United States - 1988
Director - Rick Elgood, Howard Woffinden
J2 Communications, 1988, VHS
Run Time -45 minutes
About a month ago as I was crudely pounding out the Preliminary Taxonomy of Exercise VHS a creepy memory came back to me. Who's The Boss was prime-time television at about the time that my parents got rid of the TV, so my only awareness of that show and its cultural significance came in retrospect. Nor did I have much awareness of Alyssa Milano who starred primarily in relationship drama shows as an adult. Yet somehow I knew that this existed. As I was compiling a list of oddball exercise videos with some friends this thing popped into my head and it took us almost two days to remember which 80's teen star was the host, and thence track down the tape.
That's when all those creepy recollections washed over me. To tell the truth though, by the time it finally arrived I had already sit through six other exercise videos and lost a great deal of my initial enthusiasm for the whole project. In the end though Teen Steam, if not a personal favorite, definitely anchors the genre at one end. Consisting of about 30 minutes of Alyssa and a couple of other girls doing some aerobics followed by a music video, there's not much to get excited about, unless you really try. The whole thing was after all attended closely by her parents (they appear several times in the credits) and I find it somewhat difficult to believe that they would intentionally capitalize on the pedophilia market.
Fortunately, even if they had, they did a pretty bad job. Judging by the reviews over at Amazon one would expect some sleaze, but it is not so. It may be an amusing time capsule (which needs to be reburied for a good 20 years to fully ferment) Teen Steam is pretty boring fare.
Check out the Taxonomy of Exercise VHS at Paracinema