Today’s Friday Matinée pick is a real doozie, so cancel your weekend plans, because this is one film every dance-music fan has got to see. In fact, Vibrations—a 1996 vehicle for James Marshall and Christina Applegate—might be the funniest interpretation of early rave culture ever committed to film.
After a promising guitar player in a “hot band” loses his hands in a disturbingly ridiculous car crash, he walks the streets of New York drinking and generally throwing away his life before the sexy Anamika (played by a young Applegate) rescues him, bringing him into her quasi-futuristic compound shared by a hodgepodge of artists, inventors, and—you guessed it—ravers. Through the power of friendship, the handless T.J. discovers “techno” and eventually is fitted with robotic hands (later completed by a full robot suit) and begins wailing on keyboards over generic dance beats… and there you have Vibrations.
Yes, the plot holes are many, the music is pretty bad, and the acting is even worse, but the resulting 100 minutes are pure hilarious entertainment. You can watch what may be one of the biggest swing-and-a-miss attempts to capture the Gen-X “rave culture” below. At the very least, no life is truly complete without hearing the rebellious Simeon character explain the essence of techno with the most absurd combination of words possible (you’ll find that around the 51-minute mark). Oh, yeah—Utah Saints make a cameo, too. Enjoy!