Badass B-movies

Record City (1977)

2 Beers

Transfer: 3 Beers

Audio: 2 Beers

Special Features: 1 Beer

Talk about 1970s television star power!  Everyone - from Kinky Friedman to Ruth Buzzi - is stocking the shelves at Record City.  The familiar faces keep turning up in this store!

Directed by Dennis (Land of the Lost) Steinmetz, this comedy is centered around the exploits happening in one day at a downtown record store as wacky people come in to shop and clock-in there.  Everything is damn nutty here. From the sexually-charged manager (played by Michael Callan) to the sexually-repressed cleaning lady (played by Buzzi), everyone has eyes for everyone else.

But no one seems to see the would-be thieves and only accidentally thwart their plans to steal the vinyl.  

Unfortunately, this Car Wash knockoff is one huge swing and a miss when it comes to comedic storytelling.  Everyone in the movie is playing the shallowest form of a caricature and they often go for the lowest of the low when it comes to comedy.  From the sexist store manager who finds his “Do Me” music being played over the loudspeakers in the store to all the “Tongue” references being tossed around by the staff, Record City’s single lift when it comes to laughter arrives when you’ve had enough of all the absurdity and finally give in.  

That’s just about the time that Gallagher takes the stage, too.  Yup, that’s what this film has to offer: Gallagher smashing shit.  

Because, in light of all the record store robberies in and around the Los Angeles area, it only makes sense for this motley crew of second-hand spinners to sponsor a radio-sponsored talent show contest featuring George Barris custom cars and Rick “Disco Duck” Dees in their parking lot.  That certainly won’t attract unwanted “shoppers” to their store.  

Maybe it’s when Sorrell “Boss Hog” Booke gets stuck in a toilet on his way to apprehend the thief.  Maybe it’s when The Love Boat’s Ted Lange does his robotic voice as he educates viewers on Kinky Friedman’s musical exploits, but there is some weird charm to this futile effort to cash in on episodic comedy. 

Honestly, I think I laughed more than I thought I would as Ed Begley Jr. shoves his hand down his partner-in-crime’s pants or when Larry Storch playing a deaf customer asks for Beethoven and then annoys the cashier with “what, what. What?” comments.  So, to be specific, you’ve got. Jack Carter as the owner of the record store, Harold Sakata as a homosexual strong-arm, Alice Ghostley and Leonard Barr as an elderly couple who keep reacting to the whores outside the store and the dancers in the store, Jeff Altman as a Nazi-spouting engineer, and Frank Gorshin as the REAL thief. 

It’s madness times three in Record City.  Silly and full of some bad slapstick acts, the film also stars Wendy Schaal, Tim Thomerson, and Stuart Getz.  Rescued from the bargain bins by Scorpion Releasing, this HD transfer was newly minted from the best possible sources and is only available through Ronin Flix.

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Blu-ray Specifications:

Rescued from the bargain bins by Scorpion Releasing, this HD transfer was newly minted from the best possible sources and is only available through Ronin Flix.  This madcap comedy chronicles the exploits of the employees at a record store as they get ready for a big talent contest.  

Video:

This 1080p transfer, newly minted in HD, comes from a variety of sources.  It’s television quality indeed, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that there aren’t some nuggets of details to be found in this low budget affair.  Black levels are unwavering and the images are less muddy than they could have been. The film is dominated with reds and cool blues that absolutely burst with color and, while the interior scenes suffer a bit, there is a nice vibrancy to what is happening in the streets outside of the store.  The clothes are detailed and the backgrounds - featuring great detail-oriented album art - burst with new details and a nice level of clarity. Black levels are solid and skin tones are natural.

Audio:

A strong DTS-HD Master Audio track supplies the sound and the dialogue for this release.

Commentary:

None.

Special Features:

There is only one supplemental item, a theatrical trailer.

Theatrical Trailer

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