Friday, February 15, 2013

Heavenly Bodies, Perfect Movies, Lycra-Clad Memories

One weekend night in college, when we'd decided to drink at home rather than venture out (or perhaps on a weeknight when he just drank, because those seem like equally plausible scenarios), we finished a movie, and when we switched the input from the DVD player to cable, something glorious happened: lycra-covered bodies were suddenly before us, gyrating and jazzercising in beautiful synchronicity, all to a thumping 80s soundtrack. Words were few, but limbs flailed gloriously. All the action, all the dancing, built to a final showdown between a sylphlike brunette and a blonde with short hair, if my drunken memory is correct, and it always has been. Without any backstory or dialogue and without having seen the first four-fifths of the film, it became clear to us that the brunette had to best the blonde in this dance-off, and that the fate of something major -- possibly the dance studio itself -- hung in the balance. Of course she did, since all 80s film heavies with villainous blond hair must be crushed in the end, and before we could process what had happened, the credits were rolling.

We did some Googling and determined that the film was the 1984 Cynthia Dale vehicle Heavenly Bodies, and IMDb told us that our deduction about the plot was, in fact, dead-on.
A small "Dance-ercize" studio fights for its existence against the unscrupulous owner of a rival club. The conflict boils down to a "Dance Marathon" to settle the score.
YouTube didn't exist back then, and I realize how old that makes me sound, even as I'm making fun how heinously dated Heavenly Bodies looked. But as a result of the primitive internet of 2002, we couldn't immediately watch it. Now, about ten years later, I happened across the trailer on YouTube. It's exactly as I remember it. Please enjoy.

The French trailer actually improves on the American version, obviously.

And the neat thing is that you don't have to watch the film yourself, since the trailers basically give you all the lycra and jazzercise that you'd need to get what the film's about, and besides, I already spoiled the ending for you.

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