Slamdance (1987)

R | 100 mins | Drama | 2 October 1987

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HISTORY

Although Slamdance was director Wayne Wang’s third movie, it was his first time directing a movie for which he did not also write the script. Additionally, Slamdance marked Wang’s first time directing a movie that did not deal with Chinese themes and characters. The Hong Kong, China, raised director has previously written and directed Chan is Missing (1982, see entry) and Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart (1985, see entry).
       Screenwriter Don Opper, who played the hitman “Buddy” in the film, told the 27 Sep 1987 LAT that he began writing his script in 1981. In 1982, his brother, producer Barry Opper, was named vice president of creative affairs for the recently formed Android Productions, which quickly changed its name to SHO Films. The 27 Oct 1982 Var announced that Don Opper’s Slamdance would be the company’s first feature film and that filming would begin in Mar 1983.
       The 13 Jun 1983 DV announced Aaron Lipstadt would direct Slamdance with a budget between $2 and $3 million. However, Lipstadt did not stay with the project. Wayne Wang came aboard as director a few years later.
       Principal photography began in Los Angeles, CA, on 11 Aug 1986, according to the 26 Sep 1986 DV production chart.
       Slamdance opened on forty-seven screens on 2 Oct 1987, taking in $125,349 in its first three days of release, according to the 6 Oct 1987 DV box-office chart. Because the film had such a low box-office take, distributor Island Pictures opted not to put the ... More Less

Although Slamdance was director Wayne Wang’s third movie, it was his first time directing a movie for which he did not also write the script. Additionally, Slamdance marked Wang’s first time directing a movie that did not deal with Chinese themes and characters. The Hong Kong, China, raised director has previously written and directed Chan is Missing (1982, see entry) and Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart (1985, see entry).
       Screenwriter Don Opper, who played the hitman “Buddy” in the film, told the 27 Sep 1987 LAT that he began writing his script in 1981. In 1982, his brother, producer Barry Opper, was named vice president of creative affairs for the recently formed Android Productions, which quickly changed its name to SHO Films. The 27 Oct 1982 Var announced that Don Opper’s Slamdance would be the company’s first feature film and that filming would begin in Mar 1983.
       The 13 Jun 1983 DV announced Aaron Lipstadt would direct Slamdance with a budget between $2 and $3 million. However, Lipstadt did not stay with the project. Wayne Wang came aboard as director a few years later.
       Principal photography began in Los Angeles, CA, on 11 Aug 1986, according to the 26 Sep 1986 DV production chart.
       Slamdance opened on forty-seven screens on 2 Oct 1987, taking in $125,349 in its first three days of release, according to the 6 Oct 1987 DV box-office chart. Because the film had such a low box-office take, distributor Island Pictures opted not to put the film into wider release.
       The film’s title, Slamdance, comes from the 1980s punk rock dance trend where dancers violently threw themselves against each other on the dance floor. While none of the main characters are seen slamdancing in the movie, during a bar scene, several characters in the background are observed slam dancing.
       End credits include “Special Thanks” to: “Arrowhead Water; Credos Expositos Galleries; Grumbacher; Robert Hadler Public Relations; Herotica; Jerry Jackson Enterprises; Anne Klein & Co.; KTLA Sports/California Angels for baseball footage; L.A. Eyeworks; Levi Jeans; Norm Marshall & Associates; Office Supplies Unlimited; Pacific Health; Beverage Co.; Pleasure Chest; Reebok; Scubapro; Strathmore; Studio Picture Cars; Ann Taylor; Volkswagen of America; Western Microfilm.”
       End credits also state: “Made in Los Angeles by SHO Films for Island Pictures and Zenith.” More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
13 Jun 1983
p. 80.
Daily Variety
26 Sep 1986.
---
Daily Variety
22 May 1987
p. 16, 28.
Daily Variety
6 Oct 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
2 Oct 1987
p. 3, 6.
Los Angeles Times
27 Sep 1987
Section L, p. 3, 44.
Los Angeles Times
1 Oct 1987
Calendar, p. 1.
New York Times
6 Nov 1987
p. 10.
Variety
27 Oct 1982.
---
Variety
20 May 1987
p. 24, 28.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Zenith Productions and Island Pictures present
A SHO Films Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
Addl asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
Wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Gaffer
Elec best person
Elec
Key grip
Dolly grip
Grip best person
Still photog
Addl cam op
Addl cam op
Add cam asst
Addl cam asst
Addl cam asst
Addl cam asst
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Drood's artwork by
Art dept lead person
Art dept lead person
Art dept coord
Storyboard artist
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
Addl ed
Negative cutting
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Prop asst
Prop driver
Set dresser
Swing gang
Swing gang
Set const
Set carpenter
Set painter
Hollywood sign const
COSTUMES
Cost des
Key ward
Ward asst
MUSIC
Sdtrack rec by
Percussion
Vocal eff
Drums
Keyboards
Addl mus by
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Supv sd ed
Sd eff
Sd eff
Sd eff
Dial ed
Foley artist
Sd asst
2d unit sd
Sd & re-rec facilities
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
ADR mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff supv
Spec eff asst
Spec eff asst
Equip, material & services
Titles des by
DANCE
Choreog
MAKEUP
Key makeup
Key hair stylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Prod coord
Transportation coord
Driver
Driver
Driver
Honeywagon driver
Mobile prod office
Extras casting
Physical trainer
Tech advisor
Craft services
Yolanda's dog
Asst to prod
Legal sevices
Prod accountant
Asst to dir
Prod secy
Casting asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Loc scout
Completion guarantee supplied by
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stand-in
Stand-in
Stand-in
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Bing Can’t Walk,” written by Stan Ridgway, performed by Stan Ridgway and Mitchell Froom, produced by Mitchell Froom, published by Mondo Spartacus/Illegal Songs
“For Sentimental Reasons,” performed by Eddy Howard, lyrics by Deek Watson, music by William Best, used courtesy of Polygram Special Projects, a division of Polygram Records, Inc.
“Art Life,” written by Maggie Song, John Dentino, Tom Corey and John Berardi, performed by The Fibonaccis, produced by Mitchell Froom
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SONGS
“Bing Can’t Walk,” written by Stan Ridgway, performed by Stan Ridgway and Mitchell Froom, produced by Mitchell Froom, published by Mondo Spartacus/Illegal Songs
“For Sentimental Reasons,” performed by Eddy Howard, lyrics by Deek Watson, music by William Best, used courtesy of Polygram Special Projects, a division of Polygram Records, Inc.
“Art Life,” written by Maggie Song, John Dentino, Tom Corey and John Berardi, performed by The Fibonaccis, produced by Mitchell Froom
“High Hopes,” written and performed by Tim Scott, produced by Mitchell Froom, courtesy of Geffen Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“My Heart At Thy Voice,” from the Samson and Delilah opera, by Camille Saint-Saëns, performed by Adelaide Sinclair and Nolan Van Way.
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DETAILS
Release Date:
2 October 1987
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 2 October 1987
New York opening: 6 November 1987
Production Date:
began 11 August 1986
Copyright Claimant:
Island Pictures, Inc., First Flight Productions, Inc. & Zenith Productions
Copyright Date:
29 March 1988
Copyright Number:
PA360848
Physical Properties:
Sound
Recorded in Ultra Sound ®
Color
Duration(in mins):
100
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28563
SYNOPSIS

In Los Angeles, California, cartoonist Charles “C. C.” Drood is an irresponsible man living a hedonistic life. He neglects to pick up his daughter at school and routinely misses his deadlines, but enjoys going out clubbing regularly. When Drood returns from visiting his six-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, affectionately known as “Bean,” he finds his apartment has been ransacked. As he looks around, the robber is still in the apartment and knocks him unconscious. When Drood regains consciousness, he is in a car with two men who demand to know where “it” is. Drood has no idea what they are talking about, opens the car door and jumps out onto the street in moving traffic. At the police station, Detective Benjamin Smiley observes that Drood’s kidnapping may be connected to the death of Yolanda Caldwell, a young woman with whom Drood was having an affair. Drood reports that Yolanda never told him much about her background, but wanted him to go away with her. He refused, saying he hoped to mend the relationship with his estranged wife, Helen. When Drood returns home, his elderly landlady, Mrs. Raines, gives him a package that was misdelivered to her apartment. The return address on the package reads, “Yolanda, Nowhere.” When Drood opens the package, he finds a ring and many photos of Yolanda with other men, as well as some papers. Inside Drood’s apartment, Buddy, one of his kidnappers, is waiting for him. Buddy takes the photos, but burns the padded envelope they came in, and leaves. Drood goes to a bar and drinks tequila shots, but Buddy confronts him there, saying Yolanda loved him, but Drood does not seem to be upset over ... +


In Los Angeles, California, cartoonist Charles “C. C.” Drood is an irresponsible man living a hedonistic life. He neglects to pick up his daughter at school and routinely misses his deadlines, but enjoys going out clubbing regularly. When Drood returns from visiting his six-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, affectionately known as “Bean,” he finds his apartment has been ransacked. As he looks around, the robber is still in the apartment and knocks him unconscious. When Drood regains consciousness, he is in a car with two men who demand to know where “it” is. Drood has no idea what they are talking about, opens the car door and jumps out onto the street in moving traffic. At the police station, Detective Benjamin Smiley observes that Drood’s kidnapping may be connected to the death of Yolanda Caldwell, a young woman with whom Drood was having an affair. Drood reports that Yolanda never told him much about her background, but wanted him to go away with her. He refused, saying he hoped to mend the relationship with his estranged wife, Helen. When Drood returns home, his elderly landlady, Mrs. Raines, gives him a package that was misdelivered to her apartment. The return address on the package reads, “Yolanda, Nowhere.” When Drood opens the package, he finds a ring and many photos of Yolanda with other men, as well as some papers. Inside Drood’s apartment, Buddy, one of his kidnappers, is waiting for him. Buddy takes the photos, but burns the padded envelope they came in, and leaves. Drood goes to a bar and drinks tequila shots, but Buddy confronts him there, saying Yolanda loved him, but Drood does not seem to be upset over her death. Drood returns home and begins painting a surrealistic painting, inspired by the photos Yolanda sent him. He goes to Yolanda’s apartment to look around, but police chase him away from the crime scene. Drood goes to the morgue and learns that Yolanda had a husband, but no one has claimed her body. Meanwhile, Buddy telephones his boss and lies, saying that Drood never received the package. Det. Benjamin Smiley believes that Drood is innocent and suggests that Det. John Gilbert may be framing him, but Gilbert denies it. Buddy continues following Drood around town. The cartoonist confronts him and the two get into a fistfight. When Drood returns home, he has Buddy’s red jacket and finds a picture of Yolanda in the pocket. He telephones the number on the back of the photo. The number is for Zeta Temporary Office Services. When Drood asks for Yolanda, the receptionist tells him that Yolanda is no longer there, but Michelle is available and that Yolanda trained her. Michelle comes to Drood’s apartment and immediately undresses. Drood, who did not realize she was a prostitute until that moment, tells her to get dressed, but Michelle recognizes Drood’s painting inspired by Yolanda’s photographs and says, “That’s Nancy Barron.” Just then, Drood’s estranged wife Helen brings their daughter, “Bean,” to visit. The mother and daughter rush out upon seeing the naked Michelle and Drood chases after them, to no avail. In his haste to catch Helen, he left his keys behind and cannot get back into his apartment. His landlady, Mrs. Raines, does not answer, but her apartment door is unlocked and Drood lets himself in. He finds the elderly woman napping, but as he looks around for the spare key to his apartment, he discovers Mrs. Raines has been stealing the tenants’ mail. He also finds some photos of Yolanda having sex with other men and realizes these photos were originally in the package Yolanda sent him. When Drood returns to his apartment, he discovers Michelle’s dead body. He rushes to the police station, but recognizes Det. John Gilbert as his other kidnapper. He leaves before Gilbert spots him and goes to Helen’s house for asylum, but is upset to see she has another man there. Meanwhile, police find Michelle’s body at Drood’s apartment and put out an all-points bulletin for him as the prime suspect in her murder. To disguise his appearance, Drood dyes his hair black and goes to his best friend, Jim, to borrow his car. He goes to the library to research Adrianne Schell, which was the dead Michelle’s real name, and the Nancy Barron whom she mentioned. Studying newspaper microfiche, he learns Barron and another woman named Bobby Nye were connected to a sex scandal involving city officials. No charges were ever filed due to insufficient evidence, but the newspaper includes a photo of a large outdoor fountain with the Hollywood sign in the background. Drood drives to the Hollywood sign and notices a party happening at a nearby mansion. He crashes the party being thrown by Bobby Nye, who recognizes him because she has been collecting his paintings for years. Nye observes that the value of those paintings is about to skyrocket because Drood will soon be dead. Drood sees a photograph of Yolanda with Nye and realizes the two were lesbian lovers and that Nye had her killed. She replies that as far as she is concerned, Drood killed Yolanda, and orders her henchman, Buddy, to kill Drood. Buddy explains that Yolanda’s death was an accident; she fell and hit her head on the coffee table, breaking her neck. However, Buddy is so distraught by his part in Yolanda’s death that instead of killing Drood, he puts the gun to his own mouth and pulls the trigger. Drood telephones Helen, asking her to bring him some money and a change of clothes. However, when she comes to his motel, she brings Det. Smiley with her. Det. Gilbert follows them there and shoots Smiley. As Drood and Gilbert struggle over the gun, Gilbert is also shot, dead. Helen helps Drood get away, but he is distressed to realize that he is now a cop killer. Then, he devises a way to fake his own death. Drood substitutes his personal effects for those of Buddy. He puts Buddy’s body in his car, douses the car in gasoline, ignites a match and the car explodes. A few days later, Helen and Bean attend Drood’s funeral, but when they get in the limousine to leave the cemetery, a disguised Drood is the driver.
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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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