Tapeheads (1988)

R | 93 mins | Comedy | 21 October 1988

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HISTORY

       A 27 May 1986 DV article announced that Pacific Arts Pictures planned to begin filming in Los Angeles, CA, with an estimated budget between $3 million to $4 million. A start date had not been determined at that time. The following year, an 18 Feb 1987 Var production chart stated principal photography began on 2 Feb 1987. NBC Productions was listed with Pacific Arts as a production company. According to the 15 Jun 1987 DV, filming took place in Wilmington, NC. Production notes and a 31 Dec 1987 Exhibitor Relations Co., Inc. press release from AMPAS library files stated that filming also took place in Los Angeles. The 18 Mar 1987 HR announced that principal photography was complete.
       The film was screened on 22 Jan 1988 at the U.S. Film Festival in Park City, UT, as noted in its 25 Jan 1988 DV review. De Laurentiis Entertainment Group (DEG) had been the film’s distributor at U.S. Film Festival, and had a tentative release month of Mar 1988. However, the 14 Jul 1988 HR reported that due to financial concerns, the picture’s rights “reverted” from DEG to NBC Productions, and Avenue Pictures would acquire the film’s domestic distribution. Two months later, the 27 Sep 1988 HR reported that Avenue was scheduling to open the picture in Oct 1988, and the 7 Oct 1988 NYT specified the date as 21 Oct 1988.
       The 14 Oct 1988 LA Weekly announced a premiere on 19 Oct 1988 at the Writer’s Guild Theatre in ...

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       A 27 May 1986 DV article announced that Pacific Arts Pictures planned to begin filming in Los Angeles, CA, with an estimated budget between $3 million to $4 million. A start date had not been determined at that time. The following year, an 18 Feb 1987 Var production chart stated principal photography began on 2 Feb 1987. NBC Productions was listed with Pacific Arts as a production company. According to the 15 Jun 1987 DV, filming took place in Wilmington, NC. Production notes and a 31 Dec 1987 Exhibitor Relations Co., Inc. press release from AMPAS library files stated that filming also took place in Los Angeles. The 18 Mar 1987 HR announced that principal photography was complete.
       The film was screened on 22 Jan 1988 at the U.S. Film Festival in Park City, UT, as noted in its 25 Jan 1988 DV review. De Laurentiis Entertainment Group (DEG) had been the film’s distributor at U.S. Film Festival, and had a tentative release month of Mar 1988. However, the 14 Jul 1988 HR reported that due to financial concerns, the picture’s rights “reverted” from DEG to NBC Productions, and Avenue Pictures would acquire the film’s domestic distribution. Two months later, the 27 Sep 1988 HR reported that Avenue was scheduling to open the picture in Oct 1988, and the 7 Oct 1988 NYT specified the date as 21 Oct 1988.
       The 14 Oct 1988 LA Weekly announced a premiere on 19 Oct 1988 at the Writer’s Guild Theatre in Beverly Hills, CA, to benefit the Christic Institute.
       The film was released on 21 Oct 1988, as planned. However, the 30 Jan 1989 DV reported that due to the film’s poor performance in forty-eight U.S. markets after a two-week release, Avenue pulled the picture from theaters. After polling theater patrons, Avenue learned that the film’s “original campaign was too hip and too selective,” and set about to promote the film as more “slapstick.” The picture had two midnight showings, one in late Nov 1988 and one in late Dec 1988, before being re-released on 13 Jan 1989 in Boston, MA. Three months later, the film opened on 17 Mar 1989 at The Quad theater in New York City, as stated in the NYT review published the same day. The 8 May 1989 DV noted that film during its run took in under $1 million at the box-office.
       According to an article in the 8 Apr 1988 LA Weekly, forty singers, songwriters and musical groups, such as Curtis Mayfield, members of The Neville Brothers, members of The Spinners, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, and Bobby Womack, auditioned for the roles of “Lester Diamond” and “Billy Diamond.” Production notes stated that comedian Bob “Bobcat” Goldthwait had a cameo appearance in the picture. However, Goldthwait is not credited onscreen. Modern sources note that Goldthwait appeared in the film under the pseudonym “Jack Cheese,” in the role of “Don Druzel.”
      End credits state the following: “Josh Tager and Ivan Alexeev were acquitted in Los Angeles Superior Court of all criminal charges. However, due to outstanding traffic warrants, Josh and Ivan are now doing time at a minimum security complex in Malibu Colony, California.” End credits state: “People who gave us stuff for free: International Sound Works; Ultimate Support Systems; Avedis Zildjian Company; B. C. Rich Guitars; Yamaha International Corp.; Pearl International, Inc.; Whirlwind; Electro-Voice, Inc.; Fender Musical Instrument Corp.” Acknowledgements continue with: “Also, thanks to: Gary Gillingham; Dick Hansen; Herb Hudson; Bruce Markoe; George McGrath; Menudo; Bill Schriener; Brandon Tartikoff; Ronnie Vance; Jimmy 'Z' Zavala.” The picture concludes with the following: “Oh…and by the way, the next time you’re passing through Santa Monica, CA., stop in at Renee’s Courtyard Cafe.”

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
27 May 1986
p. 1
Daily Variety
15 Jun 1987
p. 165
Daily Variety
25 Jan 1988
p. 3, 64
Daily Variety
30 Jan 1989
p. 20
Daily Variety
8 May 1989
p. 13
Exhibitor Relations Co., Inc.
31 Dec 1987
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 Mar 1987
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jan 1988
p. 3, 16
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jul 1988
p. 1, 16
Hollywood Reporter
27 Sep 1988
---
LA Weekly
8 Apr 1988
p. 57
LA Weekly
14 Oct 1988
---
Los Angeles Times
21 Oct 1988
Calendar, p. 10
New York Times
7 Oct 1988
Section C, p. 8
New York Times
17 Mar 1989
Section C, p. 16
Variety
18 Feb 1987
p. 6
Variety
3 Feb 1988
p. 14
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Michael Nesmith Presents
A Peter McCarthy/Front Films Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
Fetish video directrix
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Video coord
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Steadicam op
Gaffer
Best boy elec
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Grip
Still photog
Video cine
Video gaffer
Video playback
2d unit cine
2d unit gaffer
Concert lighting dir
Concert lighting dir
End title seq cine
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Asst art dir
Video art dir
Art dept coord
Addl art dir
Art asst
Art asst
Storyboards
Fetish art dir
FILM EDITORS
Video ed
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Fetish video ed
Negative cutter
End title seq ed
SET DECORATORS
Asst set dec
Set dresser
Prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Const coord
Specialty const
Specialty const
Const asst
Addl set dec
Addl set dec
Paintings and small sculptures
Sculptures
COSTUMES
Asst cost des
Ward supv
Wardrober
Seamstress
MUSIC
Mus supv
Mus score
Addl score
Supv mus ed
Jeffrey Charbonneau
Mus ed
Harmonica solo
Mus eng
Mus eng
Mus eng
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom man
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
ADR ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
And
And
And
And
And
And
And
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Ultra-Stereo consultant
Opt negative
Post-prod & re-rec facilities
VISUAL EFFECTS
Laser des
Laser eng
Laser eng
Spec eff coord
Tech
Opticals and main title art
Laser eff
DANCE
Choreog
Choreog
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
Asst makeup/Hair
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Exec in charge of prod
Scr supv
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Prod coord
Prod assoc
Prod controller
Asst auditor
Casting assoc
Casting asst
Video prod asst
Post-prod supv
Post-prod coord
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Honeywagon driver
Craft servicesss
Travel agent
Prod asst
Prod asst
Asst to Catfish
Parking security
Parking security
Extras casting
Extras casting
Payroll and prod accounting
Travel arr
Development financing
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
ANIMATION
Roscoe's anim
RVTV computer anim
Spylab anim
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Betcher Bottom Dollar,” performed by The Swanky Modes, written by Brian Adler, produced and arranged by Bob Rose; “Live And Learn,” performed by The Swanky Modes, written by Sam Taylor, produced and arranged by Bob Rose; “Beat Me Senseless,” performed by Circle Jerks, written by K. Clark, K. Morris and Greg Hetson, produced by Circle Jerks & Karat Faye; “I Wanna Be Sedated,” performed by David Kahne, written by The Ramones; “Tender Love Attack,” performed by Darryl Williams, written by Wilma Raglin & William Zimmerman; “Surfer’s Love Chant,” written & performed by Bo Diddley, produced by King Cotton & Ian Gardiner; “Roscoe’s Rap,” performed by King Cotton, words by Bill Fishman & Jim Fishman, music by King Cotton, Dennis Nelson and Danny Holloway, produced by Dennis Nelson; “Do The Limbo,” performed by The Calypso Band, written by Mike Berment & Van Dyke Parks, produced by Bob Rose; “That’s Enough (Of That War Stuff),” performed by The Swanky Modes, written by Michéle Vice & Larry Treadwell, produced by Raymond Jones; “Slow Bus Moving (Howard’s Beach Party),” written & performed by Fishbone, produced by Jon Bavin and Fishbone, courtesy of CBS Records; “Audience For My Pain,” performed by The Swanky Modes, written by Gerry Goffin & Barry Goldberg, produced by Jon Bavin; “Language Of Love,” performed by The Swanky Modes, written by Chuck Sabatino, produced by Bob Rose; “Repave Amerika,” performed by Bob Roberts, written by Tim Robbins, choir conducted by Gil Robbins, produced by David Robbins; “In Sight,” performed by Dead Kennedys, written by Jello Biafra, produced by Norm, courtesy of Alternative Tentalces Records; “You Hooked Me, Baby,” performed by The Swanky Modes, written by Sam Taylor, produced and arranged by Bob Rose; “Running Away,” performed by The Navigators, written and produced by Kevin O`Neil; “Put Your Hand Inside The Puppet Head,” performed by They Might Be Giants, written by John Flansburgh and John Linnell, produced by William Krauss; “Baby Doll,” performed, written & produced by DEVO; “Open All Night,” performed by The Putzes; “Mr. MX-7,” performed by Stiv Bator & The Zeros, written by Sammy Serious, produced by Paul Lani & Nigel Harrison; “American Patrol,” (Traditional), courtesy of Crescendo Records; “She’s The Lion,” performed by King Cotton & The Bonedaddys, written by Paul Lacques, produced and arranged by Bob Rose; “Try,” written, performed and produced by Thelonious Monster; “Now That You’re Gone,” performed by John Cusack and Tim Robbins, written by Hunt Sales and Tony Sales, produced and arranged by Bob Rose; “Ordinary Man,” performed by The Swanky Modes, written by Brian Alder, produced and arranged by Bob Rose.
PERFORMED BY
+
SONGWRITERS/COMPOSERS
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
21 October 1988
Premiere Information:
U.S. Film Festival screening, Park City, UT: 22 Jan 1988; Beverly Hills premiere: 19 Oct 1988; Los Angeles opening: 21 Oct 1988
Production Date:
began 2 Feb 1987
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Pacific Arts Pictures and National Broadcasting Company, Inc.
6 February 1989
PA401505
Physical Properties:
Sound
Recorded in Ultra-Stereo®
Color
Lenses
Camera and lenses Ultravision
Duration(in mins):
93
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28764
SYNOPSIS

In Los Angeles, California, best friends Ivan Alexeev and Josh Tager lose their security guard jobs. At a bar, they watch music videos on the popular music network, RVTV. Josh exclaims that he could direct better music videos. Ivan decides they should start a music video company called “Video Aces.” The next morning, Josh’s parents, Sid and June, are unhappy that Josh was fired and tell him to move out of their house. After looking for an apartment, Josh and Ivan meet Belinda Mart, a contemporary artist looking for tenants to share her loft in a downtown warehouse. Ivan and Josh are hesitant, but Belinda tells them that her father, Norman Mart, owns the building and there would be no rent. She fails to tell them that her father is also running for U.S. president. Belinda takes a liking to Josh, but he is too shy to flirt with her. Later, Ivan watches a television commercial for a restaurant called “Roscoe’s Chicken `N Waffles.” Thinking the commercial is terrible, Ivan telephones Roscoe and convinces him to hire Video Aces to create a hipper commercial. Roscoe agrees, and pays Ivan and Josh in free chicken and waffles. Later, Josh complains that they are suppose to be making music videos, but Ivan insists they need to make commercials to build up Video Aces’ reputation. Getting jobs through distributing flyers, Josh videotapes commercials for local businesses, while Ivan goes to record companies to promote Video Aces. Later, Ivan meets Mo Fuzz, president of Fuzzball Records. Fuzz offers Ivan the opportunity to produce a music video for the ...

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In Los Angeles, California, best friends Ivan Alexeev and Josh Tager lose their security guard jobs. At a bar, they watch music videos on the popular music network, RVTV. Josh exclaims that he could direct better music videos. Ivan decides they should start a music video company called “Video Aces.” The next morning, Josh’s parents, Sid and June, are unhappy that Josh was fired and tell him to move out of their house. After looking for an apartment, Josh and Ivan meet Belinda Mart, a contemporary artist looking for tenants to share her loft in a downtown warehouse. Ivan and Josh are hesitant, but Belinda tells them that her father, Norman Mart, owns the building and there would be no rent. She fails to tell them that her father is also running for U.S. president. Belinda takes a liking to Josh, but he is too shy to flirt with her. Later, Ivan watches a television commercial for a restaurant called “Roscoe’s Chicken `N Waffles.” Thinking the commercial is terrible, Ivan telephones Roscoe and convinces him to hire Video Aces to create a hipper commercial. Roscoe agrees, and pays Ivan and Josh in free chicken and waffles. Later, Josh complains that they are suppose to be making music videos, but Ivan insists they need to make commercials to build up Video Aces’ reputation. Getting jobs through distributing flyers, Josh videotapes commercials for local businesses, while Ivan goes to record companies to promote Video Aces. Later, Ivan meets Mo Fuzz, president of Fuzzball Records. Fuzz offers Ivan the opportunity to produce a music video for the Swedish band, “Cube Squared.” When Ivan asks for a deadline and budget, Fuzz says he and Josh have one day, and that this first music video will be “for spec,” compensated at a later date. Ivan and Josh record the video, but Fuzz does not like it. Back at the loft, Belinda tells her friends that she got them a job to record a charity ball. Arriving at the mansion of presidential candidate Norman Mart, Josh and Ivan meet Norman’s wife, Kay. During the party, Ivan meets music journalist Samantha Gregory and flirts with her until the party’s security guards escort her off the premises for investigating Mart. Elsewhere, Nikki Morton, Mart’s mistress, threatens to reveal a scandalous videotape if he does not give her more money. Mart orders his guards to get the tape, but Nikki hides the video inside a red box and slips it into Josh’s camera bag. In the evening, Ivan and Josh go to the loft’s roof, drinking and listening to their favorite band, “The Swanky Modes,” a rhythm and blues duo featuring Lester and Billy Diamond. The next morning, journalist Samantha Gregory telephones to announce that she got Video Aces a job for the heavy metal band, “Blender Children.” However, Ivan and Josh are fired after crashing the camera crane into the band. At a bar, the friends see The Swanky Modes, and hope to buy Billy and Lester beers, but when they turn around, the duo is gone. Meanwhile, Samantha breaks into the loft and finds Nikki Morton’s blackmail videotape of Norman Mart. After hiding the tape, she is confronted by Belinda. As the two women fight, Ivan and Josh arrive. Samantha informs them that the Blender Children were randomly crushed to death by a falling piece of an outer space laboratory at the Greek Amphitheater, and RVTV wants to air the last Blender Children music video in thirty minutes. At RVTV studios, Ivan and Josh bring their Blender Children footage, copied onto another videotape. As the music video premieres, the young men realize that Ivan dubbed the Blender Children’s music onto footage of a funeral they had recently recorded. Afterward, Ivan and Josh are praised for a work of genius. Samantha seduces Ivan, and convinces him to make her the Video Aces’s manager. On the way to the USA Video Awards ceremony, Samantha secures Ivan and Josh a deal to produce an upcoming live televised benefit concert featuring the popular band, "Menudo." At the awards show, Ivan and Josh end up winning the top USA Video Award for the Blender Children music video. Belinda’s mother, Kay, watches the show on television, and tells her husband, Norman Mart, that she hired Ivan and Josh to film her charity event. In response, Mart contacts his top security agents, Mr. G. and Mr. B, ordering them to search the Video Aces office for Nikki’s tape. Later, Josh and Ivan go to a bar and see Lester and Billy Diamond performing. They tell the brothers that The Swanky Modes are their favorite band, and that they would love to produce a live Swanky Modes televised concert. Lester and Billy assume the young men are inebriated. Josh and Ivan return to the loft and catch Mr. G. and Mr. B. rummaging through their videotapes. Believing the men are a band and want to record a music video, Ivan tells them to come back in the morning. Meanwhile, Josh approaches Belinda and they make love. In the morning, Mr. G., Mr. B., and their associates arrive. After giving Ivan and Josh a briefcase with money, Mr. G. and Mr. B. distract them while the others search for Mart’s tape. Upon finding the red box, the agents leave. Elsewhere, Samantha meets with Norman Mart and tells him she has his incriminating video. Mr. G. and Mr. B. arrive, but when they play the video in Mart’s VCR, they see the original Blender Children music video. As The Swanky Modes arrive to the loft to warm up for Ivan and Josh’s promised satellite broadcast concert, Samantha runs in. Outside, Mr. G. and Mr. B. order the agents to fire their guns into the loft. Thinking they want the briefcase of money back, Lester and Billy offer to return it. However, the agents reject the money. Lester and Billy take the briefcase and run away. Belinda recognizes Mr. G. and Mr. B. as her father’s guards, and orders them to leave her and her friends alone. Later, Ivan and Josh go to film Menudo’s live concert. When the band’s limousine arrives, Ivan and Josh tell the members that they cannot perform without green cards and instructs them go back to their hotel. After the limousine leaves, the concert hall marquee is changed to promote The Swanky Modes as headlining the concert. Mr. G. and Mr. B. arrive and chase Samantha for the videotape. In the control room, Samantha throws the tape to Josh, who throws it to Ivan. However, Ivan inadvertently tosses it to Mr. B. Norman Mart appears and takes the tape, stating that its contents would ruin his chances for winning the presidency. Josh suggests Mart should view the tape. As Josh places the video into a recorder, he hooks up the satellite uplink, feeding the footage of a nude Norman Mart being spanked by various women throughout multiple television station affiliates. Mart begins to cry, realizing his political career is ruined. When Belinda arrives, she reveals that Norman Mart is her father. As Belinda comforts her father, the audience chants for the show to start. As the lights go down and the curtain draws up, The Swanky Modes appear onstage and perform to the cheering audience. After the concert, two FBI agents arrest Ivan and Josh for broadcasting Mart’s video, stating it was a form of pornography. Though Ivan and Josh are acquitted, they are sent to a minimum-security complex in Malibu Colony, California, due to a large amount of parking tickets.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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