Thursday, November 19, 2015

“Rebel Scum” DVD (director: Video Rahim)

Dirty document of drunken derelicts...

Sometimes, documentaries are welcomed as intimate looks into celebrated artists, celebrities, events, or historical incidents. This is none of the above. “Rebel Scum” looks at Knoxville’s scuzz-punk band the Dirty Works, and particularly their damaged and recklessly self-destructive frontman, Christopher Scum. Now, I’ve been closely involved in underground music and transgressive art for 30 years, and I’d never heard of this band. Is this even a real documentary? Wild Eye Releasing have done some pretty awful films before…hmm.

Regardless, this purports itself to be a real documentary, so I’m reviewing it as such. The band here is pretty much an inept bunch of drunken rowdies, with an audience that numbers, well, maybe in the tens. Mr. Scum, though seemingly a pretty nice guy, has a serious and alarming problem with substance abuse. The film follows the band around, showing some of the most embarrassingly painful scenes — sloppy, slovenly, and sickeningly drunken and drugged.

Why anyone would like to see this is beyond me. There’s little to be said for watching a man and his friends slowly kill themselves. “Rebel Scum” shows a band who are not so much making music as making a desperate cry for help. I hope someone hears it.

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