you.

As a followup, the Drafthouse screened the Road to Hell, a short film based loosely on Streets of Fire. I respect the efforts of any group of creative people, but the short film seemed to misunderstand the emotions and concepts behind Streets of Fire. The basic idea is great: Driving along a seemingly endless desert road, two women come across a man who seems adrift…haunted by some obsession from his past. For me, the entire idea was wrecked by the depiction of the women as psychotic travelers and Tom Cody from Streets of Fire as a man who has lost his mind and has become a savage killer. This is a fine direction for a film, but it just seems like a project completely unrelated to Streets of Fire.

I’d love to see a graphic novel or short film that sticks to the themes and tone of the original. If they’d broken down at an abandoned refinery or a blue collar ghost town at the edges of some place that seemed like some mythic NYC, it might have worked better. In the version I want to see, the two women (one angry, one always dreaming of what she can’t have) come across Tom Cody. He’s unsure of where he is, lost and out of touch with the world because of his obsession with Ellen Aim, trapped in some place that doesn’t exist. Streets of Fire meets King’s the Gunslinger, or Streets of Fire–the post-movie Twilight Zone episode. This seems like it might be closer to a world scored by Jim Steinman. Lost boys and golden girls.