“I can’t get off this chair or I’ll drown, wanna know why, Bob? ‘Cause I can’t swim.”
Many punk rockers – the ones that actually look like punk rockers – are constant recipients of funny looks and false accusations. Being a punk rocker in a repressive city like Salt Lake City in 1985, Stevo (Matthew Lilliard) and Heroin Bob (Michael Goorjian) take that concept to a whole another level. Friends since high school, Stevo and Bob are recent college graduates who are confused about what to do with their futures. For the past few years, the only thing that has made sense to them is anarchy. Unfortunately, there isn’t much of a future as an anarchist punk rocker in the corporate world. Their lives are boring and the punk rock lifestyle is the only thing that makes sense to get them through their dull, boring lives.
Instead of doing something productive, Stevo and Heroin Bob decide to waste their educated minds. They have no jobs. Their main job is partying and going to punk rock concerts. Stevo uses drugs recreationally to pass the time. Heroin Bob actually refuses to do drugs like his friends and preaches to them that they are destroying their minds. He was given the nickname Heroin Bob because he is absolutely afraid of needles.
I first saw this movie about four years ago. It’s strange because it appealed to me then for one reason and now it appeals to me for a completely different reason. Four years ago, I was struggling with where I was at in life. I was much more rebellious than I am today and I struggled to figure out where I fit in. All I really knew was that punk rock music, along with hip hop music, was something that I could relate to and something that I enjoyed. Without sounding too new age-y, I am much more “at peace” with where I am in life. I still like punk rock music, although I realize that I don’t have to go to the extremes that I did as a 19-year old. When I was younger, I understood that socially unacceptable things aren’t necessarily bad things and you dealt with bad things by rebelling. Today, I still understand that social acceptable things aren’t bad things. However, I think I’ve matured in the way of dealing with many of these things. Instead of harbor resentment inside me, I do things like write blog entries like the one I did last week pertaining to intolerance. I also realize that someone who has some ideas that I don’t agree with isn’t necessarily a bad person.
Video & Sound
Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, SLC Punk has a cheaply made look that actually adds a bit to the film. Punk rock as a whole is not polished and proper, so it doesn’t overly bother me that the movie has a very “indie” look to it. The soundtrack is at times loud, but for the most part, this is a dialogue movie that uses the front three speakers. Not necessarily perfect or ideal, but it works.
My favorite extra, as usual, is the commentary. The director along with Lillard and Goorjian give a screen-specific commentary that runs throughout the movie. It’s not the greatest track I’ve ever heard, but it’s interesting. The three of them seem to have a genuine interest and a genuine enjoyment of the film. Another cool thing included on the disc is the original SLC Punk comic book. I wasn’t aware that it was a comic book before a movie, but it’s cool regardless. That’s pretty much it…
It’s a fun and fresh movie. Not enough movies take a serious look at an alternative scene like the punk rock scene. I love the fact that it humanizes people that most people view as scary or freakish. Although at times it can get a bit preachy or a bit unrealistic, it’s a movie that I think anyone between about 18-25 could relate to and enjoy.
Movie – 9
Video & Sound – 7
Extras – 5
Overall – 7