‘Hated’ Film Gives Insights On A Revolutionary Rocker
Depending on your point of view, the songs of rock nihilist GG Allin were a direct reflection of just how screwed up or revolutionary he was – “Bite It You Scum,” “I Wanna Kill You,” “Expose Yourself to Kids.” But a more fitting GG theme might have been a punk anthem written in the late 70’s by Boston’s Peter Dayton: “Better Off Dead.”
The singer’s death on June 28 of a drug overdose in New York certainly adds some topical interest to “Hated,” the new, hour long Todd Phillips documentary on Allin’s quest to break barriers, whether they needed to be broken or not. “Hated” opens this weekend at the Coolidge Corner Moviehouse.
Arrested more than 50 times, the Concord, N.H. bred Allin toured in between prison terms. He broke parole for a Michigan felony assault charge to take advantage of Phillips’ offer of a one-way bus ticket to New York. Calmly talking to Phillips’ camera, Allin seems no more disturbed than your average angry rocker. But onstage, where he usually performed naked, bodily fluids, defecation, rolling in glass and fights with the crowd were a big part of GG’s bloody and bruised punk rock.
Though he expired alone in a Lower East Side room, Allin had promised to kill himself on Halloween onstage for all to see. One scene in “Hated” shows Allin setting fire to a copy of the Herald after yours truly questioned his commitment to self-snuffing. But who’s to say he wouldn’t have done it; after all, he was a hero to serial killer John Wayne Gacy. (Phillips sold art by Gacy to help finance the film.)
Audiences will be fascinated by “Hated” despite themselves. The film steers between satire and tragedy as it examines Allin’s attempts to bring danger back to rock ‘n’ roll. Phillips remains surprisingly neutral throughout the interviews, live footage, and television excerpts, neither lionizing nor passing him off as a self-destructive, degenerate jerk.
Credits roll as Allin asks Phillips to accept his collect call, one of many Allin placed to friends and journalists from prison. Does anybody know what Sprint’s long-distance rates to the netherworld are these days?