DVD of the Week: SLC Punk! (1998)


I don’t know how or why some movies that don’t deserve a great deal of attention, get it… while other movies that do deserve far more attention than they get, don’t.  However that mechanism works, it failed us by not giving more attention to 1998’s SLC Punk!.  This is a great movie.

Starring Mattew Lillard (and that may be why it didn’t get much attention… I believe we were in Lillard overdose at the time) as Stevo, the story revolves around Stevo and his best friend Bob (Michael A. Goorjian)… aka Heroin Bob, named thus because he won’t take any drug… not even aspirin… as the supposedly only two dedicated punks in 1980’s Salt Lake City.  The film follows them and their friends through various idiotic antics, a hospital stay for Bob, fights with rednecks and a few parties.  Surprisingly, the story ends up having a great deal of heart… and a whole lot to say about being in any particular “scene”.

The soundtrack is fantastic… and it’s ideal are often laid bare.  Although the plot and the meaning behind everything is somewhat blunt in it’s delivery, there are a number of very subtle and rather beautiful moments of ennui and hopelessness in a world that you do not fit in.  As to why they don’t fit in is another matter altogether that gets resolved by the end.

I recall watching this movie on cable during it’s first run on pay TV in the late 90’s and laughing at the depiction of the early 80’s punk scene and being reminded of the extra dark film Suburbia, although this film has it’s dark moments… it can’t compare.  No babies are eaten by dogs in this one… and unlike Trainspotting, there are no dead babies (nor living ones) present.  But Mrs. Blahg and I were stunned that we hadn’t heard of this film prior to it being on cable.  It simply passed us by… and that is precisely why I started doing the DVD of the Week… to highlight movies that may have slipped past us for whatever reason.

I don’t wish to go into any of the details of this movie beyond what I’ve already said.  There are some funny moments involving a dude who takes way too much acid… and even those have a tinge of sadness to it.  There are love stories… there are tales of bravado and stupidity… and one of my favorite lines of all time… “… remember, I didn’t sell out, I bought in.”  And the final line, which I shall not utter here, is what the film is all about.

So treat yourself to an enjoyable hour and a half… buy it, rent it or stream it… just see this movie.

I am an anti-,
Cornelius J. Blahg

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