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  • Writer's pictureShannon Heibler

Grease 2 (1982)

I'm so pleased to report that this movie Holds Up and I'm even more pleased to have watched it with fellow Grease 2 connoisseur, Andy, with whom I watched it soo many times in college. (And thanks to Ben for watching half of it with me to better understand me.)


I'm not crazy about the original Grease. The stage show or the movie. It's rapey and gross and even though she looks slammin' at the end, I don't love that Sandy's makeover comes in that form. Grease 2 always appealed more, and I think it has a lot to do with Stephanie having agency and a lot more strength. Michelle Pfeiffer is effing electric and it's amazing to see how early that was obvious and I'm honored to share my birthday with her.


It's funny, watching this time around, I was really distracted by how beautiful Michelle Pfeiffer and Maxwell Caulfield are. Not, like, horny distracted. Just in awe that humans can look like that. It's ridiculous. No one should be that pretty but I'm really glad they are.


While watching, Andy and I had a terrific conversation about the culture we (and others like us) imprinted on when we were younger and how it shaped us. Grease 2 is on both of our lists. So is Death Becomes Her. The list is long. And while trying to pinpoint what they have in common, it came down to camp and specificity. And a very, erm, specific type of camp. Not the over-the-top, if-you-flinch-you're-out type of camp of John Waters (though I adore him), but the kind of heightened reality camp that acts as though its taking itself seriously, but if you scoff at it for that, you don't get it. I'm doing a TERRIBLE job articulating this. I think people who shit on Grease 2 for being "bad" don't understand that it was never supposed to be "good." It's a kind of beautiful marvel that acknowledges art can exist outside the binary of good and bad. It's enjoyable. It doesn't miss the mark and we love it anyways. It nailed what it set out to be (I think) and if you get it, you love it. It probably set out to be more commercially successful, but it was never going to be. I don't know if this ties into my attempt to explain this brand of camp, but it definitely falls into my favorite category of film: unapologetic existence.


Quick shout outs to camp folklore legends appearing in Grease 2: Lorna Luft. Maureen Teefy. Eve Arden. TAB HUNTER.


I'm watching it again and I need to acknowledge the fathomless sex appeal of Michael asking for Stephanie's permission to kiss her again. We stan a consent king.


The costume design in this movie is Top Notch. Not only are the Calendar Girls costumes better than what a lot of professional theater companies can put together, but the every day costumes paint a terrific picture of each character. Stephanie starting the movie in a slouchy sweatshirt and capris with every other girl in slinky skirts and she still looks better than all of them? Her incredible array of jackets???? Stop. I don't need any more jackets (it's becoming my primary character trait) but I'll get more, damn it. I'll do it. Michelle Pfeiffer, if you read this, please enable my jacket problem.


Finally, the music. It's all so stupid and so fun. I didn't hear "Reproduction" until college (and was shocked) because it was edited from the TV version and it's a bop. "Who's That Guy" is responsible for so much embarrassing lipsyncing on my part and I will apologize to no one. And then. There's Cool Rider. Knit firmly into the fabric of my being, what is it about Cool Rider? Is it Michelle Pfeiffer's performance? The aggressively casual and sexy way she climbs that ladder? Her growing confidence in knowing exactly what she wants and knowing she won't settle for less and she just needs to dance it out? The reversible jacket?? I don't know but fuck I love that song.


Go ahead and take a little bit to enjoy that gif. You've earned it.


"For All Seasons"

Paper, frames, little metal numbers, magnets, acrylic paint, glue, acetate, so much glitter



















Takeaways:

-This was my first time using acrylic paint markers for anything other than touchups on props and I mostly really liked them. I was frustrated by how inconsistent it was getting a solid field of color. Some colors, terrific. Others, even the ones I did later when I'd have assumed I'd have a decent understanding of how to do it, not so much.

-I had artist Dave Perillo (@montygog on IG)' s work in my brain for this one. I adore his style, I own a few prints of his, I really wanted to try that cutesy cartoony style. Which is the antithesis of my go to drawing style. So while I'm not 100% over the moon with how this turned out, I am thrilled with myself for trying something different and personally challenging. Even if some of them look like mid-90s Hallmark store art...

-I loved these costumes just watching the number in the movie but getting to spend some time really looking at the details? HOLY COW. August, you have so much going on and I love you. (I altered the placement of the letters on some of the outfits just to make them more visible, but otherwise they're pretty true to what I could see from taking pictures of the TV haha.)

-This was a lot of work, even with the drawings being on the small size (5.5"x5.5"), but I kept a good pace and was thrilled to start assembly on Saturday night. But of course that's where it all went pear shaped. I have never been so stupid with glitter. And it is hot as hell here so I'm very sweaty and all the glitter is just part of me now. Part of the problem was I was rushing. Part of the problem was the intense humidity and the glue not setting. And those problems together were real bad. But it's done! Hooray!

-Because of frustrations with the marker consistency and the framing and the fact that I would not mind having a regular paper calendar with these images, I'm probably going to touch it all up digitally. It's nice liking my work enough to want to improve it so I can look at it more.


After Grease 2 last week and The Abyss being stupidly unavailable to rent on streaming, Movie Club watched Ladyhawke last night! And the Michelle Pfeiffer-fest continues with this evening's Making & Movies viewing of BATMAN RETURNS! (I have already watched it like five times this summer because Selina is speaking to me on a primal level lately but you know what?? THRILLED TO WATCH IT AGAIN TONIGHT!)


I hope you have a C-O-O-L week and that you R-I-D-E into it with confidence. And always follow the code: act cool, look cool and be cool. THINK PINK!

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