Friday, July 22, 2016

We're not keeping you. You're just ...staying.

There was a minute or two in my life where I would actively seek out (somewhat) underground punk bands that I loved and see them wherever they happened to be playing. There were a few dicey clubs, sure, uh, a polo field one time, and even a Jewish Community Center that had a gigantic mural of James Van Der Beek prominently featured. Yeah. Clearly that place was hardcore.

And had I ever been cool enough to actually talk to someone else that I didn't arrive with? Well, I figure there's only three things I would have desperately shouted into their ear:

If the band was good, I f--king love these guys!! They're incredible! Wanna dance?
If the band was bad, These guys? Oh, they suck. I'm just work here.
And, if pretty girl was involved...

Yeah, I'm with the band.

Luckily, any of those options, coming from me, would have simply been pathetic, but in 2015's Green Room, they would have been (increasingly) f--king catastrophic. Heading in, I didn't really know much about this horror-thriller, other than the fact that it was a bit violent and featured the late Anton Yelchin. And while you basically had me at Hello anyway, let me make this an even easier sell: it's by the guy who did f--king Blue Ruin [review].

No, it's fine. Go. I'd be more upset if you didn't...

After yet another dismal gig, would-be punk rockers the Ain't Rights are offered one last show before the tour, and potentially the band, is over. Rolling into some backwoods dive bar, it's clear that this club is owned and operated by some pretty grimy neo-nazi, white supremacist motherf--kers. Uh, cool. I guess. So they do what punk bands do: they open with a cover of Nazi Punks F--k Off. I guess skinheads aren't exactly fans of irony...

Actually, once our dudes bust out the original numbers (and stop telling everyone in the room to personally f--k off), the crowd chills out, digs the music, and the overwhelming tension in the room is tossed into the mosh pit never to be seen again. 

Well, it might have been...had one of the Ain't Rights not forgot her phone on the way out, and doubled back directly into a grisly f--king crime scene backstage. Turns out our moderately respectable white supremacist, Nazi a-holes, are actually murderous f--ks, and the five members of the band, along with some random chick, are quickly locked in a room while things get sorted out. And by that, clearly I mean Captain Jean-Luc Picard is beamed down from the U.S.S. Swastika to take sweep this sumbitch right under the blood-stained carpet.

To say anymore would ruin it, but Green Room does that thing where things just keep getting worse so well, it's hard to not to enjoy it. Even if you're looking at most scenes with your hands over eyes. The tension is inescapable, the chaotic action relentless, and the violence, while brief, is extremely f--king brutal. I actually had to rewind one part because I didn't believe what I had just seen...and not only did I get confirmation that I wasn't hallucinating...but yeah, now I had seen it twice. Yikes.

Also scary (more like scary bad), are the Yays and Boos. Can't really cheer or jeer anything without some specifics, so if you haven't watched Green Room...uh, what the f--k is wrong with you?

I once went to a concert where a magician opened.
Hopefully he could get out of handcuffs...
(as he was arrested the day after the show)

  • When you take it all lose the texture.
  • The struggle is real. While it's not exactly hard to decipher, the opening fifteen minutes tell us everything we need to know about The Ain't Rights.
  • There's something I never told you. Or anyone. [everyone gets real quiet] [insert juicy fart] Okay, this is officially the best thing to say before a fart. Oh, and after? Assuming someone questions what was that? Your response? Oh, just some asshole, talking behind my back [thank you hot girl in college for that one]
  • Dude, those guys that they get to cover up what happened? Now that shit's hardcore.
  • In the room? Well, let's just say things are pretty f--king intense. The shifting dynamic is intoxicating, you know, if you like getting drunk on awful awfulness.
  • Maybe it's slightly weird, but,'s a good thing that one dude knows f--king jujitsu, right? Damn.
  • There's a lot of gnarly violence here. A lot. Possibly my most favorite weapon in this bloodbath? Broken fluorescent light bulb. That shit's reaches, like, a William Wallace-level of brutality. 
  • Final Jeopardy: This actor, is f--king brilliant in every small film ever made. Let's see what m.brown, currently in last place, wrote down: Who is, Mark Webber? 
  • Actually, the most badass of the whole bunch may, at least initially, surprise you. Not only is her murder game top-notch, but apparently, she could also rock the shit out of some hide-and-seek. Un. Real.
  • Is it wrong that I kind of liked Gabe (an awesome Macon Blair)? Seemed like a nice guy, all things considered.
  • And finally, let me sadly stand and applaud for yet another actor gone too soon, Anton Yelchin. I've liked this dude from the first time I saw him, with that brilliant mix of nervous energy and quiet confidence he brought to many of his roles. I'm sure there's more to come from him for a little while...but I definitely miss seeing him. 
These guys handle this all so well...
I guess being in a punk band is harder than it looks.
  • That looked like a pretty sucky bike ride, right?
  • You know you haven't exactly hit it big....when you're playing what looks like a lunch time.
  • I've walked in on some bad things (roommate having drunk sex, topless old woman, countless people...shitting), but I think this one takes the cake. No, it's fine. I didn't see ANYTHING!
  • The red laces. Who knew shoelaces were actually like tiny karate belts, classifying one's level of f--kery.
  • I don't exactly remember the question, but the answer was Buttf--k everyone in this room. The Boo is how hard I laughed,
  • I couldn't stop shaking my hand after I saw what I saw. And will never be able to unsee.
  • Oh, and speaking of...that boxcutter thing made me audibly gasp...which woke up my sleeping wife. She was like, what's wrong? And I made the mistake of telling her....oops.
  • I hear you, Pit Bull(s). Mic feedback is the worst sound in the world.
  • Clearly they don't shop at IKEA. Look, I'm not too mad about it, but was that couch made of jet engine parts? What the Hell?
  • And finally, the (shockingly brilliant) casting of Patrick Stewart, as head asshole, Darcy. It's not that the performance is bad, not at all, it's that I will always trust (and adore) Professor Charles Xavier. When he says things are going to be okay, well, Hell. I believe him. F--ker.

I saw Green Room days after going to what I can only assume will be the best concert I'll ever attend. And while I wish I could have been closer to the stage to see Slash melt every face in the stadium, that's the only thing that would have made the experience (or day, for that matter) any better.

What about backstage passes, huh?

No thanks. I'm good.


  1. Great review as always. I really liked this and was so glad the follow up to Blue Ruin was solid. RIP Anton - this is going to be tough to rewatch I think.

    Does the part that freaked out have to do with a certain hand in a door? That was brutal.

    1. Thank you, Jess! While I think I'm with you in liking Blue Ruin better, I really had a good time with this one. It's fast, brutal and doesn't ever let up.

      Um, yeah. That was definitely the part. I thought I imagined it or yeah, I uh, re-watched it.