Empire Records: Remix! Special Fan Edition (1995)

Rating PG
Length 1h 47
Release 28.6.1996
Director Allan Moyle
About A group of misfits who work at a small, independent record shop help their manager collect money to buy the enterprise. However, they discover kinship while also trying to fight off a corporate giant.

First Thoughts

The Prince Charles Cinema introduced me to this film full of familiar faces. It was one of their Teen Pyjama Party movie marathons and this was the only film on the list I hadn’t seen. Ever.
It played first and I absolutely loved it.
This was probably late 2015 or early 2016 and ever since I’ve kept a regular appointment to celebrate Rex Manning day, on or around the 8th April.

The Good

  • This is the definition of ‘misfits’. The narrative centres around a group of teens who openly admit they hate each other. It’s not a clique or a Saturday detention, but the big bad world. They’re all brought together by Joe, this awesome character that everyone who watches would wish to have in their life.
  • Despite its stupid age rating, this film covers some pretty hard topics; drug abuse, social expectations and even suicide. Jesus, I dare you not to tear up as Deb says “You gonna fix me Joe? Okay, Fix me, I’ll listen.”
    Okay, so it doesn’t provide any answers, but it does help anyone who has been there a little less alone. Sometimes that’s all we need, to know that no one really has it together.
  • The music! There’s a reason the soundtrack did so well. It’s killer. Yes, having around 100 songs featured would me that you could cherry pick for the released album, but even still you’ll appreciate it for the 90s eclectic time capsule it is.
  • It is a quotable hot mess! From the insights of Lucas, to the stoner mumblings of Mark you’re third and forth viewings will have you calling out those lines.

The Bad

  • Damn the Man! This is another case of Studio interference. What you watch does not mesh with the rating it has. This should be a 15, that’s certainly the demographic.
    It feels so sanitised and lacking authenticity. Yes, it’s a detriment to the film, but watch it in spite of that, please. This is not the cause of anyone who had any passion in the film, but ‘the Man’. I just hope, somewhere, there’s the footage and money that could create a Director’s cut.

The Ugly

  • I’ve seen many different versions of the film. I think there are at least three out in circulation. The version I watched tonight was badly edited, both in terms of scenes and sound. This is particularly noticeable when Gina seduces Rex; you hear a bar and a half of ‘A Girl Like You’ and it suddenly cuts off, when you know it should really be fading in. It’s not until a while later, perhaps indicating the addition of a scene, that the Edwyn Collins’ track returns to ‘compliment’ the proceedings.
  • Aside from being an obvious distraction, the edits also highlight the issues with the plot. I’ll be honest, I don’t care too much, however I can’t help but being banged over the head with the errors when its being screamed at me.

Final Thoughts

Damn the man, save the Empire. Every year, on the 8th April.

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