Picks and Pans Review: Tapeheads

updated 11/07/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/07/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

Two self-styled hip 'n' happening music video producers, played by John (Eight Men Out) Cusack and Tim (Bull Durham) Robbins, are being harassed by the FBI and can't figure out why. In fact, the boys have in their possession a compromising video of a presidential candidate (Clu Gulager) flagrante delicto with a naked Little Bo Peep. The boys don't know this, of course. They don't know much of anything. After shooting a newsworthy video in which a heavy metal singer accidentally explodes along with his special effects, the dweebs mistakenly run the sound portion over a tape of an Italian funeral they shot during their days of struggle. Disaster? Nah. The boys are hailed as artistic innovators. What we have here, from music video veteran Bill Fishman in his feature-directing debut, is a satire of the style-over-substance MTV generation. As satires go, this one is too little and too late. The script by Fishman and producer Peter (Repo Man) McCarthy is tired and toothless. But there are compensations: Cusack and Robbins (a ringer here for David Letterman) are appealingly prankish. Mary Crosby—Bing's kid, the one who shot J.R.—turns her snoopy rock reporter into a sassy minx. And the music, highlighted by the teaming of soul greats Sam Moore and Junior Walker, has sizzle. The sound track, a diverse selection that includes King Cotton and Bo Diddley, should be a hot item. But the movie is strictly a walk on the mild side. (R)

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