SLC Punk! (1998)

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: for every punk song on the soundtrack

Take a Drink: whenever someone is called a poser

Take a Drink: for fourth-wall breaking

Drink a Shot: when there’s a beating

Community Review


Movie Review

By: Oberst Von Berauscht & Bill Leon –

-Bill L.: SLC Punk! is an independent film by writer/director James Merendino which quickly became an underground success and cult classic. The film is about two Salt Lake City punks in the 80s named Stevo (Matthew Lillard) and Heroin Bob (Michael A. Goorjian); two punks in the 1980s and their daily lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.
-Oberst: Salt Lake City isn’t a conventional place to be a Punk, and the movie focuses on the challenges of Stevo and Heroin Bob  as they try to be the best punks they can be in a city surrounded by Mormons, Mods, Racists, and Rednecks.
So basically... this?
So basically… this?

A Toast

-Oberst: SLC Punk! is an often hilarious exploration of jaded youth in revolt.  The mid 1980s setting might date the culture and trends, but the themes explored within can be applied to the experiences that nearly every generation encounters as they reach adulthood.

-Bill L.: The film’s directing, script and lead actor all blend together very well.  Matthew Lillard brings a dynamic presence as Stevo and constantly breaks the fourth wall to address the audience and explain his somewhat alien culture. Throughout the film, Lillard’s character is required to run a gamut of emotions as he experiences rejection, alienation, betrayal, and maybe worst of all; coming to terms with the fact that everything he’s built his life and philosophy on may be a passing fad. The camerawork and locations create a tight but fun atmosphere for the story (or lack thereof) to fire on all cylinders.

-Oberst: In the world of SLC Punk! Stevo and others like him worship their Punk culture as a way of life.  Unlike The Who’s Quadrophenia movie, SLC Punk! often plays this dedication to a culture for laughs, as a way to satirize the small-mindedness of the cultural bandwagon.  At the same time, Director James Merendino makes it clear that he’s not mocking these characters.  The behavior they exhibit is in a way universal, as each passing generation inevitably surrenders to their own pop culture. This is made all the more clear by the inclusion of scenes with Stevo’s parents (Christopher McDonald and McNally Sagel), former hippies-turned lawyers.

So, basically the opposite of  Family Ties
So, basically the opposite of Family Ties

-Bill L.: The members of the cast we haven’t yet touched upon such as Jason Segel, Til Schweiger, Devon Sawa, Adam Pascal, and especially Michael A. Goorjian as Heroin Bob are all at the top of their game here. Everyone turns in fantastic performances all around and really bring their characters to life, giving them a lot of depth and humanity. It’s no surprise that this movie helped launch multiple successful careers.

-Oberst: It wouldn’t be a Punk movie without some great Punk Rock and this film delivers in droves with songs from The Dead Kennedys, Fear, The Stooges, Blondie, The Velvet Underground, The Specials, The Ramones, and…


Beer Two

-Oberst: My only real complaint with the film is the way many characters opposed to the Punk culture are depicted in a cartoonish fashion, with a parade of stereotypes.  By not showing more humanity in people from outside their clique, it ironically makes it harder to empathize with Stevo and Heroin Bob.  This is because the audience is led to see the events as being told only from one side of the story.

-Bill L.: I would not say you’re wrong, but this is their story, and by the end Stevo realizes that the whole clique thing is ultimately futile. So in some ways, the ends justify the means. The whole film acts as a study of the idea of social cliques and as such, I think is handled masterfully from an outsider perspective. As far as the detractors seeming cartoonish and stereotypical… this was Salt Lake City in the 80s.


-Bill L.:To me, SLC Punk! always has been and always will be A Toast. An instant classic.


-Oberst: SLC Punk! is a highly engaging coming of age comedy with an ultra-90s editing style.  I’ll give it two beers.


About Oberst von Berauscht

Oberst Von Berauscht once retained the services of a Gypsy to imbue in him the ability to accurately describe the artistic qualities of a film up to seven decimal points. To maintain this unique skill, he must feast on the blood of a virgin every Harvest Moon, or failing that (and he usually does), he can also make a dog do that thing they do where they twist their heads slightly (you know, when they're confused about something) at least a few times a week. I've gotten way off track here... The point is, Oberst is one of the website's founders, so... yeah

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