Let's start off with a little bit of trivia: Did you know that High School Musical and its sequels have had the working titles Grease 3, Grease 4, and Grease 5? That would make it seem as though Zac Efron and his super-cute co-stars were some new generation possibly bred from the loins of Sandy and Danny. Not quite. It's got the whole differing social group angle, and how friends can get in the way of love, but it's definitely not that dirty, classic family movie we all know.

As a tot, I liked Grease, but I loved Grease 2 -- this is probably because Maxwell Caulfield was much easier on the eyes than John Travolta. But after watching the original a few times and devouring the second much more often, there was a long hiatus until a close cousin of mine got a little older and Grease got re-released in theaters. I took her to see it, and my jaw sagged through the entire film. How dirty! How could I not have realized this? I looked over at her; she was smiling, happy, and oblivious, so obviously the "don't-see-the-raunchiness" spell was working all these years later. It skillfully rides that fine line between raunch and respectability.

So, in the sea of a new musicals, equipped with myriads of fangirls, I give you my generation's High School Musicals: Grease and Grease 2.
Grease



One summer, two way-too-old-looking teens have some summer lovin'. Little did either of them know that they would end up at the same school that fall. Unfortunately, Olivia Newton John's Sandy is the goody two-shoes girl to John Travolta's bad T-Bird ways. They try to navigate their last year of high school, and their all-too-present feelings, while their friends keep derailing the love train.

It's funny. No matter how much it ages, Grease has this undeniable energy to it. You can't help yourself -- there's just too much catchy music and nostalgia to resist. It remains the only romantic musical that I've seen get under the skin of 20-30 something men, inspiring them to dance with drunken exuberance just as much as the ladies. I'm sure the dirt has a lot to do with it. Kids can watch it in an ignorant and happy haze, and then when you get older, the film just reveals a whole new set of tasty secrets.

TRIVIA:
Can you imagine Henry Winkler as Danny? He didn't take the role due to typecasting fears.

It seems Tom Cruise isn't the only Scientologist with height issues -- Jeff Conaway walked with a stoop to make Johnny appear taller.

He not only stooped for height -- Stockard Channing says Jeff Conaway really gave her those hickeys.

Summer Nights in Lego

This is how you hand jive.

Cast Interviews -- Part 1 & Part 2

Frankie Valli singing Grease all disco-like.


Grease 2


Click on the image to watch the trailer at Video Detective.

Oh, Grease 2 -- the pales-in-comparison sequel that me, and many others, love, even though many others ravage it. (Out of almost 10,000 votes on IMDb, it has a 3.4/10.) This time around, Michelle Pfeiffer's Stephanie Zinone is the bad girl to good guy Michael Carrington (Maxwell Caulfield). As Michael makes himself into a Cool Rider for the love of Stephanie, you see him change, and not just go "Poof! I'm a saucy, leather-clad minx now!" Still, it's not as good a movie -- but it's so very delightful in its badness.

What rocks more than just about anything but Zinone's need for her Cool Rider is the insane following that this movie has created. It really started to come out when Brian Herzlinger brought us My Date with Drew, and he and Drew bonded over the awesomeness of Grease 2, and how he divides the world into two categories: the who love it, and those who don't. Which category do you fall in?

The bonding G2 moment in My Date with Drew -- at about 3:30.


The all-important need for a C-O-O-L R-I-D-E-R.

Reproduction