Slam Dance (film)

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Slam Dance
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Wayne Wang
Produced by Don Keith Opper
Written by Don Keith Opper
Starring Judith Barsi
Music by Mitchell Froom
Cinematography Amir M. Mokri
Edited by Sandy Nervig
Lee Percy
Distributed by Island Pictures
Release date
October 2, 1987
Running time
100 minutes
Country United Kingdom
United States
Language English
Budget $4.5 million
Box office $406,881

Slam Dance is a 1987 thriller directed by Wayne Wang and starring Tom Hulce, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Virginia Madsen and Harry Dean Stanton. It was screened out of competition at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival.[1]


A married cartoonist named C.C. Drood becomes involved in the cover up of a political sex scandal after his lover, Yolanda Caldwell, a call girl, is found murdered.

Drood has betrayed his wife Helen with the exotic Yolanda, who takes him to a club where the patrons slam dance, violently crashing into one another on the dance floor.

Bobby Nye, a former lesbian lover of Yolanda's, hires a hit man named Buddy to do away with Drood, who is also hotly pursued by the police. Drood ultimately comes to believe that Bobby and Buddy are the ones responsible for Yolanda's death. A corrupt cop, Gilbert, is doing everything in his power to pin the whole thing on Drood, but a police colleague, Smiley, intervenes on the wanted man's behalf.

Buddy is eventually overcome with guilt in his role in the killing of Yolanda, so he spares Drood's life and takes his own. To escape with his wife and his life, Drood tries to make Nye and the cops believe that Buddy's body is actually his.


Production and reception[edit]

After writing and directing Chan Is Missing and Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart, the latter receiving "mixed reviews [and] modest [...] box office earnings", Wayne Wang chose to direct Slam Dance to avoid being seen as a director primarily of stories about Chinese Americans; as such, it was Wang's first film in which none of the main characters are Chinese.[2][3] However, constant interference on the part of the producers led him to try and get his name taken off the film.

Despite the film's $4.5 million budget, the film grossed "less than $407,000," and reviews were mixed. Critics had some praise for the acting and cinematography, but faulted the plot as disjointed and confusing. New York Times film critic Vincent Canby wrote in his November 6, 1987 review that Wang "goes straight if quite gracefully to the bottom with his first mainstream movie", describing it as "less interesting for its characters than for its fancy decor and images."[3]

Release dates[edit]


  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Slam Dance". Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  2. ^ Weinraub, Bernard (September 5, 1993). "FILM; 'I Didn't Want To Do Another Chinese Movie'". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ a b Liu, Sandra (2000). "Negotiating the Meaning of Access: Wayne Wang's Contingent Film Practice". Countervisions: Asian-American Film Criticism. Temple University Press. p. 94. ISBN 1-56639-775-8.  For paperback: ISBN 1-56639-776-6.

External links[edit]