Punk Rock Documentary ‘Punk the Capital’ Heads to DVD, Blu-ray June 12

A documentary chronicling the rise of punk music in Washington, D.C., in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Punk the Capital, will be released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD in the United States on June 12 and in the United Kingdom on July 12.

The U.S. release coincides with Record Store Day, an annual promotion launched by independent record stores and rapidly gaining ground with the resurgence of the vinyl LP.

Punk the Capital features musicians such as Bad Brains, Henry Rollins, Ian MacKaye and Jello Biafra. Created by James June Schneider (co-director, editor), Paul Bishow (co-director) and Sam Lavine (associate producer, co-editor), Punk the Capital  was released theatrically released in the United States in May and garnered rave reviews from the press and fans alike. Many of the screenings became special events, with Q&As with the directors and Pete Stahl of Scream, Chris Stover of Void, Nicky Thomas of Fire Party, curator/publisher Roger Gastman, and Hudley Flipside of Flipside fanzine, just to name a few.

Co-director Schneider said in a statement, “The final version of our film that we’re releasing now is just the intense tip of the iceberg — our first cut was seven hours long. In the end, we wound up focusing on the untold and improbable story of punk rock’s beginnings in Washington, D.C., that happened concurrently with cities across the western world.”

The film is being released in the United States through Passion River and in the U.K. through Wienerworld. A portion of all DVD and Blu-ray Disc sales through Dischord Records will go to the Washington, D.C.-based charity We Are Family, an outreach and advocacy organization serving low-income seniors in the North Capitol and Columbia Heights neighborhoods.

The Blu-ray Discs and DVD contain more than 50 minutes of short films from the archives of Punk the Capital:

  • “Scream Meets The Hangmen”: Featuring all of Scream including Dave Grohl;
  • “Void and Friends”: A portrait of the cult hardcore band from the D.C. suburbs;
  • “The Seminal WGTB Concert”: D.C.’s legendary first punk concert, featuring The Cramps;
  • “The Slickee Boys”: Extra material on the band that got D.C. punk off the ground circa 1976.

 

Pete Davidson to Star in Biopic ‘I Slept With Joey Ramone’ for Netflix

Netflix and STXfilms have partnered to develop and produce I Slept with Joey Ramone, a biopic chronicling the life of the punk rocker.

Directed by Jason Orley (Big Time Adolescence, Pete Davidson: Alive From New York and upcoming film I Want You Back), the film will star Pete Davidson (“Saturday Night Live,The King of Staten Island, Big Time Adolescence and upcoming films The Suicide Squad and American Sole). The treatment is written by Pete Davidson and Jason Orley based on the Mickey Leigh memoir of the same name.

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“When you share a bed with someone — and not just a bed, but a childhood, a family, and a lifetime — you know that person better than anybody else,” Adam Fogelson, chairman STXfilms Motion Picture Group, said in a statement. “Mickey Leigh not only collaborated with his big brother’s band — he has irreplaceable memories of and insights into Joey Ramone, having supported him when no one else would and witnessed him overcome adversity in the most dramatic way. I Slept with Joey Ramone is a great rock anthem that will make an equally great rock biopic, set apart by a universal story of family. Pete is perfect for this role, and we’re excited he and Jason will be bringing this icon of rock to life and thrilled to be collaborating once again with our friends at Netflix.”

The film will be made with the cooperation and support of the Estate of Joey Ramone and with the assistance of Rosegarten Films.

Orley and Davidson previously teamed up on the feature film Big Time Adolescence, which Orley wrote and directed. Orley also directed Davidson’s standup special Alive from New York for Netflix.

‘The El Duce Tapes,’ ‘Shogun’s Joy of Torture’ Due on Blu-ray in February From MVD and Arrow

The El Duce Tapes and Shogun’s Joy of Torture are coming to Blu-ray Disc in February from MVD Entertainment Group and Arrow Films.

The El Duce Tapes comes out Feb. 9. In the early 1990s aspiring filmmaker and part-time actor Ryan Sexton grabbed a camcorder and followed shock rockers The Mentors into the sleaziest and grimy clubs in the Hollywood area. The band, known for wearing black executioner masks over their heads, caused controversy wherever they went with their vulgar lyrics and decidedly non-PC approach. Sexton kept the cameras rolling at all times while putting a special focus on the band’s infamous singer-drummer, El Duce. Now 30 years later, filmmakers Rodney Ascher and David Lawrence have taken the footage and edited it together as The El Duce Tapes, a documentary that John Carpenter has praised as “dark and irresistible.” The Blu-ray Disc comes with special features including unused VHS footage, brand-new audio commentary, and an interview with Steve Broy, aka Dr. Heathen Scum of The Mentor.

On Feb. 23 comes Teruo Ishii’s euro-guro Japanese drama Shogun’s Joy of Torture. This 1968 anthology includes three different tales of crime and punishment, all based on true-life cases. This precursor to Toei’s “pinky violent” films of the 1970s isn’t for the easily squeamish. The opening credits feature a decapitation and a burning at the stake. The film is presented in high-definition and includes a new audio commentary, an interview on the work of Ishii, and a feature that explores the history of Japanese exploitation.

‘No Wave’ Classics ‘Subway Riders,’ ‘The Foreigner’ and ‘Unmade Beds’ Due on DVD Sept. 29 From MVD

Filmmaker Amos Poe’s “No Wave” classics Subway Riders, The Foreigner and Unmade Beds will come out on DVD Sept. 29 from MVD Entertainment Group.

“No wave” was a short-lived avant-garde music and art scene that erupted in New York City in the late 1970s as a reaction to punk rock. The term “no wave” was a pun on “new wave.” The movement only lasted a few years, but had a profound influence on the development of independent film, fashion and visual arts.

Subway Riders is 1981 drama shot in New York City following a psychotic street saxophonist who lures victims into dark city spots with his haunting music — then shoots them. Seedy characters, including a cop with a junkie wife, an upstairs sax-hating prostitute and other lost souls litter the landscape. Written, produced and directed by legendary “punk filmmaker” Poe (Alphabet City, Dead Weekend), the film features Cookie Mueller (Pink Flamingos, Desperate Living), Susan Tyrell (Cry Baby, Forbidden Zone), Robbie Coltrane (“Harry Potter” series), Poe and John Lurie (Get Shorty).

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The Foreigner, for the first time ever on DVD, is a 1978 New York drama following European Max Menace who arrives in New York City on an unknown mission. Boredom sets in as he waits for his assignment. Alienation thrusts him into entanglements with women, weirdos and creeps. Their unstructured lives echo the purposefully meandering storyline reflecting the reality of being meaningless in a hostile city. Written, produced and directed by Poe, the film features Debbie Harry (lead singer of Blondie, Videodrome), Poe, Lux Interior (The Social Network) and the punk band The Cramps as themselves.

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Also written, produced and directed by Poe, Unmade Beds, also starring Harry, is a 1976 drama following Rico in New York City, who imagines he lives in Paris during the time of “New Wave” filmmaking. He’s a photographer who thinks he’s an outsider, so he uses his camera like a gun, loading it with bullets of film. He seeks reality to fulfill his fantasy. But he’s also a romantic, and this is his downfall, especially when he falls in love with Blondie. The film pays homage to Jean Luc Godard as it parallels the French classic Breathless. It also stars Poe and Robert Gordon (Natural Born Killers).

Punk Biopic ‘Anti-Nowhere League: We Are the League’ Due on DVD Aug. 9 From MVD

Anti-Nowhere League: We Are the League will come out on DVD plus CD Aug. 9 from MVD Entertainment Group and Cleopatra Entertainment.

The story of the notorious punk rock band uncovers how a biker, a skinhead, a grammar school boy and a Persian exile come together, with no musical talent or ambitions and even less respect for anything or anyone, to burst into the U.K. charts with their debut single.

The film, directed by George Hencken and produced by Brian Perera, Yvonne Perera and Matt Green, stars Stewart Copeland, Rat Scabies and Nick.

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