Streets of Fire (1984)
Oh man. This is one awesome flick. A mostly forgotten Walter Hill masterpiece of action, romance and music that I haven’t seen in a long while. Touted as a “Rock & Roll Fable,” back in the day HBO played the shit out of this and my parents were huge fans of this movie—enough so that they owned a copy of the soundtrack. Because of this I became an admirer of this movie as well and I’ll always defend it as a great schmaltzy 80s guilty pleasure. But it has everything you’d love—great action and adventure, a street fight involving metal pipes, a smoking hot Diane Lane, Willem Dafoe hamming it up as ‘da foe’ wearing what could only be described as plastic-overalls, Deborah Van Valkenburg, Michael Paré trying to be Harrison Ford, Rick Moranis in a very odd unfunny role, Robert Townsend and Mykelti Williamson in a doo-wop/Four Tops-esque group, Pump-action shotguns and Winchester rifles, Bill Paxton playing a bartender, and of course awesome toe-tapping rock music!
Two of the songs on the soundtrack were written by rock genius Jim Steinman (If you heard a Meatloaf or Bonnie Tyler song, then you’re more than familiar with Steinman’s composing) and they fit perfectly with the tone of the film of fun action and cheesy romance. The highlight of the film is an epic called “Tonight is What it Means to Be Young” and if this song doesn’t get your juices flowing than you better check your pulse. I love this song; always have and always will. It totally makes me want to get in a red convertible with a girl in a tight mini-skirt and drive as fast as I can towards the nearest dive bar and eventually get into a brawl. It makes me want to be 17 again and fight any authority that rears its ugly head to stop me from doing what I want to do. It makes me want to fall in love and do a ton of stupid other things. If you never seen this movie, I urge you to do so as soon as humanly possible and have nothing but fun. I just read that this was supposed to be a planned trilogy and that’s a shame that it never made even a sequel but at least we have this. Its a fine example of a midnight cult classic.