Roger Wilson, the star of this movie, lost his parents at a young age and inherited several million. He graduated Woodberry Forest School in 1975 with Marvin Bush, the brother of the former President, and had a pretty astounding life, marrying Estée Lauder model Shaun Casey before dating Christy Turlington and Elizabeth Berkley, which was the reason why a member of Leonardo DiCaprio’s circle of friends punched Wilson in the throat and damaged his larynx so badly that he never sang again. You can read more about that in a past review of this film.
Anyways, Roger is Richie in this movie, the working class kid who becomes the guitarist and singer of the band Magic and also the boyfriend of Beth (Jill Schoelen). You know, if you’re a touring musician and dating Jill Schoelen, you should just settle down and not do too much more. You’re already so far ahead of the rest of all humanity.
Richie has taken the lead role from Skip (Leif Garrett, who knows a thing or two about rock and roll and drugs). Donnie, the keyboard player, is the one who gets into the drugs so badly that he just doesn’t make it. But it’s not all rough. I mean, the band has Clancy Brown — the Kurgan — as their road manager!
Director J. S. Cardone also made The Slayer, a movie that makes no sense so much that I love it, and the direct to video sequel to 8mm. He also directed Shadowzone; A Climate for Killing; Black Day, Blue Night; Outside Ozona; True Blue and Wicked Little Things.
Shot in Tucson, Arizona — using some of the same locations as The Wraith and Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man — with local band Surgical Steel* showing up to play, Thunder Alley isn’t the best rock and roll movie there is. But you know, you could microwave up some food and have your own rib fest while you watch it.
*Their singer, Jeff Martin, sang in Racer X and played drums for Badlands after Eric Singer left. He’s also worked with Paul Gilbert and Michael Schenker quite often.