What We Do Is Secret (2007)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  8 August 2008 (USA)
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A biopic of punk legend Darby Crash and his band, the Germs.



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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Pat Smear
Don Bolles
Rob Henley
Chris Ashford
Claude Kickboy Bessy
Casey Cola
Rachael Santhon ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Audience Member #1
Daniel Alvarado ...
Bar Patron
David Alvarado ...
Bar Patron


A biopic of punk legend Darby Crash and his band, the Germs.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug use, language and brief sexuality | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

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Release Date:

8 August 2008 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$5,888 (USA) (8 August 2008)


$58,776 (USA) (17 October 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


During a majority of the scenes that take place in 1977, Lorna Doom is seen with a raven style haircut, however, photographic evidence confirms that she still had a poodle haircut during this period. See more »


While The Germs play their show at the Orpuim, Darby Crash throws powdered sugar at The Damned for their harsh remarks. In the scene before Darby grabs the sugar you can clearly see that the lead singer of The Damned is already covered in powdered sugar. See more »


Darby Crash: Everything works in circles. Like sometimes you're doing something, and a year later you're back at the same point. You understand that? So circle one, is what we're doing now, and someday we'll probably do circle two.
See more »


Rock N' Roll Suicide
Written and Performed by David Bowie
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User Reviews

"I'm a lexicon devil with a battered brain"
2 November 2011 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Rising out of the chaotic, drug fueled punk scene of Los Angeles the Germs while only active for from 1977 to 1980 became a band who transformed the face of punk rock. This film retells the rise and fall of this great band who's impact and influence is still felt today.

What We Do Is Secret starts out with Darby Crash being interviewed by a European journalist about his 5 year plan. This 5 year plan could either be one of pure cockiness or did Darby believe that his days were numbered? All we're told is that the plan was inspired by the David Bowie song "Five Years" Throughout the film we see the band fail to get club bookings due to the violent, anarchistic nature of their performances (even though Crash thought of himself as being a fascist), the descent in heroin addiction and a rather hilarious interview segment on Rodney Bingenheimers radio show. During the final 10 minutes of the film the Germs play their final show after which Darby is shown to be in a rather helpless state. Darby crosses path with Casey Cola and the two of them form a suicide a pact. Darby was found dead a day before the assassination of John Lennon.

Taking on the hard job of playing the punk icon Darby Crash is Shane West who is absolutely stellar in this role. Often at battle with himself (weak/strong, gentle/aggressive) West portrays crash as the intelligent and cocky young man full of self hatred in such a convincing manner. Following this film West went on to became the front man of the recently united Germs.

Bijou Phillips puts in one of her greatest efforts as Germs bassist Lorna Doom (even playing bass on the films soundtrack-with West providing vocals) Rick Gonzalez (Pat Smear) and Noah Segan (Don Bolles) put in equally effective performances. The gritty nasty underbelly of this scene is introduced to us by the cast of misfits, addicts and enablers who I'm thankful are behind the TV screen.

What I particularly liked about this film is that it didn't gloss over the fact that Darby Crash was a homosexual. The scene in which Darby is sitting in his bedroom, chest cut open wide with Rob Henley is a beautiful one. Throughout the film we see the nature of their relationship and Henley's desire to become the Germs drummer even though he doesn't have a single bit of musical talent. The punk scene of the 1970s was never one that accepted homosexuality so I found it fantastic that this important part of the story wasn't tossed aside.

The soundtrack to this film is wonderful and features the music of David Bowie (2 Ziggy Stardust era songs), Alice Cooper, X and Shane West, Bijou Phillips, Lucas Haas and Micheal Le Blanc recreating the music of the Germs. The Germs contributed to this soundtrack with new recordings of the classics with Shane West on vocals.

Darby Crash became a victim of his own creation.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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