Year: 1981 Director: Penelope Spheeris
One night in the late eighties, BBC2 had a Metal Night (think of what BBC4 do on a Friday these days) presented by Elvira, Mistress Of The Dark (parodied in The Simpsons as “Boobarella”) and they screened ‘The Decline Of Western Civilisation Part II: The Metal Years’. A documentary, or if you will, rockumentary on the LA metal scene in the late 80’s which threw up bands like Guns N Roses. Footage of almost made it new acts is interspersed with comments and “skits” with stars like Lemmy, Ozzy, Paul n Gene from Kiss and infamously a sizzled Chris Welch from WASP floating in a pool watched by his mother. Years before MTV, Spheeris knew the sight of Ozzy making breakfast in a leopard-skin dressing gown was gold.
Almost a decade before the same filmmaker had explored another youth cult in the same city as the fledgling LA punk scene crawled out of basements and squats in bands like X, Black Flag, The Germs, Circle Jerks and Fear. The gig violence, attitude and lifestyle depicted so enraged the LA police chief Daryl Gates that he called for the film to be banned within the » Continue Reading.