Rock ‘N’ Roll High School
40th Anniversary Steelbook Edition
review by Aaron Settle
The first band I ever loved was the Ramones. I remember in the early days of cable TV being 10 or 11 years old and flipping through the cable box looking for something to watch. I froze when I came across something featuring the lovely and talented P.J. Soles who I recognized from Halloween (I was a weird kid). I had no idea what I was watching but she was cute and I was 11. And that was the first time I watched Rock and Roll High School. The second time I watched Rock and Roll High School was four hours later the same day.
After that I took the cable guide and highlighted all the showings for the next month (much to the delight of my siblings who shared neither my love for P.J. Soles nor my love for the Ramones. It was the perfect movie for a strange little kid who liked strange things. On the surface the plot is straight forward, but there is enough odd ball things tossed in to keep it fun. I hadn't seen it decades, always fearful that seeing it again would destroy all my fond memories and I would be forced to face the reality that it was a bad movie and 11 year old me had poor taste. So it was with great trepidation that I sat down and watched the Rock ‘N’ Roll High School Steelbook 40th Anniversary Edition. I needn't have worried. All the things I loved about it as a kid, were still there and were as wacky and fun as I remembered them.
The plot, as I said is simple enough. Vince Lombardi High can't seem to keep a principal as they keep resigning after having nervous breakdowns because of the students love of rock and roll music. So the hire the tyrantical Ms. Togar (Mary Woronov) as the acting principal. This puts her into conflict with Riff Randle (the lovely Ms. Soles) the number one fan of the Ramones. Their power struggles comes to a head as luck would have it, right as the Ramones are coming to town for a concert. Throw in a romantic subplot with Riff's best friend, the brainy Kate Rambeau (Dey Young) who hires the school fixer Eaglebauer (Clint Howard) to set her up with the delightfully boring Tom
Roberts (Vince Van Patten). Tom has also hired Eaglebauer (who has an office in the boy's rest room) to set him up with Riff. So you get a situation where Kate likes Tom, Tom likes Riff and Riff loves the Ramones. What could go wrong? It turns out lots could go wrong. All leading to a face off at the school that the Ramones show up to for moral support. I could say more, but it's more fun letting folks watch all the wackiness unfold on it's own. And if you're a Ramones fan, there's a spontaneous concert that breaks out about halfway through.
The 40th Anniversary Steelbook version also comes with several cometary tracks from all kinds of folks involved with the film including director Allan Arkush, writer Richard Whitley and most of the still living cast memebers. The cometary is almost as fun as the movie itself. If you like cheesy 70's/80's movies, giant rats, silly jokes or spontaneous rock concerts then you'll like Rock ‘N’ Roll High School.
Crank it up and grab your copy of Rock 'N' Roll High School 40th Anniversary Steelbook Edition available now from Shout Factory.
For more information or to grab your copy head over to