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MICHAEL NESMITH PRESENTS 'TAPEHEADS' WITH TIM ROBBINS

Tim Robbins in Bill Fishman's cult comedy TAPEHEADS Year: 1988 Rating: ***

Monkee turned millionaire Michael Nesmith, after backing the cult classic REPO MAN, joined that film's producer Peter McCarthy who co-wrote TAPEHEADS with music-video director Bill Fishman... 

The perfect director for a video-making parody about a twenty-something odd couple in salesman-type John Cusack as Ivan and best friend Josh played by a meek/mellow Tim Robbins, the artistic side of this underdog duo who start out as unambitious multi-monitor security guards...

Katy Boyer as Belinda Mart in TAPEHEADS

Then the boys (too quickly) run their own makeshift studio-space business alongside cute secretary Katy Boyer, dying for shy Robbins's love/interest like Annie Potts to Harold Ramis in GHOSTBUSTERS only with sexual success (she also waits patiently by the phone for any kind of gig for the longshot employers); meanwhile her antithesis is dark-haired media-fatale Mary Crosby, reluctantly geared towards the money-seeking Cusack...

Aesthetically, TAPEHEADS embodies the colorful 1980's new-wave-punk scene also featured in the aforementioned REPO MAN along with DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN, AFTER HOURS and ECHO PARK... 

Tim Robbins in TAPEHEADS with John Cusack and Mary Crosby

Only here the offbeat comedy flows not through hit-or-miss dialogue or punchlines but montage-driven madness as the characters are developed along with their status/talent of creating videos (mostly off the cuff) for eclectic musical acts...

But when a politician's sex-tape is sought-after by mobsters, the niche pop-culture aspect is narrowed into a rather mainstream/hackneyed plot-line contradicting the otherwise alternative format: A shame since the initial struggle to capture a perfect game-changing/career-making video was intriguing and entertaining enough. 

Michael Nesmith opens the credits in TAPEHEADS
One of the great all-time 1980's opening credit fonts for TAPEHEADS
While the NBC logo appears a chicken cackles in TAPEHEADS

Martha Quinn MTV vj in TAPEHEADS
Tim Robbins in TAPEHEADS
Katy Boyer as Belinda Mart in TAPEHEADS
Katy Boyer as Belinda Mart in TAPEHEADS with John Cusack
John Cusack and Mary Crosby in TAPEHEADS
Katy Boyer as Belinda Mart in TAPEHEADS
Katy Boyer as Belinda Mart in TAPEHEADS with Mary Crosby
Tim Robbins and John Cusack in TAPEHEADS
Katy Boyer as Belinda Mart in TAPEHEADS

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