Call me crazy, but I found this movie utterly charming. Obnoxious, phlegm-ridden racist teenagers bashing each other in the head for no reason and making (and listening to) utterly horrible music. . .I dunno. . .it all just felt so scrappy. And Spheeris’ ultra low budget 16 mm filming style. . . it’s a nice time capsule. I couldn’t, though, for the life of me figure out how a punk scene could thrive in a place like Los Angeles. I mean, the weather is too nice to be pissed off . . .and to wear all that black makeup! London, New York. . .maybe Detroit. . .but Los Angeles? What a bunch of jokers. Also amusing was seeing one or two faces that later became something. The lead singer of Fear. . .man, he looks familiar. Only after looking him up do I realize — he played Mr. Boddy in Clue!!! Also, the ur-Ani DiFranco, Phranc, is here looking like a man and playing dreadful music in an awful band I’ve already forgotten the name of. The music of X is the only thing on display I’d ever consider listening to. . .and that’s if the second singer Exene Cervenka (ex-wife of Viggo Mortenson, I just learned — how did she ever land him?) ever shut up. At first I was giving the other bands the benefit of the doubt, thinking maybe Spheeris’ crew was too rag tag to record good sound. But John Doe actually has a singing voice and some of X’s songs are actual songs. I’ve seen the follow-up to this, The Metal Years, many times — and I’ve tried to see this before. I even rented it one time, only to find the VHS tape had been recorded over. I wish I could tell you it was recorded over with homemade porn or clues to a murder, but I think it was a baseball game or something. Lame.
August 21, 2010
January 10, 2011
January 14, 2006
November 25, 2006
Jordan Hoffman is a New York-based writer and film critic working for The Guardian, Vanity Fair, Thrillist, Times of Israel, NY Daily News and elsewhere.
He is the host of ENGAGE: The Official Star Trek Podcast, a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and challenges you to a game of backgammon.