One of the great things about the Interwebs is that you can literally look up almost anything you want. That’s great right? You’d think with that kind of power there would be no stupid people but that’s just not the case. Instead, we have more stupid people now than any point in history. How do I know this? I’m on Twitter a lot.
So, the other day on Twitter, a friend of mine (we’ll call him Jose) started posting about the classic breakdancing film Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. I hadn’t thought about that film in years and he ended up posting a link to the entire film. For the life of me, I could not stop watching it. For one thing, it’s like a nasty car wreck that you just have to look at and like some sorry rubbernecker, I ended up watching the whole thing.
Now, I’ve seen the film before but the last time I watched it in its entirety was in a movie theater somewhere in 1984-85. I was 10 years old.
Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo to the 10-year-old mind is epic. I mean, it takes off right where the original film left us with Ozone, Turbo and Kelly fighting “the man” to save their neighborhood community center. Cool right?? Well, not so much when you’re older…
This film has some pretty obvious things wrong with it (white savior racism for one) but what prompted me to write this article (besides alcohol) is that I learned several things about the film that I never knew before and I’m willing to bet you didn’t either. Then again, I might be drunk and writing this from a public library terminal. But you’ll never know either way.
For starters, this film has one of the worst opening title sequences in the history of film. And it’s not so much the filming (which is terrible) as it is the music. We are forced to endure Believe in the Beat by Carol Lynn Townes as we watch various people breakdance “in the streets”.
Look, I’d rather stab myself in the ears with rusty corncob holders than listen to Believe in the Beat again, but be my guest. The song is probably the most un-breakable tune in the whole movie so why they chose this song to open the film is anyone’s guess. It’s awful.
One thing I remembered from the film was the hot “Spanish girl” that couldn’t speak English. I wasn’t sure what else to Google to search for information about her but somehow that term worked. In the film, her name was Lucia and she was the love interest of Turbo. She also had the voice of Minnie Mouse…if Minnie could not speak a lick of English.
According to the IMDB, she was actually an American actress named Sabrina Garcia who couldn’t speak a word of Spanish. Go figure! The film makers dubbed her lines with awful Minnie Mouse Spanish because…Hollywood is run by a bunch of racist assholes. I’m betting she was ecstatic about that. No one has ever heard from her again. If you’re somehow reading this Sabrina, hello!
Ice-T (from TV for you kids who don’t know he was a rapper exactly 100 years ago) is in this film and he looks like Rob Halford from Judas Priest, obviously in a different era and hell bent for leather. Seriously, I had to actually look up how old Ice-T is after seeing him in this movie. He’s 54.
Ice-T was also in a sequel to Electric Boogaloo but it had a different story line and was called Rappin’ AKA Breakdance 3. It also starred Mario Van Peebles and Eriq La Salle.
Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo was directed by Sam Firstenberg. Who? Exactly. The people that wrote this atrocity of a film never wrote anything else. Roger Ebert gave this film three stars! Think about that for a minute.
Another thing about this film that sticks out in my mind is the scene where Turbo dances on the ceiling.
I’d always wondered how the hell they pulled that off. To my surprise, the film crew borrowed the rotating room from A Nightmare on Elm St. (which also came out in 1984). Allegedly, there’s a picture of Freddy’s glove on the wall.
The film (and its predecessor) was inspired by true events. The Radiotron, which was a community center for youth in MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, was also a focal point for early hip hop culture on the West Coast. Both films were shot at Radiotron and despite a community effort to save it, the building was demolished. Youth Director Carmelo Alvarez led a march to Los Angeles City Hall in an effort to save the building but unlike in the film, Kelly’s dad did not come through on a white savior horse and write a check.
The community center in the movie (Miracles) is actually a real place in Boyle Heights called Casa Del Mexicano. According to my friend who lives close by (we’ll call him Dave) says it has narrowly escaped recent demolition as well.
Another friend of mine who went to school in Boyle Heights (we’ll call him Arc) says that the director of the film nearly violated labor laws by allowing neighborhood kids to be in the film’s opening scenes.
So what does this all mean? Absolutely nothing! It means that you can look up even the most minute and mundane details about awful films from your childhood and then share them with poor saps too foolish to listen to you rant about them.
Now that I have cleansed my soul of Electric Boogaloo I am looking forward to dissecting Colors, starring Sean Penn and Robert Duvall. Maybe. If my editor (we’ll call him Dennis) doesn’t kill me first.
Please feel free to share your Electric Boogaloo tidbits in the comments and or tell me I’m nuts.
Santino J. Rivera is an Indie Publisher and Author @ Broken Sword Publications