If merit were judged by the standards of the outre high concept, then VIBRATIONS would have landed on "ten best" lists internationally. After losing his hands in a homicidal highway assault by four bullies manning construction equipment, a teen music prodigy reclaims his talent and his
will-to-live by being outfitted with metal prosthetic hands wired with bitchin' computer circuitry. To point out that this plot goes over the top would be understating the case.
Rushing to a gig, rocker T.J. (James Marshall) stumbles into a near-fatal attack by four drunken hoods. Unable to handle his plastic hand-extensions with ease, the recent amputee turns his back on his policeman dad (Steven Keats) and his true-blue girlfriend, Lisa (Paige Turco). Rolling in the
gutters of New York, the self-pitying T.J. is befriended by New Age faddist, Anamika (Christina Applegate). Her initial impulse to help him alters when she finds him rifling through her purse.
De-boozing himself, T.J. slowly regains Anamika's trust. Through the efforts of her metal-sculpting landlady Zina (Faye Grant), computer dweeb neighbor Geek (David Burke), and his roommate Simeon (Scott Cohen), the once-despondent T.J. starts on the road to recovery. Equipped with
sound-sensitive fingers he adopts a new persona, Cyberstorm.
At a hometown Cyberstorm concert, T.J. reconciles with his father while Anamika needlessly steps aside for Lisa (who has a new main squeeze). Recognizing four local bodyguards as his assailants, T.J. exacts revenge by locking the quartet in a green room rigged with Geek's deafening outdoor sound
amplifier. While T.J.'s father rounds up the miscreants, T.J. makes it clear that his rockin' and lovin' are strictly for Anamika.
Clearly intended for teens who crave star-crossed love tangles and eardrum-splitting music videos, VIBRATIONS, with its rock star protagonist outfitted like the Terminator, is too ludicriously conceived to attract any sort of older audience. Echoing the sentimentality of A STAR IS BORN as T.J.
pulls himself out of the gutter, this handicapped musical drama seems to be the output of precocious musical-comedy workshop writers on mescaline. While the production values shine with vibrant color photography and hum with superior sound technology,the wan leads can't salvage a premise that
requires them to moon soulfully in front of a canvas of clichés. Yet this gruesome wish-fulfillment may strike a responsive chord in those who don't care about such peripheral considerations as character depth or plot integrity.(Graphic violence, extreme profanity, adult situations, sexualsituations, substance abuse.)
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- Released: 1995
- Rating: R
- Review: If merit were judged by the standards of the outre high concept, then VIBRATIONS would have landed on "ten best" lists internationally. After losing his hands in a homicidal highway assault by four bullies manning construction equipment, a teen music prodi… (more)