Badsville: A Video Review

Jan 02, 2002

"Music was always somethin' that kinda bonded the freaks," so sayeth one of the booze-soaked participants in this sonically spectacular and visually stunning shockumentary straight from the sleazy rock'n'roll underbelly of Los Angeles. It's a sick'n'twisted tale of the new LA musical underground: a Decline of the Western Civilization for the 21st Century. It's good trashy dirty fun for the eyes, ears, and soul!

The fast-paced imagery is as frenetic and crazed as the music itself. Intermittent interview segments with various drug-addled musicians are cohesively spliced together between stellar live footage of The Superbees (raucously belligerent New York Dolls-like brashness), The Newlydeads (dark'n'decadent gothic-tinged rage), Texas Terri & The Stiff Ones (dangerously psychotic Stooges-influenced musical mayhem), Throwrag (demonically electrifying hillbilly hellcat hedonism), Dragbeat (sensuously smokin' and thunderously trashed R&B swagger), Extra Fancy (evil industrialized inner-city psychedelia), Street Walkin' Cheetahs (balls-out alleyway-stumblin' rock'n'roll unruliness), Motochrist (loud'n'lively leather-clad sonic surliness), Pygmy Love Circus (rootin'-tootin' truck-drivin' Motorhead-style aural rebellion), The Hangmen (poetic white-trash trailerpark purveyors of musical sleaze), Coyote Shivers (a monstrous amphetamine-ravaged Lou Reed clone), Lo-Ball (sexy, sultry, and sonically lascivious - goodtime girlgroup zaniness galore!), Bubble (crunchy brick-heavy hardrock razzmatazz ala Courtney Love frontin' The Who), and Man Scouts Of America (dark vampiric metal-laden fury).

And every one of 'em appears to be an alcoholic, a drug addict, a sexual deviant, or damn near criminally insane - "a rockstar cliché without being the rockstar," as the behind-the-camera interviewer knowingly states at one point during a hilariously engaging Q&A session with one of the manic fuzzy-eyed musicians. Badsville vividly paints a wildly colorful picture of rock'n'roll rebelliousness born out of a garbage can in the rat-infested back-alleys of the City of Lost Angels. It's a sweaty, sordid, vomit-soaked rollercoaster ride of a story that includes all of the name-dropping, label-hopping, vein-popping madness expected from the bad boys and naughty girls who aurally rage and devilishly strut their stuff throughout all hours of the night. Damn straight, this is a sinfully delicious cinematic marvel from beginning to end; just what a smalltown Texas boy like me needs to rev-up the ol' VCR!

(Acetate Records, 2020 Broadway, 2nd Floor, Santa Monica, CA 90404 and