PREY FOR ROCK AND ROLL is a high-octane ride through the world of rock and roll as it is actually lived by most of its practitioners. No private jets, no limos, no personal manager smoothing out the rough edges of reality, in fact, not enough to cover the rent.
Such is the life of Jacki (the divine Gina Gershon), tattoo artist by day and the hard-rocking founder of Clam Dandy by night. Shes got attitude, talent, and a 40th birthday thats looming around the corner and making her wonder what shes doing with her life. Her plan to be a rock star isnt working out, one member of her band is one sniff away from an overdose and the ex-con brother of another has shown up without warning to complicate things in unexpected ways. Her last chance is an extra sleazy music scout who re-defines smarmy.
Gershon rocks the screen even in Jackis quieter moments. There is an electric energy that comes through even when shes sitting quietly, and one that blazes white-hot when shes playing licks in one of the films many concert sequences, or getting busy with her girlfriend. The rest of the cast holds its own while running the gamut of the rock and roll life, from Drea de Matteo as the drugged out trust-fund kid to the sweet May-September romance between bandmates Lori Petty and Sherry Cole. And just for fun, theres a piquant romantic counterpoint with Jackis own tentative flirtation with Animal (a pumped-up and intense Marc Blucas), the murdering ex-con brother with tons of tattoos and a surprising innocence in the romance department.
Co-writer Cheri Lovedog, on whose life this film is based, doesnt stint on showing the degradation that comes with the territory, from exchanging sex for drugs, to making ends meet by teaching guitar to the elites wildly untalented offspring, to having the scout tell Jacki thats shed be more salable is she traded her leather pants for a short skirt, the music is, apparently, beside the point. Yet through it all Lovedog never allows Jacki to be a victim. With Gershons cool stare and sensuously snarling lips, shes squarely in control, doing what needs to be done and taking care of her own when things turn violent. Even when considering her options as she perceives that time is running out on her dream, she shows an inner toughness that fuels her passion for music and, by extension, life.
PREY FOR ROCK AND ROLL rings with the authenticity that only someone whos been there and done that can create. There may be a hint of the bittersweet here, but the overriding rush is of someone who may not have always gotten everything that she wanted, but always wanted what she got.