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Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains (R)

Rhino Entertainment

Like Penelope Spheeris' The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years, Lou Adler's Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains is a rock movie cult fans have clamored for. Most music films of the early '80s indulged in pure cheese; Stains was a sullen, gritty, cynical, hateful look at the music industry. Maybe that's why it was barely released. Diane Lane is 15-year-old smart-ass orphan Corinne "Third Degree" Burns. She has a chip on her shoulder and no money in her pocket. Her all-girl post-punk band, the Stains, are plunged into the dirty world of the music industry, witnessing everything from ODs to song theft. Extremely disjointed and at times comically surreal, with a hilarious anti-punk ending that sends a mixed message hard not to appreciate, this is one Stain you don't want to wash out. Louis Fowler

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Larry Flynt: The Right to be Left Alone (NR)

Anchor Bay Entertainment / Release date: Sept. 30

A lot of people admire Larry Flynt because he's built a business in which he gets to look at naked chicks all day long. What's probably more worth our admiration, though, is how tirelessly Flynt has defended the First Amendment while running that business. Through the publishing of his porn rag Hustler, he's gone to court numerous times to defend the right to be offensive. Joan Brooker-Marks' documentary is about that, most of which was dramatically covered in The People vs. Larry Flynt. For fans of that film, this may seem redundant, but its last 30 minutes are great; they bring you up to speed on what Flynt's doing now, especially his efforts against the Bush administration and its squashing of American rights. As the film shows, regardless of how you feel about the man, you can't say he's not working in your favor. Louis Fowler

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The Vanguard (NR)

Anchor Bay Entertainment / Release date: Sept. 30

In the year 2015, the war for oil has left the Earth a vast wasteland controlled by a powerful entity known as the Corporation. There is no food and no water, and zombies known as "biosyns" overrun the planet. Well, at least that's what the opening scroll tells us. Kinda sounds like a high-tech, big-budget affair, doesn't it? Nope director Matthew Hope's The Vanguard is actually a cool little low-fi zombie flick with twinges of sci-fi; imagine Children of Men meets 28 Days Later. The titular vanguard is a lone survivor, rummaging about in the wilderness, trying to stay alive as Corporation raiders, the Resistance and, of course, zombies, all try to tear out a piece of him. Not really scary as much as it is thought-provoking, this smart British flick is the perfect meal for those that are long burned out on the living dead. Louis Fowler


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