“GG Allin is an entertainer with a message to a sick society. He makes us look at it for what we really are. The human is just another animal who is able to speak out freely, to express himself clearly. Make no mistake about it, behind what he does is a brain.” – Serial killer John Wayne Gacy on the subject of this documentary.
Okay, the preceding quote is complete and utter bullshit, at least in saying that the 14-years-deceased punk ‘entertainer’ GG Allin (if you don’t know who he is, go look him up at www.ggallin.com; it’s too late in the game to explain him from scratch) had a message and a brain behind what he was doing. Shit, you tend to take anything a guy like Gacy who murdered young boys says with a bucket of salt anyway. But I have to admit I still get a kick out of GG Allin and the chaos he caused (obviously, or I wouldn’t be viewing and reviewing this new DVD). There are a few different reasons for this, among them:
He appeals to the angry, nihilistic, anarchaotic part in me that everybody has in them to a greater or lesser degree (a much lesser degree, when compared to Allin) that makes us want to smash shit up, hurt ourselves and/or other people and tear down the horrifying worthless electronic societal spectacle going on around about us 24/7. It’s the old poop-flinging ape putting in an appearance from back in our evolutionary past, reminding us that any supposed civility bred into us can be swept aside at any time and we can go blood-and-chaos crazy. Just ask George W Bush or the Iraqis or people in a million other hotspots round the world.
GG Allin and his millions of different bands put out some of the most pure, angry, beautiful punk music that that musical subgenre ever produced (though a lot of his stuff is crap, it has to be said), hateful and unapologetic and proud to be sick and scummy and genuinely anarchic. Any true lover of punk music, as I sporadically am these old-and-jaded daze, should appreciate this achievement. It’s totally fucking hilarious to watch his videos and see the moronic man and his total fucking fanny fans beat the shit out of each other – and throw it over each other – in a big stoopit clusterfuck – just so long as I didn’t have to be there, sort of like “Jackass” for nihilist sociopaths; sick kicks and fucked yucks.
And I could go on, digging deeper into my own guts and brains and
pathology-voyeurism sickness, but it doesn’t really matter and you wouldn’t care anyway. Allin’s work is a guilty ‘pleasure’ for me, but I still find myself coming back to it sporadically when I need to get a fix of something real and raw and brutal, something not co-opted by the mainstream and that could never be sold to Middle America or Middle Wherever because it’s just too fucking out-of-whack and in-your-face and totally out of its tiny fucking mind.
“It’s like my stage show balances me out. If it wasn’t for what I do on stage I’d probably be a mass murderer.I know I’d kill somebody because I have such a fierce intense fire burning inside of me that just wants to explode” – GG on his autistic-artistic methodology,
Okay, To the new release of the notorious, critically feted 1993 Allin
sickumentary “Hated.” Now, first things first. There is no new footage in it as compared to the other earlier DVD release, so if you’ve seen the previous DVD you’ve seen this one, at least documentary content-wise. What you would really be buying this release for is the extras (accessed by moving a tombstone icon up and down the menu – pretty subtle), which are:
A new commentary by director Todd Phillips. This is illuminating, even if he doesn’t keep up with the footage onscreen too well. It’s also absolutely fucking hilarious – the story about how he got the notorious ‘banana-up-the-ass’ NYU gig, by telling the school that Allin was a spoken word artist like Henry Rollins, who had done a reading there the month before, had me laughing so hard for five minutes on the floor (admittedly I was a bit drunk at the time) that I had to pause the DVD until I could recover my equilibrium.
A new commentary by the shitslinger-singer’s brother Merle and the naked psycho drummer Dino Sex. This is rambling, irreverent, mostly
irrelevant and, once again, absolutely hilarious. It’s sick and twisted and stupid, and they don’t talk about the film a lot of the time, but don’t let that put you off. With these two weird fuckers what you get is a DVD commentary as done by Beavis & Butthead, and their mockery of GG’s wacked-out old high school teacher Mr. Fisher, who ludicrously rambles about the singer being like wolverines and weasels, had me pissing myself (not literally) laughing, Pure comedic gold. In one classic bit they’re watching a scene with a picture of Unk, GG’s devoted fan who somewhat ridiculously gets interviewed more than the subject of the doc during the running time. In the picture Unk is in prison with John Wayne Gacy, who is bound hand and foot. “Why is he handcuffed?” asks Dino innocently. “Because he’s John Wayne Gacy,” laconically responds Merle.and what more need you add?
An interview with Merle and Dino (which sounds like the name of a cartoon comedy duo; not far from the truth) in which they wax lyrical about the old daze of the band, including talking about GG’s bands before the Murder Junkies, and what the band are doing after GG’s death. Merle sports an insane dreadlocked beard and Dino has fluorescent green hair and a red beard! Their old war stories are interesting, but the camera keeps sliding very slightly in and out of focus, which is annoying, and Dino’s sound is pretty poor.
A gallery of art that fans sent in for a contest to design the cover. Some of the disturbing-looking creations look like the naïve art of freakish madmen (and women) that they undoubtedly are, but some of them look pretty damned cool.
Three live music videos assembled from a selection of clips culled from other sources, which is a sort of ‘greatest shits’ scumpilation of violent conduct at a load of his shows; fistfights, shitting, thrown chairs, etc; the usual chaos.
An interview with Allin’s long suffering mother. This interview was the primary reason that I wanted to see this DVD. I was very interested to see what she would say about what her son became and how she felt about it. In the event, though, all we get is her talking for a scant couple of minutes about how good GG (whose insane religious freak father named him after having a religious vision; Merle couldn’t say ‘Jesus’ and called his sibling ‘GG,’ and this stuck) and Merle were good little boys growing up. It totally avoids the issue of her son’s infamy altogether, but it does humanize him a (very) wee bit.
Also included in the packaging are:
Free fake GG tattoos (yes, seriously) for those who admire his stylish, well-crafted drunk-scratched tats and wish they could have some just like them.
A chance to buy a limited edition of the John Wayne Gacy poster for the movie.
And that’s pretty much it. One thing that was included on the previous DVD release missing here is the 50 minutes of Allin’s last show at the Gas Station in NYC. This omission pissed me off because the footage is superb and it’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever witnessed, one of the closest things to true anarchy I’ve ever seen (except footage of Iraq and whatnot, obviously). In the footage Allin fights with the crowd, walks around with some weird yuppie creep with his finger stuck up the singer’s ass, smashes windows, walks about into the street naked and covered in blood, throws a beer bottle at a city bus.and gets away from dozens of cops! It’s absolutely incredible and something well worth watching. I saw it again at a public screening of “Hated” at Delilah’s (a great Chicago bar – I had diarrhea that night and had to use the toilets there before the screening – appropriate for a GG event!) and was amazed and amused at it all over again. Definitely something to see if you ever get the chance.
“Nobody took us seriously, they just thought we were a bunch of talentless fucking losers” – Merle.
So. 14 years on the smoke has cleared and blood has been cleaned up, the noise and the media circus has died down, GG Allin is dead, and only a handful of people really even know who he is. He truly is a legendary figure on the underground music scene, it has to be said, some sort of larger-than-life-in-death shitsmeared figure with the pathologies of thousands of fans projected onto his sanity-and-society-and-law-rejecting existence. But in the end you look at him and see nothing much more than an entertaining-cum-frightening-(s)cum-disgusting dancing monkeyboy moron. And given the tragic early home life he had, more specifically with regard to his insane father (Allin denied ever being abused as a child, which might have been one explanation for his pain and madness and sexual damage; though he said that if he had been abused he had blocked it out), it’s no surprise he turned out as he did. But this documentary about him, if you haven’t seen it and are interested in the man’s manic legacy, is a great guerrilla piece of work that you will enjoy, and deserving of the accolades it has received over the years.
Notorious punk scene controversialist chickenhawk Mykel Board (whose voice can be heard in the doc) wrote of Allin, after his death: “Though he lived for less than 40 years, he lived without duty, without thought to the future, worrying about bills, acting politely for the neighbors. He did what he wanted, when he wanted. How many others have lived so fearlessly for so long?” This is both true and false. Although Kevin Jesus Christ GG Allin did have a certain kind of freedom from certain societal constraints, he was in bondage to his own self-destructive pathologies, and pathology is slavery. If he truly had been free and happy and sane, he wouldn’t have destroyed himself and let others wail on him as he did so. His ridiculously-poorly-spelled clinical transcript (which you can download from the ‘Media’ section of his Wikipedia page), from when he was analyzed after sentencing for one of his crimes, includes words like grandiosity, egocentricity, irritable, excited, narcissism, authority problems, ego inflation, psychomotor acceleration, bizarre sexual performances, alcohol intoxication, and poor judgment.
Poor judgment indeed.
I actually agree with Allin’s ex-guitarist Chicken John (whom Allin ended up hating; during the 1993 premiere he threw a beer bottle at the screen when John came on and knocked a woman out with it) in the doc when he says that if he was going to give his life for rock and roll he’d do something like murder the president (I mean I only agree with him in theory)(at least in public)(don’t want a visit from the men in black you see)(never was a Will Smith fan)(besides how do you kill what’s already dead?) and change life for everybody. But Allin never did anything so truly revolutionary, and is forever fated to be a critically feted and hated marginalized (literally now) underground figure.
But there’s still something oddly comforting about the fact that somebody like him existed. Idolizing him would be folly, because he was a deeply damaged and unsavory (as the DVD box says, he was arrested for exposing himself to children, a subject he wrote a song about; any reasonable person has to draw the line somewhere; have to say mentioning this as a sales tool is one of the lowest things I have ever seen) individual but it’s still nice to know there are people out there who are never truly going to be tamed by society and existential entropy. Especially if the cunts can do kick-ass tunes and kick ass like Allin did.
Posted on September 17, 2007 in Reviews by Graham Rae
If you liked this article then you may also like the following Film Threat articles:
- “DEADWOOD” DEAD IN THE WATER?
- “LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD” – RATED PG-13?!?!?!
- GG ALLIN AND THE MURDER JUNKIES: TERROR IN AMERICA (DVD)
- TIMMY’S WISH
Popular Stories from Around the Web