Aerosmith, muscle cars, and beer busts; the year
is 1976, and everything is “alright, alright, alright”.
This is the unforgettable setting for Dazed and Confused
the stoner movie turned cult classic, and one of the 90s most
This film, originally released in 1993, has
just resurfaced as part of the Ultimate Party Collection
DVD box set. With unforgettable characters; Pink, Slater, Dawson,
Benny, O’Bannion, Mitch, Hirshfelder, Tony, Mike, Cynthia,
Simone, Jodi, Shevonne, Michelle, Pickford, Darla, Wooderson,
this loveable cast, brilliantly funny script, and use of smart
dialogue and humor, brings the last day of school 1976 right to
your living room.
“Okay guys, one more thing, this summer
when you're being inundated with all this American bicentennial
Fourth of July brouhaha, don't forget what you're celebrating,
and that's the fact that a bunch of slave-owning, aristocratic,
white males didn't want to pay their taxes.”— Ms.
Writer and director Richard Linklater brilliantly
tells the story of teen life in suburban Texas. The simple script
comes to life with the direction of Linklater and the talent of
this young ensemble cast. Dazed and Confused was an early
work for Linklater, who has gone on to direct such memorable films
as, Before Sunrise (1995), and its follow-up, Before
Sunset (2004), The Newton Boys (1998), Waking
Life (2001), and The School of Rock (2003).
The beauty of Linklater is that he can bring
together relatively unknown actors, and with a witty story, and
character development, elevate the movie to cult status. The entire
cast of Dazed and Confused is exceptional. Many of the
actors used this film as a career launching pad, while others
have yet to surpass the status of Dazed. Ben Affleck,
in one of his best, most believable roles, plays the asshole O’Bannion.
Matthew McConaughey plays one of the best characters in the movie.
As the muscle car driving, woman loving, freethinking character,
Wooderson, McConaughey rattles off lines of enlightenment and
“Man, it's the same bullshit they tried
to pull in my day. If it ain't that piece of paper, there's some
other choice they're gonna try and make for you. You gotta do
what Randall Pink Floyd wants to do man. Let me tell you this,
the older you do get the more rules they're gonna try to get you
to follow. You just gotta keep livin' man, L-I-V-I-N.” —
The DVD offers some interesting additions. The
5.1 Surround Sound adds to the experience. You can crank up your
system and blast your neighbors with the rocking soundtrack, which
includes classics from Aerosmith, KISS, Black Sabbath, and Alice
There are also 9 deleted scenes, the best one
being a drunken conversation between Simone and Darla.
Also included in the extras is an education
film entitled “The Blunt Truth”. This historic educational
short outlines the dangers of smoking grass warning young people
that marijuana, refer, ganja, grass, will cause great harm and
cause permanent insanity. After all, you don’t want to become
one of those “burned out Bohemians” who has taken
a liking to sitar music, do you?
There are also two “Retro Public Service
Announcements”. My personal favorite is titled “VD
is for Everyone”. A nice little jingle and some wholesome
looking stiffs, teach us that everyone, even the butcher, can
have an STD and keep on smiling. The only trouble is that I can’t
stop singing, “Veee Deee is for everyone, Veee Deee is for
If 1976 was about pot and muscle cars, then
1982 was all about attitude and getting laid. That is if Fast
Times at Ridgemont High were to serve as the time capsule
for that year.
Damone: I mean don’t just walk in. You move across
the room. And you don’t talk to her. You use your face.
You use your body. You use everything. That’s what I do.
I mean I just send out this vibe and I have personally found that
women do respond. I mean, something happens.
Mark Ratner: Well, naturally
something happens. I mean, you put the vibe out to 30 million
chicks, something is gonna happen.
Mike Damone: That’s the
idea, Rat. That’s the attitude.
Mark Ratner: The attitude?
Mike Damone: Yeah! The attitude
dictates that you don’t care whether she comes, stays, lays
or prays. I mean whatever happens, your toes are still tappin’.
Now when you got that, then you have the attitude.
As part of the Ultimate Party Collection
DVD set, a new generation is introduced to Jeff Spicoli, Mr. Hand,
Mike Damone, Mark Ratner, Brad Hamilton, Stacy Hamilton, Linda
Barrett and Charles Jefferson.
It is no wonder that everything 80s is making
a comeback because Fast Times at Ridgemont High makes
it all seem so cool. The mall, big hair, and Pat Benatar have
never been so hot.
It’s odd to think of an Oscar-winning
actor, Sean Penn, having a stoner conversation with My Favorite
Martian, Ray Walston, but Fast Times at Ridgemont High
proves that everyone has a past and it did happen.
Mr. Hand: Mr. Spicoli, what’s
your excuse for your truancy?
Jeff Spicoli: I just couldn’t
make it on time.
Mr. Hand: You couldn’t
or wouldn’t come to class?
Jeff Spicoli: Well, there was
a long line in the cafeteria and I was having a hit of the munchies…
Mr. Hand: Food will be eaten
on your time, Mr. Spicoli. Mr. Spicoli, why are you continually
late for this class? Why are you continually wasting my time and
the classes with this tirade every day?
Jeff Spicoli: Uh, uh…I
From now famous screenplay writer Cameron Crowe
and director Amy Heckerling, Fast Times at Ridgemont High
introduces us to 1982 through the eyes of 7 teens on their first
day of school. The dialogue in this film is really at the heart
of the story. The plot remains dynamic through the evolution of
all the characters. There are no exciting action sequences, or
major climaxes, just simple change achieved through simple actions
and basic conversations of everyday teens.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High is less
of a comedy than a study on teenage angst. And let’s face
it; the dramas of a 16-year-old are just funny because everything
is catastrophic. De-virgination, getting fired from a fast food
restaurant, anxiety about the future, flunking out. Being a teen
sucks- in such a hilarious, awkward way!
“So what Jefferson was saying was ‘Hey!
You know, we left this England place because it was bogus. So
if we don’t get some cool rules ourselves, pronto, we’ll
just be bogus too,’ Yeah?”
- Jeff Spicoli
In the bonus section of the DVD, there is an
extended interview with Director Amy Heckerling, the producers,
and cast, reliving the filming of Fast Times at Ridgemont
High. It is interesting to hear about the casting choices,
and the history of the movie. So many actors in Fast Times
have gone on to have very successful careers; Sean Penn, Judge
Reinhold, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Phoebe Cates, Anthony Edwards,
Eric Stoltz, Forest Whitaker and Nicolas Cage to name a few.
The Ultimate Party Collection is a must
for your DVD collection. These movies never get old, and continuously
reveal something that you might have missed before. Even if you
have them memorized, you will laugh with each and every showing.
Visually they bring back the 70s and 80s with stunning realism.
Each film is a true testament to the decade it represents and
the culture that it captures.