Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Movies that are Terrible: Xanadu

Xanadu, the great idea.
Take Olivia Newton-John fresh from her smash hit Grease and put her in a movie with music from the Electric Light Orchestra, Cliff Richards, and The Tubes. Then throw in Gene Kelly just for good measure.

Where it all goes terribly wrong.
Xanadu is roughly based on the 1949 movie titled Down to Earth. Olivia Newton-John is a daughter of Zeus, a muse that come to earth to inspire great works of art.  So far so good, yes heavy into the fantasy but it can still work except for one little detail.

NO!!!!!! The great work of art that caused a muse to descend from Mount Olympus is the world's greatest Roller Disco! Really? The Gods of Olympus want to give a hand in the creation of a roller disco? Well the Olympians where always a bit on the vain and cruel side so this must be one of their sick jokes.
Those of you that are younger than I might not remember the nightmare of roller disco.  Roller disco was a thankfully, short lived fad which is what really killed this movie. It was so wrapped up in a short lived fad that by the time the movie came out the fad was over. Had the work of art had been a play, novel, album, painting, or sculpture it would have done so much better. Nothing is worse than a movie based on a fad that is already over.

Nothing is all bad.
I honestly think some of the musical numbers are pretty good. Gene Kelly is great, as is ELO, the Tubes, and Olivia Newton-John. It is just that every-time you see anything about roller-disco you just want to cringe. Maybe those that have not lived through the great dark time of roller-disco can see this as nothing but a good bit of silliness. Okay it was 1980 and I was 15 and it had Olivia Newton-John in it, so yes I had to watch it. The music really was not bad and I really enjoyed the performance by the Tubes. Like all really terrible movies it is the chance that they could have been great that makes them so terrible.  

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