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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Germs movie chronicles life of Darby Crash

submitted by Deena

Better late than never, right? Here are my thoughts on What We Do Is Secret, which debuted in theaters August 8, and the Germs/Darby Crash story in general...

The movie centers around five years in the short life of Darby Crash, notorious frontman for The Germs, a band thought to have pioneered the hardcore punk genre. It stars Shane West, Bijou Phillips, Rick Gonzalez and Noah Segan, and if it came anywhere near Pittsburgh, I certainly didn't hear about it. So I'm stuck waiting for it to come out on DVD.

And even though WWDIS received a bittersweet review from AVclub.com and was called "unsatisfying" by the New York Post, I'm still intrigued by this film, mainly because Darby Crash's life always seemed so disturbing and yet strangely beautiful to me.

A typical Germs show would involve Crash slashing his bared chest with jagged glass shards and flailing his body into the crowd while hopped up on any given assortment of substances. "He couldn't go onstage without drugs," said Don Bolles, Germs drummer in 1978. Cult fans would receive a "Germs Burn," which was a cigarette put out on the inside of your wrist.

Some say that Crash was terribly tormented by a deeply closeted homosexuality, a fact which had long been suspected and is shown definitively in the movie for the first time. To me, his facade of violence seems to be a reflection of his inner struggle with this issue. How sad that he didn't feel he could be open during the sexual liberation revolution that went with LA punk.

Crash killed himself in a premeditated, heroin-facilitated suicide that many believed was meant to ensure his own legend at age 22. Of course, John Lennon was murdered a day later, leading Crash's dramatic exit to fall into obscurity.

The actors in WTDIS perform nine Germs songs in the movie and worked under the musical direction of original Germs guitarist Pat Smear. I appreciate that more and more movies are doing this, though I know it's a far cry from the real thing.

At any rate, I'm interested to know if anyone's seen this, and their thoughts on Crash in general. Is this the type of legacy he planned to ensure, and the attention, albeit much later than his actual death, that he would have wanted?

1 comment:

Scott said...

I'm not very familiar with this. I should check out the film.