Available at Fantagraphics and Amazon.com
If you’ve ever identified with punk culture or been amused by Hollywood’s countless stereotypes of leather-clad rebellious youth, this book is for you. Edited by Zack Carlson and Bryan Connolly, who painstakingly combed VHS tape after VHS tape for traces of punk-dom, Destroy All Movies!!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film is the most comprehensive catalog of media-depicted punk culture in print. Seriously.
And if you’re into ’80s punk or new wave fashion, the book covers it. From the “New Romantic goth punk thespians” of Desperately Seeking Susan to Shannen Dougherty’s “new wave lightning makeup” in Girls Just Want to Have Fun (not to mention the punk who kicks his foot into a cooked turkey), vivid descriptions of carefree style permeate this book, often with visuals. You’ll be enticed to give the movies a second look–or even a first look–in search of that one scene…
Remember the mohawk-sporting Amazing Larry from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure? What about the newly-punked-out Poindexter performing the electric violin with his fellow nerds in the triumphant musical number from Revenge of the Nerds? How about the band of axe-toting misfits that rolls up to Tom Hanks’ and Shelley Long’s house to begin the first day of destruction construction in The Money Pit? Were Gremlins the creature embodiment of punks? And these are just tidbits from the mainstream films…
In addition to narrative feature films, the book includes coverage of punks in documentaries, made-for-TV movies, full-length TV specials released on home video, and even some short films. Talk about comprehensive! And it’s a BIG book, complete with neon-tinted movie stills and interviews with actors, directors and more!
To fully appreciate Zack Carlson and Bryan Connolly’s writing and editing efforts, consider this excerpt from the book’s introduction by Carlson:
“When not at work, we’d spend full days sifting through unwatchable garbage in the hopes of spotting a hint of colored hair or a combat boot. During a party or street scene, the film would be paused and the screen scrutinized for any hint of possible punkery. Ninety percent of what we viewed contained nothing we needed.”
The resulting ten percent has been meticulously recorded. But rather than reading as an encyclopedia of plot summaries, this book is what happens when fiercely biting wit meets the kind of detailed documentation only the most sincere punk enthusiasts are capable of. It doesn’t pull any punches (be prepared to have some of your favorite ’80s flicks de-romanticized), but whether you agree with every entry or not, you’ll appreciate the many nods to ’80s rebelliousness (and fashion)…
A feast for the ears and eyes, Destroy All Movies covers the vibrancy of punk style like none other. For more info., check out the book’s website. Enjoy!
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