Archives Ratings Mrs. Filthy Gooden Worsted

SLC Punk!

Filthy says:
"It's Pretty

If the exclamation in the title didn't tell you how lame this movie was going to be, let me do it for you. "SLC Punk!" sucks!!!

"SLC Punk!" is the perfect movie to make middle-aged people feel like they understand their punk rock kids. After they've seen this movie, the shitheads can follow-up by watching an ABC After School Special about drug addiction and their education will be complete. They'll know all they think they need to know. The fact that it's all simplified, melodramatic bullshit probably won't matter to them. "SLC Punk!" makes a sappy story out of a subject that could have been interesting if told by someone who knew what the fuck he was talking about.

Hell, there is an interesting topic here: what happened to all the mid-eighties punks? They're not punks anymore, so where did they go? Well, if you believe this movie, they all died of overdoses or became lawyers and punk rock was forgotten. Never mind the thousands who changed their clothes but who are still just as pissed off inside. That would have been too hard for these simpletons to depict.

Don't get me wrong, I have no patience for the Goddamn punks who steal the P-nuttles from the Ralston Amoco. I would love to rip their "Misfits" jackets off their backs and beat the fucking shit out of them. But, I at least understand that they aren't done any service by a movie that tells their story like it was as simple as an episode of "Davey and Goliath."

Matthew Lillard plays a punk so annoying he would have had his head busted open in real-life. He has graduated college and is living an aimless existence in Salt Lake City. It's supposed to be the summer after graduation but it snows a hell of a lot. Anyway, his parents want him to be a Harvard lawyer, but he wants to cause mayhem and promote anarchy with his friend Michael Goorjian. Slowly, Lillard sees all of his friends die or grow up and grow out of punk rock, and he is left alone. So what does he do? He fulfills his father's wish and heads for Harvard. Are we supposed to be glad or what?

Maybe it would have helped if we would have given a shit about him. The problem is his character is so fucking phony that I never for a second though he would do anything but the obvious choice of going to law school. And he'll fit right in because he is an asshole.

It's all so fucking pat. It's all a series of vignettes from a Lifetime Channel movie, except with lots of swearing and pot smoking. The writers and actors are pretty sure they understand punk rock, but they haven't got a fucking clue. They obviously were never punks, but instead the kinds of assholes who think it's a good subject to exploit in a cheap movie. "Slc Punk!" also is shocking in the amount of worthless information it throws up there. Sixty percent of the movie is scenes that go nowhere and mean nothing. I guess the makers were overly enamored with the world punk rock they "discovered."

They're writing from the outside, trying to rationalize punk rock for themselves, but not helping the rest of us at all. Well, they are doing a fine job misinforming other people outside punk rock. Now they'll all think punk rockers are these sensitive, misunderstood kids who don't even want to be punks. But I can guarantee you that no right-minded punk would watch this bullshit. Instead, they would watch "The Decline of Western Civilization."

Punks don't want to see movies that dissect them, and they certainly don't want posers representing them. Hell, this movie's about as accurate as if I wrote a flick about rich assholes in the Hamptons who love classical music.

Two things really doom the movie. First is its love for fucking melodrama. I mean, Jesus Harry Christ with his thumb up his butt, they might as well have put Meryl Streep in there to bawl her eyes out as the misunderstood leader of a gang. There's an incredibly corny scene where Lillard tells his parents off and how he's going to change the world as a punk. Changing the world was the dumbshit hippies' deal. The punks just wanted to be left alone. "SLC Punk!" also revels in how out of place the punks with their "crazy" hairdos look. First, Lillard eats at a fancy restaurant with his rich dad. His dad has fancy food and Lillard eats a hot dog. Bull-fucking-shit! That's just movie laziness putting in little gags like that which cheapen all the characters. Then, there is supposed to be a hilarious scene where the punks go to Wyoming to buy liquor and the people in Wyoming are shocked by the punk's appearance. This is supposed to be 1985, you assholes. By then, punks were heard of in such faraway places as Wyoming. Once again, the movie goes for a cheap gag that really just insults the entire punk rock experience. Then, there is a punk party raided by rednecks. First, there are way too many girls at the party, and way too many guys talking to girls for it to be a real punk party. Second, punks and rednecks did not sneak into each others' parties just to brawl. It looks pretty on camera, but is just another example of this piss-poor movie's cheapening of a lifestyle.

Matthew Lillard is the other problem with this movie. That fucker is a frat boy, not a punk. He talks way too fucking much and he tries too Goddamned hard to analyze everything. He is incredibly annoying and he's as credible as a priest at a Catholic high school is of being heterosexual. Half of the movie is just him yammering on, trying to explain why he was a punk in voice-overs or flashbacks. That's again lazy nonsense. This is a movie, not a fucking essay, so show it to us. Don't have an annoying, unbelievable character tell it to us and expect us to buy it. All this talking is a dead giveaway that this isn't the real shit. Punks aren't too crazy about analyzing why they like what they do.

The flick is redeemed from the crusty, bloody bowels of cinema by one thing: Goorjian. He's a real punk. He's quiet, inarticulate and he comes alive only when the music's playing. That's the way punks are. That he dies in a cheap movie machination is too bad. I would have loved to see more of him and for the film to follow him. His character was far more like a punk than the cocky, loud Lillard. There is also a good soundtrack with some decent greatest hits collection of punk songs. Of course, any real punk should already have these or others by the same bands. I guarantee you no punk is going to go out and buy the soundtrack because greatest hits collections are part of what punk rock was rebelling against.. In fact, they should beat the shit out of every poser who does.

As it is, however, it's just another in the long line of bullshit movies that oversimplify things in an attempt to get cheap laughs and easy drama. Sorry, fuckers, you didn't sell me on it, and there aren't enough 50-year-olds who want a crash course in punk rock to make it matter. Two fingers.

Want to Tell Filthy Something?

 Enter an e-mail address and send this page to a friend:

 Big Empire  Post-it Theater  Las Vegas  The Gift ElectroniquÈ  Big Empire Buddies


©1999 by Randy Shandis Enterprises. All rights fucking reserved.