March 04, 2008

The Cult Of The Real Genius Soundtrack

What was it about the 1985 film Real Genius which caused so many people to form a kind of cult around it? Yeah, it's funny, but if you look at it objectively, is it really THAT funny? If you run a web search for the soundtrack, you will find dozens of fan sites (most of of them peppered with defunct or cryptic links) dedicated to assembling a complete track listing-- a retail version of the soundtrack was never released. The movie is one I never get tired of, but it's a peculiar kind of romance I have with it, one I have a difficult time justifying. I think people my age gravitate to this film mostly because they played the holy hell out of it on cable at a time when American households finally began to surrender en masse to the lure of subscription television. For me, watching Real Genius is about experiencing a weird kind of enjoyable melancholy. Despite the comedy, the film has it's own particular mood, kind of like how the look and sound of those old original-series Star Trek episodes are imbued with a weird melancholy of their own. Then again, maybe the film simply is as good as the fans make it out to be. Here are two montage scenes which the fans tend to be ravenous for. They succeed almost entirely because of their marriage to the soundtrack. Out of context, they are really kind of boring. Sorry about the sound being out of sync on the first one. I've included downloadable versions of the tracks below. A tip of the hat to Umberto St. John for providing them. Again, they're not especially great songs or performances, but if you are a fan, you hear them and you smile automatically.

No comments: