Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains was a 1981 film shot in Canada about three teenage girls, including Diane Lane and Laura Dern, who start a punk band. The film also featured ex-Sex Pistols Steve Jones and Paul...展开Cook, along with Paul Simonon from The Clash and Fee Waybill from The Tubes. L.A. punk icon Black Randy from Black Randy and the Metrosquad also makes an appearance.
The film was directed by music business tycoon Lou Adler for Paramount Pictures in 1981, and written by Nancy Dowd who won the Best Screenplay Oscar for Slap Shot. Dowd took the pseudonym Rob Morton after being unsastisfied with the production process and the final cut of the film. The movie was produced by Joe Roth, who would later go on to become chairman of Walt Disney Studios. Punk rock journalist Caroline Coon was a technical advisor on the film.
It was never given wide release, but may have had a small theatrical release in 1982. A poor test screening was held in Denver, Colorado. The film was shelved but eventually made its way to the Art-House circuit. Reported theatrical runs include the Theatre Of The Living Arts in Philadelphia (Friday, August 23rd and Saturday, August 24th, 1985) and the Film Forum in New York City, (Wednesday, March 6th, 1985). The true audience for this movie found it on late night cable television. TV airings during the ‘80s were spotted on the popular USA Network program Night Flight, Los Angeles local cable Z Channel and Showtime. Since then, the film has become a much sought after bootlegged cult classic. This movie has never been released on home video or DVD. Poor quality bootleg copies float around, though fans hope for a DVD release.
The film has a loyal cult following and does show up on the big screen once in a while. A projectionist at the Nuart Cinema in Los Angeles pushed for a print to be made. In 1998 the film showed at the Chicago Underground Film Festival. The film was shown in 2005 at the Sydney Film Festival. The film had its most recent television appearance one night in the late 1990s on VH1.
In many ways, The Stains heavily influenced the riot grrl movement of the 1990s and bands like Bikini Kill. Other diverse fans of the film include musician/actor Courtney Love, writer/comedian Jake Fogelnest, musician/actor Jon Bon Jovi and the late underground filmmaker Sarah Jacobson. In 2000, Jacobson directed, with Adam Green, a short documentary on the film for the IFC television show Split Screen.