According to NY music scene pioneer Richard Hell, “punk” stands for two things in our culture. First, “the possibility of pride and haven for kids rejected as worthless” and second, for “unhinged, violent, criminal threat to all of society, and every decent person.” In real life this or may not be true–definitely not in Warped Tour-era 2010, we think–but Hell is in fact referring to punk rock in cinema, as chronicled in the bombastic new book Destroy All Movies: The Complete Guide to Punks On Film.
Hell wrote the foreward to the massive tome dedicated to hardcore motion picture and TV movie treachery, lovingly (and–heh-heh–hatefully) compiled by writers/editors Zack Carlson and Bryan Connolly. The pair bopped into L.A. this past weekend for a boisterous blitz of events, the final stop on the Texas-based authors' book tour.
Cinefamily and Don't Knock The Rock presented a slew of spit-soaked celluloid to celebrate the guys' L.A. appearances at the Silent Movie Theatre including screenings of classics such Class of 1984 and Desperate Teenage Love Dolls along with docs such as D.O.A and concert films like Urgh! A Music War.
A voracious film and music buff's guide, this spanking new volume of viciousness is packed with nearly as many stereotypes and caricatures as real punks. (And new wavers… no metalers or heshers, however.)
Sometimes punk is all about context, so when we asked Connolly to compile his “Top 10 Punks On Film” moments exclusively for West Coast Sound, we weren't surprised to see so many mainstream movies make his list. These may not be the most hardcore filmic freak-outs (the Lee Ving scene is a big, extremely badass exception!) but they sure gave each feature some extra balls. Connolly breaks 'em down with a bit of commentary below.
10. Private Resort – A surfer dude with pink tipped spiky hair is way too excited to see old people in an elevator.
9. Surf II – Punks vs. a fat guy in a garbage-eating contest.
8. Family Reunion – The always-fantastic Daniel H. Friedman (aka Buddy Daniels) plays a jailed wacko with a tattoo on his face and an anarchy symbol on his shirt. He is upset that his murderous psychic jail mate has no cigarettes, money, and has never heard of his favorite band Rat's Ass.
7. Revenge of the Nerds – Poindexter in full punk garb plays the electric violin for an ecstatic crowd.
6. Pee Wee's Big Adventure – Mr. Herman yells at Amazing Larry, an old man with a multi colored mohawk.
Previously deleted scene explaining the 'hawk:
5. Dragnet – A punked out Dan Aykroyd dancing with Tom Hanks.
4. Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment – Zed (Bobcat Goldthwait) and his gang of punks rampage through a grocery store.
3. Get Crazy – Piggy (Lee Ving) does an insane version of “Hoochie Coochie Man.” Which leads into him getting everyone on a balcony to stage dive.
2. Madame Wang's – A gross Iggy Pop wannabe unsuccessfully teaches obese gay men how to be punk.
1. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home – Spock gives the Vulcan neck pinch to an unruly mohawked man on the bus.