“Cry-Baby” is one of those rare things, a musical where just about every song is a winner and it’s damn good fun into the bargain. I haven’t seen it in a while but I remember many of the tunes, and much of the stylish imagery, as if I’d watched it yesterday! The bikes, Iggy Pop, “Square” posh girl Allison Vernon-Williams (Amy Locane) waiting outside the prison for her “Drapes” bad boy, the hilarious helicopter-attempted breakout, juvenile delinquent Wade “Cry-Baby” Walker (Johnny Depp) getting his hair shorn while inside, ex-porn star Traci Lords and the Swedish au pair invited to stay at her home, chat show host Ricki Lake’s power-exclamation “Our bosoms are our weapons, girls”, the at-first hesitant rendition of “Mr Sandman”, not to mention the skirts getting ripped off during the manic motorcycle finale!!
The film was shot mostly in director John Waters’ hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, USA, as indeed are many of his movies. The gorgeous Rachel Sweet did the singing for the equally gorgeous Amy Locane. I’ve got a couple of Rachel’s albums and saw her live on campus, as part of the second Stiff Records tour, as an undergraduate in the Portland Building at Nottingham University. It’s permanently etched on my mind because, as soon as she appeared on stage, a male member of the audience shouted, “I’m stiff”, at which she, and everybody else, rocked with laughter! No doubt she was probably thinking, “bloody students”!! Anyway, “Cry-Baby” is a little gem of a movie and well worth looking out.