D.O.A. (1980)

D.O.A. (1980)

“I’m not shocked by punk — I’m shamed by it.”

The Sex Pistols and other punk bands perform and are interviewed by documentarian Lech Kowalski in the late 1970s.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Documentary
  • Punk Rock

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that this “haphazardly constructed” documentary of the “seminal English punk group, The Sex Pistols, with extensive footage of their 1978 U.S. tour” is “nevertheless an arresting, upsetting social document about the punk scene at its peak.”

He notes that “the young fans who show up for Sex Pistols concerts are society’s and mothers’ worst nightmare” — and while “their make-up and wild clothing won’t bother anyone who has been to The Rocky Horror Picture Show… it’s disturbing to witness the pins through their cheeks, their mindless f**k-the-world hostility and rudeness (especially toward the cameraman), and their violence.”

He adds that the “music by the Sex Pistols (Johnny Rotten, Sid Vicious, Steve Jones, Paul Cook) and other famous punk groups should please fans and, for those like [him – i.e., non-fans], satisfy curiosity,” and he concludes his review by noting that “surely the film’s most famous, most depraved scene is an interview with catatonic Vicious (wearing a swastika T-shirt) and spaced-out girlfriend Nancy Spungen” before they both died shortly thereafter.

This film also offers some drolly amusing commentary from various folks who are, shall we say, not especially pleased about the impact of punk music on society.

Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:

  • A time capsule glimpse at a unique period in music history

Must See?
No, though it’s worth a look as a cultural document.


One thought on “D.O.A. (1980)

  1. First viewing (1/25/21). Only for those interested in or curious for info about the Punk Rock scene.

    It does give an overview (largely through interviews) of the sociological ‘impact’ of the punk era. So many angry young white boys. Meh.

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