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A curio that’s lain dormant for many years since it first sashayed on to screens in 1985, this Japanese teeny-bop musical supports the argument that not all cult films need to be revived. Ultimately, some were flops the first time round for good reason. That said, lovers of Asian kawaii culture, camp and Japanese bubblegum pop, which all converge in this confection, are likely to be satisfied.
Like so many of pop-tastic exploitation projects (see also the Monkees’ Head), the music comes first and the story splicing it all together a distant second. Musician-impresario Haruo Chikada composed the soundtrack of cheesy, synth-heavy bop and then hired director Makoto Tezuka (son of the famous manga artist Osamu Tezuka, creator of Astro Boy) to string the songs together into a script. Et voila, the confection they came up with this is a self-referential tale of two aspiring pop stars: temperamentally scratchy Shingo (Shingo Kubota) and cooler, albeit mulleted, pretty-boy Kan (Kan Takagi), who are brought together by a record company executive in order to create a commercially compelling duo. Marimo, a random girl they meet at the label’s headquarters, is drafted in to become the head of their fan club, before they even have much of a fan club to start.
The songs, a glorious mishmash of genres ranging from sub-Joy Division post-punk to ska beats to moody new wave drones, are fitfully entertaining (with their poorly translated lyrics about topics including maxed-out credit cards, tomato juice and artistic ambition). But it’s all so clumsily assembled and herky-jerky, it gets more irritating than amusing over the long haul. The best bits are where it totally goes off into crazy-town with zombie monsters played by actors in latex masks and then back to (relative) reality as if nothing has happened.
Source: The Guardian
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