The film’s decision to go broader instead of more realistic leads to any number of genuinely inspired comedic notions. Malcolm McDowell, for example, is absolutely hysterical as Reggie, whose approach to the part appears to have been to simply recycle the cheerfully over-the-top turn he did in “Caligula.” He makes grand proclamations to his fans onstage and indulges in outrageous behavior backstage, culminating in the unforgettable moment when he introduces one of the members of his band (John Densmore of The Doors) to his new manager, whose identity I will leave for you to discover. That said, the movie is stolen by Lou Reed, a guy not necessarily famous for having a sense of humor (especially at the time) but who turns in a hilarious and winning performance as Auden, effectively satirizing both Dylan and his own self-serious reputation, and then bringing the entire thing to a close with a lovely rendition of “Little Sister.” (Unfortunately, in what proves to be one of the film’s most glaring flaws, Arkush, at the behest of the producer, according to the commentary track, insisted on running the end credits superimposed over the footage of Reed performing.)
When “Get Crazy” hit theaters in the summer of 1983, it got some decent reviews but was hindered by spotty distribution and an ad campaign that didn’t really explain what the movie actually was. For years, it was unavailable on DVD and Blu-ray for various technical reasons, and those who wanted to see it were forced to resort to bootlegs and occasional appearances on YouTube. Now all of the issues have been resolved and Kino Lorber has given it the Blu-ray treatment with a new 2K master and a nice collection of special features that are led by an informative commentary track featuring Arkush, film historian Daniel Kremer, and “Get Crazy” superfan Eli Roth. “The After Party” is a feature-length documentary featuring most of the surviving participants recounting the film’s production and reception. There are even a trio of Arkush-directed music videos, including one for the title song by Sparks and two takes on “Not Gonna Take it No More” from Lori Eastside and the Nada Band, one from when the film was originally released, and another shot during a reunion performance earlier this year.
Of course, for fans of the film who have been yearning to retire their bootleg copies for years, simply having a decent copy of “Get Crazy” is the biggest bonus of them all. Still as weird and wild as it was when it first came out, this movie is ripe for rediscovery and hopefully this Blu-ray will help it find the audience that it has long deserved. Those who make “Get Crazy” part of their upcoming New Year’s Eve will find it impossible to exit the shittiest of years without a genuine smile on their face.
To order your copy of “Get Crazy” on Kino Lober Blu-ray, click here.