If any song summed up my 9th grade year, circa 1984-1985, it’s this under two-minute hyper-negative anthem by Fear. I first heard this in a cheesy horror anthology film called “Nightmares,” in which one of the segments had a video game addict, played by Emilio Estevez, blasting this song in his headphones. I then heard it a year later when a friend of mine had Fear’s “The Record” album on cassette and upon hearing it, my eyes lit up like that blind guy in Fritz Lang’s “M” when he hears Edvard Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King” being whistled by a serial killer.
Despite how twisted (or quaint) this song sounds (in actuality, I wore sweaters/khakis back in the day of hardcore and had a 3.5 average), I realize that had I admitted my love for this song post-Columbine, I would have been institutionalized or at least, been put on an extreme regimen of SSRIs that would arguably have made me legitimately nuts. In reality, though, all I really needed back in the day is a “cut the bulls–t” talk by an understanding adult and a kiss by a cute girl. Regardless, this is still a legitimately great, extremely “negative” song. Despite the near psychotic suppressing of anything negative these days, it’s actually healthy to have negative thoughts from time to time, folks. If you need further explanation, see the new Pixar film “Inside Out.”
Holy mackeral! This song damn near defined my 9th grade year in junior high. To my immature ears, this was the angriest, coolest, and funniest song I’d ever heard. Though, crazily enough, I actually first heard this song in the cheesy 1983 horror film “Nightmares.” In that film, Emilio Estevez played a video game addict who played this song constantly in his headphones. In retrospect, that was the ONLY thing I remembered about that otherwise s–tty movie.
When a friend of mine played it for me a year later on a punk compilation he had copied, I freaked out like that blind guy in the 1931 Fritz Lang film “M” when he heard the serial killer humming “In The Hall of the Mountain King.” I later learned the band who did this was Fear. … who I later saw in several infamous and legendary clips on the punk TV show “New Wave Theater” … and whose lead singer Lee Ving had pivotal acting roles in several mid-1980s films (“Flashdance,” “Streets of Fire,” “The Wild Life,” “Clue”) … and who I later learned was one of John Belushi’s favorite bands before he died (Fear plays a VERY pivotal role in the final third of the infamous Bob Woodward biography of Belushi “Wired”).
Guns n’ Roses later covered this on their 1993 album “The Spaghetti Incident”.
A totally rude and nasty classic!!! From Fear’s 1982 album “The Record.” Due to multiple f-bombs, not safe for work.
Continuing the punk theme from “Jesus of Suburbia,” Number 9 on Dave’s Strange World all-time favorite movies is Alex Cox’s funny, nasty tale of punks, UFOs, repo men, and the CIA. This movie came out around the time me and my friends started getting into punk. In 1984, punk as a late-1970s fad had faded and whatever was left just got harder and more aggressive, hence the adjective “hardcore.” By this point, there wasn’t much mainstream media exposure to punk, other than “Blackboard Jungle”-style exposes of wayward youth on the evening news.
So when a major studio (in this case, Universal) film featured hardcore punk as a prominent part of the film and soundtrack, it was something we all paid attention to. Granted, “Repo Man” portrayed punks as stupid, violent, and amoral for the most part, but nearly all of the characters in “Repo Man” were stupid, violent, and amoral, so no one cared and laughed their asses off.
This is a really funny, subversive film that’s still hilarious to this day. It’s nihilistic sense of humor predated Quentin Tarantino’s films by about 8 years and when I first saw “Reservoir Dogs” in 1992, I described to friends as “Repo Man” meets “Goodfellas.” I realize that may strike most people as odd, but when you consider the characters in “Repo” and “Reservoir”‘s mutual misanthropy, it makes perfect sense in my book.
Of the many great scenes in “Repo Man,” I love this one where Emilio Estevez’s character is talking to his punk friend who is dying after being shot during an attempted hold-up. Estevez casually comforts his friend during his death rattle by saying “You’re going to be all right, man … Maybe not.”