09 August 2010

What We Do Is Secret (2007)

The Germs were a pioneering LA punk band led by the mad genius Darby Crash, although the term “genius” may be an exaggeration. The Germs were not that well known in their day, but they have grown in stature since, and this is their story.

Darby saw punk as an avenue to indulgehis five year plan, and that included rock stardom. Things didn’t go according to plan, and Darby’s turbulent musical, sexual, and drug practices left him outcast, disenchanted, and suicidal. The limited footage and press I had seen of Darby lead me to believe he was somewhat of an idiot, in the style of Sid Vicious. If this movie is to be believed, he was more intelligent and philosophical than Sid, if equally self destructive.

ShaneWest (Dracula 2000, TheLeague Of Extraordinary Gentlemen) is very good as Darby. He has the look and the attitude. The feel of the film is great, down to replicating what I had already seen of those times (eg footage from The Decline of Western Civilisation). It no doubt helped that Darby’s guitarist, Pat Smear, was involved in the production. The poorest point is the actors who play Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible from The Damned. They are laughable. The funniest point may be the re-enactment of Joan Jett’s production on The Germs album. It’s an interesting look at an interesting time and an interesting individual.

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