Far from essential viewing
Jinx McElroy | Columbia, SC United States | 10/05/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"If you are well-versed in the history of the late 70's/ early 80's west coast Punk scene, then the interviews in this documentary are going to seem really redundant and uninteresting.If you know very little about the history of the late 70's/ early 80's west coast Punk scene, you will find the interviews either confusing or mired in sappy nostalgia.Don Bolles, Gitane Demone, and Duane Peters all provide commentary that is more annoying than enlightening, and will have you trying to decide whether to hit "fast forward" or stick around to see what inane thing they'll say next.Jack Grisham and Keith Morris come off as an interesting characters and Jello Biafra always has something interesting to say, but much of the banter seems rather pointless and directionless.Speaking of direction, the direction is clunky and annoying (i.e. the camera lingering on the names of the interviewees for inordinant lengths of time, cheesy MTV style "shaky cam" work, no apparent flow of meaning... the viewer asks himself over and over: "where are they trying to go with this?")If I didn't already have all those old TARGET VIDEOS, I'd be really angry that the makers of RAGE only give us like 2 second bits of live footage of THE SCREAMERS, DEAD KENNEDYS, and FLIPPER. Live footage, as such, could have been the highlight of such a documentary... but instead we only get tiny VH1 style snippets which are interupted by boring old talking heads babbling incessantly about "anarchy". Duane Peters chattering will make you want to throw a shoe at the TV screen... even to the point where it seems the film-makers even thought so too: during one of his monologues, they fade down the audio of him talking and fade up some cheesy music.This movie would be an intersting rental, but I wouldn't suggest paying full price to own it. Buy the HARDCORE CALIFORNIA book and the first DEAD KENNEDYS and BLACK FLAG LP's instead."
Full of fascinating information- ...
lotuseater | 04/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...If you're interested in how punk started out in the USA , and (especially) the West Coast, this is a must see, & worth every penny. Don't expect live footage ... - but there are a few short clips from the WEIRDOS, the SCREAMERS, possibly several more, I forget - it's all "twenty years on" interviews with selected people who were active in the punk scene then (& still are today). Standout interviewees are 1) Jack Grisham (TSOL), who is very engaging & with lots of amusing anecdotes, 2) Jello Biafra (DEAD KENNEDYS) full of insight as usual & with very interesting
background on the difference between the USA & British punk scenes, 3) Don Bolles (the GERMS, 45 GRAVE, THREE DAY STUBBLE, etc.), a likeable, somewhat off-the-wall figure again very engaging & with amusing anecdotes (such as when he phoned inquiring about joining the Germs, & asking for Darby or Pat for their influences was told in all seriousness QUEEN & YES), 4) Duane Peters (US BOMBS, DUANE PETERS & THE HUNNS, etc., world champion skater) who has walked it liked he talks it & is a drink & [chemical substance] survivor with a lot of interesting stuff to say, 5) Keith Morris (CIRCLE JERKS), again amusing & entertaining, clad in a comedy wig/sunglasses for the interview. There are shorter contributions by GEXA X & a geezer from Rhino records (I forget his name) who was in at the beginning. In fact there is only one another contributor: Gitane Demone ... & she is the only interviewee I could have done without: with some cringe-making observations about the "meaning of punk", & a definite lack of humour or self-deprecation her segment is frankly embarrassing (keep the fast forward button to hand). Aside from Gitane Demone & a few hints about the tedious & definitely unpunk "gothic" genre, this is a fine documentary, & worthy of repeat viewings. Definitely worth your [money]."
Rage - 60 Minutes of Bad Filmmaking, Documentary Style
J. Kelly | Los Angeles, CA United States | 03/24/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)
"...... The interviewer in "Rage" jabbers and babbles his way through every interview in the film, often interrupting his subjects to insert such riveting bon mots as "yeah, I know" or "right, right." Worse yet, the obvious intent of his jabbering was to ensure that viewers saw him as an insider. He was definitely on the scene during the good old days. No trend hopper, this guy. Aside from butressing his credibility he had no good questions to ask and nothing interesting to say. As a result, famously verbose and interesting characters like Keith from Circle Jerks, Jack from TSOL and Jello Biafra were actually kind of boring. A quiet guy like Don Bolles didn't stand a chance. You know he's got some incredible stories to tell (he was in the GERMS, fer ....) but you won't hear any of them in this movie. Duane Peters and Gitane Demone were both downright annoying. This film was an ill-conceived, amateurish, status-conscious waste of time. Wait for the "Decline..." movies to be re-released or go make your own, but don't pay for this .... (like I did)."
Interesting, but not to entertaining
Bloodanguts | Maine | 02/11/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The people interviewed here are a pretty diverse bunch, Jello Biafra of DK, Grisham of TSOL, Morris of the Circle Jerks. A lot of the interview's are interesting (but some are plain stupid), but that in itself is it's problom. Besides a few short clips, it's entirely interviews. This lack of music, in my eyes, defeats the point of the early punk movement, in which the music really spoke for itself. It's nice too see what the people have to say, but unless you have a great intrest in that, you may want to pass on this."