Surprise, surprise. It’s been fucking ages since I’ve done a review yet again, and no satisfying excuse for my laziness. But yeh, had the impulse to fire up another one, and a documentary this time to give it a slightly new flavour.
If you’ve never heard of G.G. Allin, he was, in summary, an extremely violent and sociopathic punk musician and the frontman for a plethora of bands, with endearing names such as The Jabbers, The Scumfucs, The AIDS Brigade, The Cedar Street Sluts, and his final band, the backing band documented in this….documentary, The Murder Junkies. His music was choppy hardcore punk with extremely vile lyrics covering a wide range of topics, including but not limited to graphically depicted rape, murder and other violent crime, paedophilia, misogyny, racism, and a vitriolic hatred for all authority. His musical output is amusing and thrilling enough, but the real attraction was his live performances. Typically adorned in either a jockstrap or a pair of Y-fronts (either of which were quickly removed), Allin routinely defecated and urinated onstage, on his band and audience, ate and drank his own shit and piss, beat the living shit out of his audience members with his fists, feet, head and microphone, and engaged in both consensual and non-consensual sex acts with audience members. He is also one of my favourite people that has ever existed, as I despise humanity with an unrivalled passion. 🙂
Todd Phillips, who weirdly enough would go onto direct The Hangover, has crafted something of utmost peculiarity in this film, not merely because of the subject matter, but because he’s edited it with such honesty and respect toward the subjects at hand that the subject matter does almost seem satirical or mockumentarian (One quote on the DVD case cites this documentary as being ‘funnier than Spinal Tap’). Allin’s frank and nonchalant attitude towards his own behaviour, coupled with the casuality that his band members view it with, including his Hitler-moustached brother and bassist Merle, comes across as both comical and also deeply disturbing.
Allin in various form of recreational activity
The film covers his incredibly bizarre upbringing in rural New Hampshire, and features revealing interviews with high school friends, old teachers, hardcore fans and detractors who label him an overrated freakshow. One of the most intriguing aspects of the documentary is that it reveals Allin to be far from a below-average-intelligence goon, he is an articulate, methodical man, albeit a very animalistic and uncontrollable one. He calmly and lucidly explains his agenda to take rock music back to it’s anti-authoritarian roots, and to take that anti-authoritarianism to its most extreme conclusion.
Go and watch it, in conjunction with videos of his live shows. You’ve no chance of actually seeing him live as he died of a heroin overdose the year that the documentary came out. But whatever you think of it, it can be left in no doubt that Allin was an important figure. His detractors’ opinion of him as a worthless circus act notwithstanding, he attracted pretty much an entire generation of exasperated and ignored people on the fringes of society, many of whom shared a common ground with Allin in that they were frequently stereotyped and ridiculed as being moronic attention-seekers, where as the reality was the majority are highly intelligent, and fighting a virtually constant urge to act violently due to cynical misanthropy, coupled with a kind of bloodthirsty hedonism (Allin had the luxury of exercising these impulses whenever he was onstage, and now and again the fans with enough balls and passions got the treat of engaging in a mutually exciting brawl with him).
Ultimately, Allin was a thug, a self-described ‘musical terrorist’, a sexual deviant with inclinations best described as pansexual. He may very well be the most vile, disgusting personality to emerge from contemporary American music: he rarely bathed or changed his clothes, urinated and defecated in his pants, ate his own various bodily excrete, drank a lot of Jim Beam and ate plenty of junk food to maintain his flabby musculature–he had diabolical body odour and loved it–and enjoyed bringing suffering to others, male or female, sometimes to make a point, in his own warped rationalisation, but mostly for his own delectation. But for a lot of people, he voices an unbridled frustration and explosive anger like you would not believe. And for that, he can not possibly be ignored/ 9/10