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The Decline of Western Civilization (1981)

Not Rated | | Documentary, History, Music | 19 March 2016 (Japan)
The Los Angeles punk music scene circa 1980 is the focus of this film. With Alice Bag Band, Black Flag, Catholic Discipline, Circle Jerks, Fear, Germs, and X.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Alice Bag Band ...
Themselves
Alice Bag ...
Lead Singer, The Alice Bag Band
Claude Bessy ...
Catholic Discipline / Vocalist (as Claude Bessey)
Black Flag ...
Themselves
Don Bolles ...
Drummer, The Germs
...
Herself
...
'X' - vocals
Circle Jerks ...
Themselves
Philo Cramer ...
Fear Guitar
Darby Crash ...
Lead Singer, The Germs
...
'X' - vocals, bassist
Lorna Doom ...
Bassist, The Germs
Fear ...
Themselves
Frank Gargani ...
Appears as Himself
Bill Gazzarri ...
Himself
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Storyline

The Los Angeles punk music scene circa 1980 is the focus of this film. With Alice Bag Band, Black Flag, Catholic Discipline, Circle Jerks, Fear, Germs, and X. Written by Rich Swenson <swenson@haas.berkeley.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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See it in a theater.... where you can't get hurt.


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

19 March 2016 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Падение западной цивилизации  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$100,000 (estimated)
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After the film was screened in Los Angeles, punk music fans got into so many fights and caused so much trouble that then-L.A. Police Chief Daryl Gates wrote the filmmakers a letter asking them not to screen the film again. See more »

Quotes

The Circle Jerks member: And at the bottom it says "Thank you." And you can tell 'em to fuck off.
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Soundtracks

Shutdown/Annihilation Man
(uncredited)
(Crash / Smear)
Performed by The Germs
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User Reviews

Punk Rock Life from the inside
9 November 1999 | by See all my reviews

Before she made Wayne's World, Ms Spheeris documented the LA Punk scene with the kind of dead pan perspective that makes this the all time classic commercial punk rock documentary. Of course Target Video's concert footage of the Dead Kennedys or the Mutants live at a home for the insane are much better, but unless you live near Leather Tongue Video in San Francisco, you probably won't find those, so this one will have to do.

Best Irony: Members of a famous X-Punk band tattooing each other on a dirty couch while apparently under the influence of some processed opiate are talking about how pot makes hippies so pathetically passive that someone would come in and kick the shit out of them and all they'd say is "Bummer maaan." And then going on to a completely deadpan unemotional account of finding a dead guy in the back yard.

Definitely the best insight into the whole era. Sure The Great Rock and Roll Swindle is fun, but this one shows the whole scene unflinchingly from a neutral angle. The camera is on and everyone becomes an actor on their own stage.


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