WALTER HILL’S STREETS OF FIRE — A REVIEW BY NICK CLEMENT

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Walter Hill, sadly, has made so many films that have bombed with theatrical audiences, and one of his most underappreciated efforts is his 1984 “Rock & Roll Fable” Streets of Fire, which features Michael Pare and a blazing-hot Diane Lane as music-crossed lovers who have to contend with a lethal biker gang led by a wild and crazy Willem Dafoe, who had been suggested to Hill by filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow, after he had starred for her in her 1982 debut The Loveless. Possibly inspired (intentionally or not) to a certain degree by Philip Kaufman’s equally underrated The Wanderers, this is a nearly unclassifiable genre-bender, with bold and vibrant cinematography from Andrew Laszlo that stressed the retro-50’s vibe that was then mixed with Hill’s signature 80’s aesthetic, resulting in something truly special and offbeat. Hill and co-writer Larry Gross clearly had a blast creating this striking cinematic universe, while Ry Cooder’s phenomenal musical score amplifies every single scene. Rick Moranis, E.G. Daily and Amy Madigan are all excellent in supporting roles; look for Bill Paxton tending bar. And, it should certainly be repeated that Lane was astoundingly sexy in this film. Lawrence Gordon and Joel Silver co-produced, with the film getting developed during the making of 48 Hrs. Available on German Blu-ray and via an upcoming Shout! Blu-ray release.

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