Penelope Spheeris‘ landmark The Decline of Western Civilization documentaries chronicle the LA music scene in the ’80s: first with punk bands the Germs, Black Flag, X and others; and then five years later when glam metal took over the Sunset Strip. Both are absolutely essential and have never been released on DVD.
Which is why I got so excited to see that the Sundance Channel is showing Part II: The Metal Years over the next month or so. While it’s a much more satifying experience to see both back-to-back, any chance to see this classic is worth it, so if you have cable be sure to set your VCRs, DVRs, TiVos, what have you. You get Ozzy Ozbourne making breakfast… Chris Holmes of W.A.S.P. guzzling vodka (now rumored to have been just water) in a pool while his mom sits poolside shaking her head… Gene Simmons in bed with a bevy of girls… classic.
Seriously, if you have never seen it, Decline II is manditory viewing. Hilarious, shocking, rediculous, sad. These movies have been out of print on home video for ten years. I imagine that music rights are tying up the DVD releases, but until then be glad the Sundance Channel is showing at least one of them. Don’t miss it.
Here are the showtimes over the next month:
Sunday 08.20.06 at 01:45 AM
Saturday 09.02.06 at 01:30 AM
Sunday 09.10.06 at 10:00 PM
Thursday 09.14.06 at 04:25 AM
Wednesday 09.20.06 at 03:00 AM
Tuesday 09.26.06 at 04:00 AM
Interesting trivia: Decline II was produced by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Farris, who went on to direct Little Miss Sunshine.