Inspired by Steven Blush's book "American Hardcore: A tribal history" Paul Rachman's feature documentary debut is a chronicle of the underground hardcore punk years from 1979 to 1986. Interviews and rare live footage from artists such as Black Flag, Bad Brains, Minor Threat, SS Decontrol and the Dead Kennedys.Written by
Despite this movie talking about how Reagan's presidency gave inspiration to the whole hardcore punk scene, New York Hardcore Punk band Reagan Youth is nowhere to be heard in this documentary. See more »
Growing up in the early 1980s in one of the punk hot spots (Austin), I just had to see this film the first day it was out. I can remember like yesterday seeing the Big Boys, the Dicks, DK and Black Flag at Club Foot, the punk venue. It was a great and unique time. I have aged, but still consider myself a punk at heart. However, I was rather letdown by this film. It seems like the guy wanted to make this definitive documentary over the punk scene in the early '80s, but half the people he asked to interview turned him down. The most glaring flaw with this film is the omission of the Dead Kennedys. Yes, Black Flag and the Circle Jerks were huge during that time, but NOBODY came close to rivaling DK, they were it. Yet, there is nothing in the film about them, nothing. Fear is also ignored and so many other greats are just barely touched on. Yet, we get a ton of stuff on the Cro Mags and TSOL? Look, I know that a documentary filmmaker can only use the sources available to him, but it seems that the sources that were available to him (minus Henry Rollins and Keith Morris) were rather small in comparison to other giants like Jello Biafra and Lee Ving. Moreover, there was not enough music in the film. It opens with a nice Bad Brains' cut and montage and then they kind of go away from anymore montages. As someone that experienced the scene firsthand, I just kind of felt it was a rather thin and sloppy look at a very interesting time. Moreover, they drop Husker Du's name a lot, but then never explore anything about them. The guy could have made a better documentary, a much better one. And he could have shown how the punk scene influenced the creation of future bands like Social Distortion, the Replacments, etc.. And how about a shout-out to the freaking Ramones!?
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