opening day 1987
geezer cinema: once upon a time ... in hollywood (quentin tarentino, 2019)

the punk rock movie (don letts, 1978)

There are various versions of this movie, with various titles, of varying quality. The one I just watched was terrible looking, a dub of a dub of a dub, all done on VHS. There is something appropriate about that.

I first saw The Punk Rock Movie so long ago it shows how old I am and how old punk is. It exists as a document of a particular place and time. Don Letts took a Super 8 camera into the maelstrom, and this was the result. Picture's bad, sound's bad, what can I say? I suppose I can't recommend it, even though it is as much a marker of its time as Don't Look Back was of the time before Dylan went electric.

The following people appear in the film: The Sex Pistols, Shane MacGowan, Eater, Slaughter and the Dogs, Generation X, The Slits, The Clash, Subway Sect, Alternative TV, Wayne County & the Electric Chairs, Soo Catwoman, Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and X-Ray Spex.

I suppose none of these acts are seen/heard at their best, but Letts' grubby footage feels right. My favorite acts were The Slits, where you get to see what Ari Up was like on stage, and X-Ray Spex when Lora Logic was still on saxophone.

Hey, this movie is right up my alley. I've now seen it twice in 40+ years. But even I know it's mostly crap, so if you have no interest in the early year(s) of British punk, avoid this movie.


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