Blu-ray Review: Valley Girl (Collector’s Edition)



Once upon a time teenagers would go to the movie theaters to see films about teenagers with problems that weren’t unexpected mutant powers. The teens of the ’80s had to deal with the strangeness of impending adulthood. They weren’t going to fly or have magnet hands, but they were full of hormones and whatever liquor our parents stashed at the back of their bar. Somehow we relied on movies to give us an insight in how to deal so much including fitting in at school to relationships. Valley Girl was about two kids who fit in with their friends, but stick out like sore thumbs when they are together.

Julie Richman (My Chauffeur‘s Deborah Foreman) is a popular high school girl in the San Fernando Valley. She like to hang out with her friends (including E.G. Daily from Rugrats and Pee Wee’s Big Adventure) at the mall. She’s unsure of her relationship with Tommy (Night of the Comet‘s Michael Bowen). But she thinks he’s a bit of a jerk. But his girlfriends think he’s worth keeping. One day they drive over the mountains and visit the beach. It is there that she first sees Randy (Wild At Heart‘s Nicholas Cage). He’s a bit of a punk rock kid from the Hollywood side of the range. But when they lock eyes a second time at a party in the Valley, they want more from each other. Her friends are frightened by the wild guy from the city. They want their Julie back. They do their best to remind her that she’s a Valley girl and shouldn’t be staying out late on the Sunset Strip.

Nicholas Cage had a bit role in the classic Fast Times At Ridgemont High so he was an extremely fresh face when he walked onto the beach in Valley Girl. He plays the character as a well meaning goof who enjoys a little danger in his life. He’s a charmer so it’s easy to imagine why Julie would fall hard for the guy. This is isn’t the Cage we’ve experienced over last decade or so via Bangkok Dangerous. But that doesn’t mean he’s completely sweet and sane. The second half of the film has him acting extremely stalkery as he roams the Valley. But back in the ’80s that was just considered persistent.

Valley Girl is one of the best teen films of the ’80s thanks to Cage and Foreman’s relationship. This was still the cinema that had an edge to it before John Hughes watered it all down with Sixteen Candles. The soundtrack alone showed a movie that wasn’t playing nice. The prom scene has Josie Cotten and her band playing “Johnny Are You Queer?” Who in America had that play for their last dance? There’s also plenty of moments with the Plimsouls on stage performing “Million Miles Away.” That’s one of the great songs of the ’80s that doesn’t get beaten to death when people want to hear ’80s music. The Blu-ray appears to be the first time the original theatrical soundtrack is a part of the home video. You can hear Men At Work’s “Who Can It Be Now?” in the part scene. Strangely enough the one song you never heard was “Valley Girl” by Frank Zappa and his daughter Moon Unit. Turns out Frank was shopping a film project based on his only hit song. He tried his best to shutdown production of Valley Girl. Luckily for all of us, Zappa didn’t win since we would be deprived of a great Nicholas Cage performance. Oddly enough they recently remade the film, but MGM locked it in the vault since co-star Logan Paul decided to make fun of a dead Japanese guy.

Valley Girl reminds kids that just because you might not fit into each other’s scene, what matters is if you fit together. That’s a pretty tough lesson, but worthy of knowing.

The video is 1.85:1 anamorphic. The transfer was made from a 4k Scan of the original negative. You will see clearly the dreamy eyes of Cage. Audio is 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio Surround. There’s also the original mix at 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo. The music comes through clear as the kids cruise the grimy side of Los Angeles. The movie is subtitled.

Valley Girl In Conversation (50:11) features Director Martha Coolidge sitting down with E.G. Daily And Heidi Holicker. The conversation deals with how the studio demanded E.G. Daily have a topless scene in the film. Daily points out that people mail her frame captures of that scene for her to autograph. Who is sending the star of Rugrats nude photos of herself?

Greetings From The Valley – A Short History Of The Iconic San Fernando Valley (19:14) opens with Nic Cage talking about how he felt the Valley was boring suburbia. But Tommy Gelinas of The Valley Relics Museum lets us know that there’s more to the San Fernando Valley.

Show And Tell (4:47) has Heidi Holicker show off her collection. She was excited to have her picture on the original soundtrack EP.

20 Tubular Years Later (24:15) is the original featurette from the DVD release. They talk about how the movie came about includin

Extended Interviews has the raw footage from 20 Tubular Years With Nicolas Cage, Cameron Dye, Frederic Forrest, E.G. Daily, Heidi Holicker, Colleen Camp, Lee Purcell, Producers Andrew Lane And Wayne Crawford, Peter Case Of The Plimsouls, Josie Cotton and DJ Richard Blade.

Storyboard To Film Comparisons (11:30) has Coolidge discuss how she had to storyboard the film because of time and budget constraints.

Audio Commentary With Director Martha Coolidge has her talk about the rush of shooting around Los Angeles and the Valley with only 20 days.

In Conversation With Martha Coolidge And Nicolas Cage (20:10) has Nick wear a snakeskin jacket. They chat inside the Viper Room which was a location in the film when it was a previous incarnation. There’s a bit of talk about trust and acting.

Music Videos (8:13) includes Modern English’s “I’ll Melt With You” and the Plimsouls’ “Million Miles Away.”

Trailer (2:27) lets you know that you’ll see the world that Moon Unit Zappa talked about on the song.

The Music of Valley Girl (15:57) has them talk about putting together the soundtrack. There’s a bit of talk from Peter Case about the Plimsouls.

Shout Select presents Valley Girl: Collector’s Edition. Directed by Martha Coolidge. Screenplay by: Wayne Crawford & Andrew Lane. Starring: Nicolas Cage, Deborah Foreman, Elizabeth Daily, Michelle Meyrink, Colleen Camp & Frederic Forrest. Rated: Rated R. Running Time: 99 minutes. Released: October 30, 2018.

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