I just recently revisited this film and one of the reasons I saw it was that I prior had recently read a comic book mini-series, "The Adventures of Ford Fairlane." It was published a month before the actual film came out. Instead of an 'adaption' or even a series of "further adventures" of our hero, it was per say a "prequel"to the actual film. I enjoy that fact because the 1st time I saw this film, it made no sense to me but with the comic book mini-series, you could become familiar with the characters before watching the film. It also provided a great deal of background for the story: how the main characters met, how they all wound up in Los Angeles, and why they're all on the periphery of the record business.
Andrew Dice Clay was perfectly cast. His Fairlane is like a Elvis Presley/John Travolta's Sweathog Vinnie Barbarino/Rodney Dangerfield type guy all rolled in one. He even parodies Travolta's classic line from Saturday Night Fever, "My hair, my hair!" in one scene. He's obnoxious, crude, rude and vulgar but he gets the job done.
Wayne Newton as the main bad guy Julian Grendel was good casting. Newton has some of that same 'shark' smile that Jack Nicholson has as a evil type of guy. He plays it well and seems to have fun with part.
Priscilla Presley did good as an icy millionaire Colleen Sutton who hires Ford for a job. It was interesting casting here for me. Since in a way Clay was 'aping' and imitating to some extent the King himself, Elvis. And it was very interesting to me to see the scenes Priscilla had with Andrew as she looks at this actor "imitating ' her late husband.
Former Time member, Morris Day had a cool bit as Ford's friend but to bad he didn't get a chance to perform or sing a song. Lauren Holly was perfectly cast as Ford's 'assistant' and off/on girlfriend, Jazz. She was sexy and right on target, just like in the comic book. Maddie Corman as Zuzu Petals' did a okay job. I just thought her name was very interesting and what it means for movie fans: it's a a reference to It's a Wonderful Life (1946). In that movie, George Bailey's daughter, Zuzu, had brought home a flower she had got at school. She show's it to her father and complains that some of the petals are falling off. He puts these in his pocket. Later, when he "has never been born", he reaches into his pocket and Clarence the Angel, says, "They're not there." "What?" asks George. "Zuzu's petals." Gilbert Gottfried was another perfect casting as DJ Johnny Crunch. He looks just like in the comic book. To bad he had a small part in the film because in the comic book he was more in the story. David Patrick Kelly was wasted a minor bad guy named Sam. He was just around for Ford to kick around. Towards the end he turns 'good' by helping Holly's Jazz but by then , you don't care. Brandon Call as The Kid was perfect casting. He and Clay had very good chemistry together. Robert Englund was miscast as Newton's number one hood named 'Smiley'. He had a weird British accent and weird wardrobe. but it made sense when I read that Robert Englund replaced singer Billy Idol who had been cast as Smiley but had to pull out of the role after a near fatal motorcycle accident. Englund, who had previously worked with Renny Harlin on A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988), was personally asked by the director to take over the role after Idol's accident. Also wasted somewhat was Ed O'Neill as , once again, a cop who butts heads with Ford. You get somewhat a laugh seeing O'Neill do a Disco Booty dance however. Music stars Sheila E. , Tone Loc and Vince Neil make brief appearances but not that memorable at all . William Shockley had a cool part as one of Wayne's killers. Got his butt kick by Holly's Jazz. Kari Wuhrer, Delia Sheppard and Pamela Adlon (Seagall) wasted also in very brief bit parts. Tall Jordan Lund has a brief funny bit as a tourist with his family who runs into a very rude Fairlane. and Cindyana Santangelo (in her film debut) as a uncredited bit as a corpse named Lydia who Fairlane bobbles around in the hearse he stole and trying to fight off Englund's bad guy. She has one line which is funny because Ford thought her dead and it turns out she was just passed out from all the drinking she had done with the morticians she was partying with and Ford freaks out when she wakes and he runs away scared.
All in all , if you can , read the 1990 DC comic book mini-series first and then watch this film. It will make way more sense and the film will be a better viewing experience. Other wise beware!