Destroy All Movies!!!! chronicles punk on the big screen

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Hollywood has been fascinated with the idea of punk rockers since the word was originally coined in the '70s. It's a rare case that they get it right, and it's even more amazing that nobody has devoted any significant time looking at the ways Hollywood has destroyed, showcased, revered and misrepresented punks throughout the years. That's all about to change with the release of Destroy All Movies!!!!, a book that attempts to tackle nearly every film with a punk in it, from 8MM to Valley Girl.

Hollywood is probably the most likely to misrepresent any culture, but their casting of punks as Neolithic, abusive, drug addicts with candy-colored hair and an inexplicable amount of chains is far too amusing to turn away from. Editors Zack Carlson and Bryan Connolly seem to have noticed this trend, and their commentary about each of these films borders on hilarious at several points.

It's not just about punks, though, the whole book is a bit tongue-in-cheek with lines like, "Adrian Lyne is the most enthusiastic proponent of boring white people to ever shoot a single frame of film" (from 9 1/2 Weeks ). It takes nearly every punk movie scene imaginable to task. For instance, did you remember that Cannibal Corpse was in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective?

Probably not, seeing as that movie isn't usually appreciated by anyone outside of middle school. Either way, that's just a taste of over 1,100 films the authors take on. It catalogs and lists nearly every single appearance of a punk in a film, regardless of how insignificant it is. Hell, they even tally up mohawks and new-wavers.

On top of the movie guide is a collection of interviews with punk rockers and filmmakers alike, from Ian Mackaye to Penelope Spheeris. And just in case you need street-cred, Richard Hell provides the foreword. In the end, you get both a compendium of thoughtful ruminations on punk culture and a hilarious collection of movie missteps (Punk on a bus from Star Trek IV being one of our all-time favorites).

Check out a 24-page preview of the book.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


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