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American Hardcore (2006)

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The History of American Punk Rock 1980-1986

Director:

Paul Rachman

Writers:

Steven Blush (book), Steven Blush

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lucky Lehrer Lucky Lehrer ... Himself
Vic Bondi Vic Bondi ... Himself
Joe Keithley Joe Keithley ... Himself (as Joey 'Shithead' Keithley)
Keith Morris ... Himself
Angie Sciarappa Angie Sciarappa ... Herself
Nancy Barile Nancy Barile ... Herself
Mike Watt Mike Watt ... Himself
David Markey David Markey ... Himself (as Dave Markey)
Jordan Schwartz Jordan Schwartz ... Himself
Howard Saunders Howard Saunders ... Himself
Perry Webb Perry Webb ... Himself
Ian MacKaye Ian MacKaye ... Himself
Bobby Steele Bobby Steele ... Himself
Greg Hetson ... Himself
Richard 'Crispy' Crammer Richard 'Crispy' Crammer ... Himself
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language including sex and drug references | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 September 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

American Hardcore: The History of American Punk Rock 1980 - 1986 See more »

Filming Locations:

Boston, Massachusetts, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,102, 24 September 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$278,785, 14 January 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Connections

References Frankenstein (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Tread On Me
Written and Performed by Harley Flanagan
© Harley Flanagan (BMI) 1982
Used by Permission
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An excellent overview of American hardcore 1980-1986!
26 March 2006 | by peter-padronSee all my reviews

Just came out of a preview screening of this fine film here at the Natfilm festival in Copenhagen, Denmark! In short, 'American Hardcore' lives up to the expectations: Made in a D.I.Y. fashion befitting its' subject, it gives you an excellent overview of the first wave of American hardcore music, nicely balancing the violence that characterized the early days with the positive message that came out of it.

You'll get to see lots and lots of never-seen-before amateur footage from (really) early hardcore shows, interwoven with many, many, many excellent interviews with key figures from the scene.

Fact is, the filmmakers have managed to dig up pretty much everybody who was a nobody back in the day: Where one could have expected a long line of New York art critics, psychologists, social anthropologists and the like yakitiyaking away about form and substance, with perhaps a single Henry Rollins getting to represent the "hardcore punk subculture" as a whole, instead what you get is a literal who's-who of early American hardcore: You've got your Gang Green and your Circle Jerks, your SS Decontrol and your Jerry's Kids, your Negative F/X and your Cro-Mags, and so on and so forth.

On a side-note, some personal favorites will inevitably be missing from any such line-up -- yours truly specially misses Choke from Slapshot, Billy Milano from S.O.D., and Paul Bearer from Sheer Terror -- but that goes with the territory.

A bigger fault, perhaps, lies in the radically negative view one gets of what happened next. Towards the end of the film you're bombarded with clip after clip of hardcore veterans telling you that after '86, it was all over. Granted, what happened next falls outside of the framework of this movie (it specifically deals only with the years 1980-1986) and to make it sound like if it all actually ended in '86 makes for good drama -- but of course in fact it just isn't true.

In '88 you had the Gorilla Biscuits, Youth Of Today, Bold, Judge, and so on and so forth, and during the 90's, well, the thing kinda went on and on, evolving or degenerating depending on how you see things. In the eyes of purists perhaps what came after '86 doesn't count -- but if so, it would have been nice to hear something said about it, to hear these guys explain what it is about, say, Integrity or Floorpunch or Catharsis or His Hero Is Gone or Good Clean Fun that makes them so decidedly un-hardcore.

But why whine about such wee little things? All in all, the film is an excellent piece of documentary about the finest underground movement in music anywhere in the world between Roky Erickson came out of the asylum in the 70's and the churches burned in Norway in the 90's!


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