If you wanted a definition of ‘cult movie’ Streets of Fire would do it.
Pitched as ‘a rock and roll fable’, it tells the simple story of a guy rescuing a girl from a biker gang. Because it’s a Walter Hill movie it does it without irony, embarrassment or regret and, like it’s cousin The Warriors (1979), is pure comic book escapism.
From the opening shot of neon reflected on a wet street to the final showdown, the film is alive with a beat and energy that jumps off the screen. It’s not just the fantastic soundtrack (Ry Cooder, The Blasters, and two brilliant tracks by Jim Steinman), it’s in the hard boiled dialogue, the editing, the unapologetically 2D characters and the blended 80’s and 50’s art direction that gives the whole thing a timeless sheen.
Strictly speaking not a great film, but nonetheless a wonderful must-see movie.