“SLC Punk is one of my absolute all time favorite movies. It follows a couple of young punks, fresh out of high school, in an opressive small town, trying to figure out what’s next in their lives. I can relate. Like a lot. Plus, so many of their ideals and values correspond with me own. Like really, this movie could have been about me to some extent.
Naturally, feelings were mixed when I heard about a sequel. On the one hand, of course I want more of one of my favorite stories ever. I want to revisit favorite characters and inhabit a whole new part of their world for an hour or two. But on the other, how often do these things really work out?
Punk’s Dead had a very small release, mostly just hitting the festival circuit. I’d occassionally see Devon Sawa (who was in both) tweet something about it. I’d get momentarily excited and then forget as I went on with my life.
Then something popped up in my FB feed. There was a screening in Boston being organized if they could get enough interest. I signed up immediately. The threshold was reached and the screening was on. There was a crudely Sharpie-d sign outside the auditorium and I got giddy. I walked in and found punks of all varieties filling the seats. That made me even giddier.
The sequel picks up about 19 years after the original. Unbeknownst to him at the time, when Heroin Bob (um spoiler alert for the first movie) accidentally OD’s and dies, his girlfriend Trish is pregnant. Now punk baby Ross is all growed up. He classifies himself as a death punk or goth punk, and is more straight edge than even the straight edge kids. When he gets his heart broken, he goes off on a bender with some friends. Since that behavior is out of character, Trish freaks when she finds out and tries to find him. Lots of self discovery ensues. Heroin Bob narrates from the afterlife. We won’t discuss the bad baldcap that goes with his ‘hawk
For me, what was cool about this movie is that I would have been about Ross’s age in the 2005 setting (I’m less than 2 years older than him), so I was watching it all through that lens, although I wish I was as cool back then as his gal pal Penny. Not a whole lot going on, mostly just Ross trying to figure out who he is and what he’s doing, not unlike what his dad and BFFF Stevo did the first time around. I’m not too sure how I feel about Ross. He was a little whiny, and actor Ben Schnetzer (who is awesome in Pride, which you should really check out) seemed to be trying to do his best Michael Goorjian (Bob) impression.
What was really cool was checking in with some favorite characters. As previously mentioned, Devon Sawa is back as Sean, as is James Duval (who I just learned was Frank in Donnie Darko ?!) as John the (now former) Mod (now death metal dude), and Adam Pascal as ladies’ man Eddie. Sawa and Duval in particular stole every scene they were in.
Also great, Bob’s explanation on the subdivisions of punk. Mostly I’m just happy that he included my flavor, pop punk, and that he says he likes it all. I know pop punk isn’t the most badass of the bunch, but we can’t choose what speaks to us and what we respond to, but I’m proud to be part of the scene.
And the scene seemed to enjoy the movie. Lots of cheers and laughter at appropriate places. Listening in on conversations on the way out, most people enjoyed the same things I did. Now, would I recommend this to someone that hasn’t seen the first? Nope, and what the heck are you waiting for? But if you do have strong feels about the first and are not inherently turned off by sequels, this was a nice revisit to a fun little world of outcasts.
Punk’s Dead: SLC Punk 2 – \m/ \m/ \m/”