BluRay/DVD Reviews


By • Nov 16th, 2008 •

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Not much to chew because there is not much to bite.

Rodger Grossman fails to capture the true embodiment of The Germs in his lackluster directorial debut, a film about the late 1970’s chaotic punk rock band. The film stands as a weak representation, lacking the oomph that The Germs were so well known for.

Jan Paul Beahm (Shane West), with the intelligence of a scholar and the rebellious nature of James Dean, sets out to create a band. But this isn’t your average garage-practicing band. This is The Germs. A band where real names are taken over by pseudo identities and performances are nothing less than brutal.

“OK, so this was his plan: Say you’re a band, advertise, get band members, get instruments, get a rehearsal space, play a gig and then learn how to play. It’s a good plan, right?” Guitarist Pat Smear (Rick Gonzalez) tries to explain in a faux interview. This was Darby’s “Five Year Plan.” The Germs did exactly that, making a name for themselves before they even knew how to play their instruments, getting attention for their overtly destructive and chaotic behavior, and recruiting other band mates – Lorna Doom (Bijou Phillips) on bass and Don Bolles (Noah Segan) on drums.

The circle. Darby delved into the theme of circles pretty quick. “Everything works in circles,” he would say. You might be at one point of your life one year and be back there two years later. The film devotes most of its time to developing this theme. He kept people in and he kept people out. The circle was the defining unit of his family. Working with circles, the film ultimately comes full circle with the death of Darby due to an overdose the night before John Lennon is assassinated.

Grossman fails to atmospherically set the tone of the band, and gives the audience sprinkles (compared to actuality) of dull representations of their notorious havoc-inducing nature on stage and off.

The film doesn’t follow up on much, and with scarce information and mediocre acting, it makes the story hard to appreciate. This is no Sid and Nancy. This isn’t even a “true” Germs film. It appears as if Grossman was more wrapped up in making a debut film than in creating a true-to-life biopic. This film is recommended to those who are fans of the band and are familiar with them, but to those who aren’t, wikipedia would be a better, more informative source.

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2 Responses »

  1. Wow! An outstanding review!

  2. Too bad… it sounds like it could have been an interesting film!

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