Trailers from Hell is an excellent and informative YouTube series. Advertising is a complex game and sometimes a film and its trailer send different messages. In the fascinating clip above, the director of Get Crazy explains why he thinks the film became an underground rare gem. He believes the trailer is part of a weak advertising campaign, one which the film almost did not survive. The masters for the film and the soundtrack are lost at the moment.
The ‘Bialystocking’ Alan Arkush mentions is a form of investment and tax dodging that’s performed by the character Max Bialystock in the film (and, later Broadway musical) The Producers. More money is put into a project than ever expected to be gained back. The producers can (if they don’t get caught) take the extra revenue collected to do with what they please. In these cases, many investors have contracts that guarantee payment only if a film collects a certain amount at the box office.
Apparently, the producers of Get Crazy expected a film that did poorly would not to be investigated for tax purposes. They released the film, about a New Year’s celebration, in the August of 1983 (see the poster in the clip below). It’s like a Christmas movie in July. One has to agree, that the director has reason to suspect the producers wanted limited success.
Little did the producers realize (or probably even care) that Alan Arkush and company would create such a great product that stands the test of comedy time, more than 30 years later. The director of Rock and Roll High School hit music and comedy gold once again.The line up for Get Crazy not only included the Ramones, but Lou Reed, Marshall Crenshaw, Sparks (above), and Fear. Actors Malcolm McDowell and Bill Henderson perform as a drugged out glam rocker and old school blues fellow, respectively. Here’s a clip of Fear with Lori Eastside & Nada that ‘s filled with energy (note: NSFW language and drug themes).
The Get Crazy soundtrack album one of many favorites at Turntabling. We discovered the film late night on cable as teens. It’s sad to know that the people involved may have been stiffed by the producers.
With luck, Get Crazy, the film and soundtrack, will get restored and the TLC they deserve. Meanwhile, we do find promo copies of the 1983 LP, quite often. In 2010, Joe Wallace had his personal copy of the soundtrack signed by Reggie Wanker himself, Malcolm McDowell. We’ll give you a heads up in the blog, if we find any copies to sell.