Punk Movie Night

I’m reposting this here from my other blog because, well, I just like sharing.  If I was ahead of the game, I’d have posted this before for the event.

Last night, I went to the Hollywood Theatre to watch Rock ‘N’ Roll High School (35mm, of course) and it was awesome! Not only is it hilarious, but Joe Dante was involved (and even directed a few scenes) which only reinforces my undying love of him. It was part of a book tour for Destroy All Movies, a history of punks in movie history (from about 1975). Before the screenings, the folks at Everything Is Terrible edited together a ton of clips from movies featuring punks. While it was a bit on the long side, I couldn’t help but want to do a punk movie marathon. As my recent Evil Dead marathon showed, it’s hard to sustain 4.5-6 hours of movie watching. People drop out, get tired, lose focus. It’s hard work to sit on your butt. So even though the marathon won’t be happening, I still like to think about what I’d program, so here it is. If you think there’s a glaring omission, it’s probably because I haven’t seen it or just plain forgot.

Rock ‘N’ Roll High School (12 PM – 2 PM)
Why not start off with the film that inspired this list? It’s light and fun, with lots of stupid (read: amazing) puns and giant mice (made by Rob Bottin, the man responsible for the special effects in John Carpenter’s The Thing!). Plus, P.J. Soles will instantly win over any audience with her infectious charm. A+!

The Road Warrior (2 PM – 4 PM)
Next, we shift to the barren wasteland of the Outback for epic car chases and crashes. This film is visual adrenaline. The bad guys are assorted crazed maniacs led by the same guy who literally crashed the party in Weird Science (just realized that connection last night). Great use of the punk aesthetic in a post-apocalyptic wasteland (and if the and of Rock ‘N’ Roll High School is any indication, that’s an inevitability if these punks aren’t contained).

Doomsday (4 PM – 6 PM)
From one island to another (well, part of an island). This may seem a bit redundant as it’s directly inspired by The Road Warrior (and Escape from New York, 28 Days Later, and whatever medieval films you can think of), but it’s a hell of a lot of fun. Scotland has been quarantined after a virus outbreak, but the virus got out and England needs to go in to find a cure. The survivors are resistant, but to more than just the virus. To everybody, even family. Not just resistant, but hungry, too. I’ll admit, I feel validated for including this just for the line, “First we’re gonna catch ’em. Then, we’re gonna cook ’em! Then, we’re gonna EAT ‘EM!”

Phantom of the Paradise (6 PM – 8 PM)
Released a year before Destroy All Movies cut-off (or what they told us was the cut-off), but you can’t look at The Phantom or Beef and not see at least a little bit of punk. Phantom of the Paradise runs the gamut as far as genres (both music and film), but it’s all good. Like Doomsday, Paradise is a pastiche of several existing plots with many references to other films (most obviously, Touch of Evil). Another musical, but sometimes you just need music.

The Warriors (8 PM – 10PM)
Technically, not about punks, but gangs. I just have a hard time convincing myself that in all of those gangs, there aren’t a bunch of punks at heart. Plus, it’s all about attitude and appearance that separate one from the status quo. They share an ethos even if not a point of view.

The Return of the Living Dead (10 PM – 12 PM)
The series that gave us fast zombies, “Braaaaains,” and parties in the graveyard. Just an all around awesome movie and a great way to finish the night.



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