Okay, so most people liked "Grease" when it came to high school musicals. But I always had a preference for "Rock 'n' Roll High School." Did "Grease" have the Ramones? Did "Grease" have the school being rocked to the ground? Did "Grease" have a giant mouse worried about its children? This is the 1950's rock and roll teen movie updated to 1979 and instead of Annette we have P.J. Soles, in her one starring role of prominence after memorable appearances in "Halloween" and "S*T*R*I*P*E*S." P.J. is Riff Randell, the #1 Fan of the Ramones, which is just one more thing to be inscribed on her permanent record as far as Vince Lombardi High's principal Miss Togar (Mary Woronov) is concerned. Riff is aided and abetted in her never ending battle against the fascist policies of Miss Togar by her friend, Kate Rameau (Dey Young), who is cute, sweet and in need of a boyfriend. Fortunately, all of life's problems can be solved with the help of Eaglebauer (Clint Howard) and the Ramones. Of course, if Mary Woronov is in this movie, you know Paul Bartel must be nearby and he plays Mr. McGree, the only teacher who is hep to the Ramones.
There are standard juvenile antics, ratcheted down a level or two for the purposes of this film, which is redeemed when the Ramones show up and save the day by destroying the school. "Rock 'n' Roll High School" is a film that embraces its shortcomings and total lack of pretentions. As with all good cult films, this DVD edition caters to the whims of its peculiar fanatics, offering up the concert footage of the Ramones shot for the film, decent commentary from the director, producer & writer, and an interview by Leonard Maltin of Roger Corman (sure, why not?). They were not trying to make a good movie here, which is why this is not a bad film but a staple of late night weekend programming. And did I mention it has the Ramones?