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Rodney Perkins reviews Zack Carlson & Bryan Connolly's DESTROY ALL MOVIES: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO PUNKS ON FILM!!!

Hey folks, Harry here with a treat from my fellow Fantastic Fest programmer, Rodney Perkins regarding our other Fantastic Fest programmer Zack Carlson (and Bryan Connolly)'s book, DESTROY ALL MOVIES: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO PUNKS ON FILM. So this is a fairly nepotistic affair - but no more so than when we tell you VERN has a new brilliant book - and while we here at AICN love our VERN, that never gets in the way of saying he is brilliant. Zack is brilliant in a separate and varying degree of madness... I can not wait to check out this unique film encyclopedia. Here's Rodney with the details:

Disclosure: I have been friends with the creators of this book for a number of years. Every word of this review is my honest to goodness opinion. Most film books are dry academic treatises whose ultimate destiny is to sit unused on a college library shelf. Destroy All Movies: A Complete Guide to Punks on Film (Fantagraphics) is the antithesis of this musty stereotype. This massive punk rock movie encyclopedia is totally alive. It took the editors Zack Carlson and Bryan Connolly seven years to compile over 1,110 capsule reviews and dozens of interviews. Carlson and Connolly are joined by numerous contributors, but the writing styles are consistently funny and snappy. For example, Love Bites is described as the "best shot-on-video gay vampire comedy of 1998." The review of Lou Reed: Rock N Roll Heart ends with the following line: "The best part here --and what I what I wish the whole movie was-- is footage of [Lou] Reed eating pizza and playing an arcade game." The criteria for including a film in the book can be boiled down to this: if there is a punk in the narrative, it gets in. As a result, the coverage is all over the place. Well-known punk rock movies like Urgh! A Music War, Decline of the Western Civilization, Another State of Mind, and The Blank Generation, and Desperate Teenage Lovedolls are represented. More familiar films featuring punky characters like Road Warrior, Suburbia, Repo Man, Valley Girl, and Revenge of the Nerds are also included. Liquid Sky is in here, but so is Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Hook, and Ernest Saves Christmas. Pretty in Pink appears right after Predator 2. Earnest Saves Christmas precedes Escape from L.A. The book skips right over Death Wish to cover the three Death Wish follow-ups. Why? There were no punks in the original Death Wish movie. Hardliners might not appreciate the mix of bona fide punk rock movies and pop culture detritus, but the idiosyncratic choices are part of the book's appeal. Destroy All Movies is about the representation of punk rock in cinema so authenticity or overall quality is not a dividing line. The writers have their own opinions about content -- read the hilarious review for Punk Rock Summer Camp --, but the editors stubbornly tow the line about what films should be included. To provide some additional perspective, the editors and contributors interview original sources -- musicians, directors, producers, and actors -- to get their thoughts on the portrayal of punk rock in movies. The diverse list of interviewees include Ian MacKaye, Richard Hell (he also provides the foreword), Penelope Spheeris, Exene Cervenka, Nick Zedd, Allan Arkush, Allison Anders, Jon Gries, and numerous others. Even Kirk Thatcher -- the punk on the bus from Star Trek IV -- gets an interview. The quality of the discussions varies; there are some short-short interviews that probably couldn't have been dropped. The meatier discussions -- Ian MacKaye and Chris Pederson, and Richard Hell provide some smart sobering thoughts -- compensate for the cursory ones. Finally, it would be dumb not to discuss how great Destroy All Movies looks. Designer Jacob Covey did an excellent job here. The big bold cover, which features an iconic poster image from Class of 1984, makes the book stick out like a mohawk in a sea of crew cuts. The interior design is equally striking. The endpapers consist of full-color stills and poster art. The body of the text is in black-and-white with pink headers. Hundreds of photos in old-school halftones in black-and-white or pink are scattered throughout. In spite of the crazy color scheme, the text is easy to read. The only real complaint to be made about Destroy All Movies is that there is no index. However, what kind of bum would deride a book this essential for not having an index? Not me.
Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 14, 2010, 11:17 a.m. CST

    I love Punk

    by Moonman777

    I love This! I WanT!

  • Nov. 14, 2010, 11:20 a.m. CST


    by nobodycallsmcflyachicken

    remember that one?

  • Nov. 14, 2010, 11:32 a.m. CST


    by LegendarySpartanBlood


  • Nov. 14, 2010, 11:36 a.m. CST

    yes i know you already posted it but i love it

    by LegendarySpartanBlood

  • Nov. 14, 2010, 11:54 a.m. CST

    You two...can't even take a shower, with a

    by phifty2

    beautiful woman, without wearing your jeans! Bwahahahahah!

  • Nov. 14, 2010, 12:25 p.m. CST

    Kirk Thatcher!

    by Keeper Of Chimps

    Wasn't that song, "I Hate You" written just for the movie. I think Kirk Thatcher was actually a writer. I don't know anything about the band "Edge Of Etiquette" who are credited with performing it, but I think Kirk is the one singing. Anyone?

  • music.i think i ll buy it for him.

  • Nov. 14, 2010, 12:45 p.m. CST

    Bet it don't have Muslim punks

    by Cagliostro

  • Nov. 14, 2010, 1:31 p.m. CST

    Awful cover.

    by Nice Marmot

    Not one to hate, but that is just crap.

  • Nov. 14, 2010, 2:17 p.m. CST

    Repo Man, Sid and Nancy, and Rude Boy.

    by davidwebb

    Cool idea, and one I might pick up, but surely those three are all you really need to know about?

  • Nov. 14, 2010, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Sounds like it might be fun. Has anyone seen...

    by TheUltimateMathTeacher

    Skyline? The reviews are slamming it, but have any "average" people from this sight seen it? I'm thinking this is going to be a Netflix/drinking movie.

  • Nov. 14, 2010, 3:29 p.m. CST

    first punk

    by nietzschebot

  • Nov. 14, 2010, 7:19 p.m. CST

    Those look like gay superheroes

    by torontoxic

    Oh and 'punk' is a term so dated ever referring to it again nullifies my interest in any subject. Why don't you guys ever peddle anything I'd actually buy?

  • Nov. 14, 2010, 8:05 p.m. CST

    reminds me of 80's videogames at the arcade

    by sith_rising

    where everybody you fought had a mohawk and facepaint and spiked shoulderpads and looked like The Road Warriors lol. I wonder if the Japanese thought American streetgangs actually looked like that in 1987.

  • Nov. 14, 2010, 8:38 p.m. CST


    by phifty2

    SLC Punk gets a lot of undeserved flac. It's a damn fine movie.

  • Nov. 14, 2010, 9:21 p.m. CST

    Holy Shit!

    by Riff_Randell

    I have to have this book! Oh and while we're on the subject, is it just me or does the store clerk turned infected in Night of the Comet sound almost exactly like Jello Biafra? Oh and supermarch, you mean you've never seen Class of 1984? You must give it a try.

  • Nov. 15, 2010, 4:10 a.m. CST

    Nice Marmot..

    by Righteous Brother

    I think the cover is the poster from the film Class of 84. Which featured school kid punks terrorising teacher Perry King.

  • Nov. 15, 2010, 4:55 a.m. CST

    Talk Hard

    by tensticks

    Pump Up The Volume had damn well better be in there, and for that matter so better ROCKY HORROR.

  • Nov. 15, 2010, 10:54 a.m. CST

    i'd rather watch dorf on autopsies than read that

    by torontoxic

    I think we're all shit of of luck on this one.

  • Nov. 15, 2010, 11:38 a.m. CST


    by Abominable Snowcone

    the cover is from the art for the movie "Class of 1984"

  • Nov. 15, 2010, 12:59 p.m. CST


    by Jacq

    There is an index! No table of contents, but in the back of the book there's an insanely comprensive index!

  • Nov. 15, 2010, 6:55 p.m. CST


    by torontoxic

    I liked SLC Punk as well. Then I turned 14 and realized it was boring and lame. <P> Anyone using the term punk is a fucking idiot. Nobody cares about your try hard bullshit music asshole and anyone with any kind of prospects forgets about whiny little bitches like you and your pop culture crusades and moves on. Why post in a thread about some piece of shit book about how stupid it looks? You're the 'punk' afficianado and you're asking me why I'm being a dick? sure are a fucking badass. I think you should go get another tattoo. One that can turn back time so you can try this whole life thing over again from scratch since the one you've got now is too far fucked to fix.

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 12:21 a.m. CST


    by torontoxic

    Sorry you little douche rag but some of us wear suits to our jobs. Maybe if you studied harder you wouldn't be so obsessed with tired pop culture bullshit. So guess again I guess. Though why bother since if you get it right it just means you guessed I'm someone who might tip you well but other than that there would probably never be any chance I'd have to interact with you. Go shout oi in a half empty shithole bar. It's the small victories that will keep you going (you seem to have suicide on the brain). Do you still shave a mohawk to hide your premature receding hairline?

  • Nov. 16, 2010, 12:26 a.m. CST


    by torontoxic

    I typed it three times and not once was it used. It was stated in part of a movie title, I then wrote the word to denounce its validity, and then the third time was in ' ' and was typed as a describer of you. <P> So I never used it at all. Only a fucking limp wristed cunt like you would. While you ask your dad for a loan so you can buy a new Macbook to take to Starbucks and looked pissed off that anyone is looking at you even though you're clearly crying/begging for attention. <P> I will put down a grand that says your dumbshit guess at how I look could actually be used to describe a family member of yours who probably beat the shit out of you while you were a teenager. lol <P> Go jerk off to your gay superheroes.