The Legend of Billie Jean (1985) [Fair is Fair Edition Blu-ray]


You could likely consider “The Legend of Billie Jean” a precursor to “Thelma And Louise.” It’s a film about female empowerment, and young women dealt terrible injustices that become folk heroes. Not to mention “The Legend of Billie Jean” has every chance to become exploitative man hating trash, but very cleverly straddles the line between goofy eighties adventure, and compelling coming of age drama. I won’t claim “The Legend of Billie Jean” is a straight faced character study, but it’s a fun and often exciting tale of a young woman who takes the world by the balls when she stands up for herself.

Helen Slater is gorgeous as young Billie Jean who, along with her friends, wiles her days away in Texas dreaming of traveling to Vermont. After a sexual harassment incident involving Billie Jean and the local shop owner’s perverse son Hubie, Binx humiliates him and his friends, prompting a revenge plan. While swimming at the local lake, Binx’s scooter is stolen by Hubie and his friends, all of whom proceed to wreck it and beat up Binx when he attempts to get it back. Billie demands restitution of Hubie’s crime through his father demanding the pay for the repairs. He doesn’t take kindly to her request, offering to pay her, in exchange for a series of sexual favors. When she outright refuses, he attempts to rape her.

Convinced the gun Mr. Pyatt has under his counter is loaded, he threatens him despite his insistence the gun is empty and shoots him. There, Billie and Binx run for their lives, with the money, and flee from authorities with their neighbors Putter (Yeardley Smith) and Ophelia (Martha Gehman), hoping to make it to Vermont, while also clearing their name. Shocking enough, Billie begins a revolution for female equality, prompting a nationwide chase that makes her a martyr and symbol for femininity. Peter Coyote is the resident sheriff of the town who takes it upon himself to track Billie Jean and her friends down, convinced there’s more to their story, all the while anxiously trying to prevent themselves from turning themselves in to even worse criminals.

Much of “The Legend of Billie Jean” is a fun and very exciting tale of teens coming to fight for something when they seek recognition on their injustice, and Helen Slater looks fantastic and plays the role to perfection as this young girl who finds that her being objectified and exploited by the male population is more wide spread than she ever acknowledged. “The Legend of Billie Jean” is a childhood favorite that hasn’t aged a bit since 1985. It’s cheesy, fun, exciting, and much superior to “Thelma and Louise.” For the first time on Blu-Ray, Mill Creek offers fans a restored cut, and a voice commentary with the film’s stars Helen Slater and Yeardley Smith!