Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 20th, 2007
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1984
Director: Marcelo Epstein
Writers: Desmond Nakano, Kimberly Lynn White
Cast: Lorenzo Lamas, Vicki Frederick, Cameron Dye, Michelle Nicastro, Ray Sharkey, Seth Kaufman, Rene Elizondo, Adolph ‘Oz’ Alvarez, Joseph Whipp, Grace Zabriskie
DVD released: August 21st, 2007
Approximate running time: 94 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Starz Entertainment
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.95
The year is 1984 and following the success of films like Flashdance and Footloose it was only inevitable that movies about dancing would become the latest craze. Also released in 1984 where two more street based dancing movies Breakin’ and Beat Street which both feature prominently the art form known as Break dancing. Enter Lorenzo Lamas a second generation actor who at this point in his career was still languishing in obscurity on television. During this dancing craze of 1984 he would finally get his first big break as a leading man in the film Body Rock as Chilly D the leader of a gang of break dancers known as the “Body Rock Crew”.
First off I must confess that I am a fan of everything Lamas and that I will try my hardest to fairly judge this cinematic oddity. The story is your typical tale about a rise and fall to the top of a profession this time being dancer/singer. Also the cliché of losing ones way and then trying to get back the magic they once lost with their true friends is fully exploited in this film. The films score is filled with music that could only come from the 1980’s with a few tracks sounding like Flashdance rejects. The look of the film is a virtual time capsule of everything that was bad about the 1980’s.
The cast features many well known actors/performers like Ray Sharkey, Grace Zabriskie, Cameron Dye and former Janet Jackson backup dancer Rene Elizondo. The real reason to watch Body Rock is Lorenzo Lamas who not only break dances he also sings in the one. One of the films best moments is when Chilly D learns how to dance via a montage. The cheesiest moment had to be when Chilly D returns to his hood now a star all cocky and arrogant. During this scene he addresses the camera a few times with his philosophy. The dialog and acting is really bad for the most part and one has to wonder for who this film was made for. Ultimately Body Rock’s under lying message is that nobody no even “the man” can stop the powerful art form which is known as break dancing.
Now Body Rock is never a title that I ever thought would get a DVD release and yet the release is pretty good overall the lack of extras is disheartening. The film is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves its original aspect ratio. The transfer is in great shape as colors and black levels look strong throughout. This transfer has been flagged for progressive playback.
The audio is full and every channel is pushed to the fullest during musical playback. Sometimes dialog sounds a tad too thin so volume adjusting might be required to get the desired balance. The transfer is free of any major print damage. It looks colorful and sharp and grain is noticeable throughout.
Outside a two unrelated trailers and a trailer for the film there is no extra content at all. This film screams for a Criterion like special edition with interviews from all the major participants and an audio commentary with the man Lorenzo Lamas. Despite the lack of extras the price and audio/video presentation make this title a worthwhile purchase from all hardcore break dancing and Lorenzo Lamas fans.