July 30th, 2004


Crazy Streets(1987) review - Treeline

Here's one of the most common tricks of cheap videos. Place a major star on the cover of some early film that they're hardly in or would like to forget. In this case, it's Alec Baldwin. As the oldest and arguably most talented of the Baldwin clan, he plays the not-too-frequently-seen love interest of the real star of the picture, frequent 70's Fassbinder muse, Hanna Schygulla.

The DVD is titled "Crazy Streets", but the film's original title is "Forever, Lulu"(not to be confused with the 2000 Patrick Swayze/Melanie Griffith vehicle, "Forever Lulu". notice the lack of a comma? It's the details that count.) As per usual, the re-titling is done very clumsily with an inappropriate freeze frame of the movie overlaid with very cheap video titler block letters.


Yeah, Debbie(sorry Deborah) Harry is in the movie, she's even the title character and major plot point, but apart from the unexplained beginning credits photo shoot, you hardly see her. She just pops in every once awhile to eat an apple and watch the proceedings. Wisely, she doesn't talk much.

The movie feels very "hip" in and 80's sort of grungy New York wild style way. sort of a cross between "A Certain Sacrifice"(now that needs to be on dvd) and "Desperately Seeking Susan". But only if Madonna was a 44 year old german woman in those films.

While Schygulla may have been good enough for Fassbinder to use her in almost 20 movies in a ten year period, she's pretty terrible here. Yes, it was her first American film and the writing doesn't help much("I don't want to die before I get my first credit card"), but her delivery is usually atrocious. She's not the only bad thing about the film. Most of the "actors"(read: friends of the director) are terrible, the jokes aren't funny, and the mistakes are to numerous to count.

Good things? It's got the principal from the Breakfast Club, and Baldwin had probably already signed on to do Beetlejuice (it was released the year after), so this film didn't hold him back.

Was it boring? No.

Was there nudity? Yes. (Hannah in the tub!)

The plot? You don't need to know. Nor would you care.

Was a woman taunted with a fish? Yes!

Did Newman from Seinfeld(Wayne Knight) show up in a tiny cameo and lick a dominatrix's boot?


This one gets the packrat stamp of approval.

Technical details: This Treeline Films DVD was found at Microcenter in Houston Texas for 99 cents. It's in a regular full size plastic case. The disc has color graphics with the movie description on the face. The transfer is full frame from a pretty poor master. It has various video glitches throughout the running time. If they used a former VHS rental tape for the source, i wouldn't be suprised.

Back cover description:
Crazy Streets
86 Minutes

"She came to see the sights, but they had other plans."

In this action comedy, a young German woman named Elaine Hines (Hanna Schygulla) moves to New York City with romantic dreams of becoming a successful writer. Elaine becomes entangled in a mystery and falls in with a group of gangsters. They lead her through a series of crazy adventures that turn her world upside down. The film features performances by Deborah Harry (of rock group Blondie) and Alec Baldwin (Hunt for Red October).