Screened as part of NZIFF 2006

American Hardcore 2005

Directed by Paul Rachman

Riveting documentary follows sarcastic, anarchistic rebels on a sonic assault from Los Angeles to NYC for the birth of Straight Edge – the early 80s American answer to punk rock.

USA In English
98 minutes 35mm

Director, Photography, Editor


Steven Blush. Inspired by his book


John Vondracek


Black Flag
Bad Brains
Minor Threat
SS Decontrol
Circle Jerks
Zero Boys


Sundance 2006


Not a glimpse into pornography but a riveting document of the brief (1980–86) but very influential moment when an underground army put a boot into the commercialism of US music, and put their own fervent spin on the British punk explosion. Inspired by the popular book of the same name, this film looks at the bands who reacted to the conservatism and materialism of the Reagan years. Drinking and drug use took a backseat to social anger, with one band even coining a term for such abstinence: ‘Straight Edge’ became more than just a song, it started a philosophy. If you think that bands like Limp Bizkit and Green Day are the epitome of ‘the angry young men’ of a generation, think again. When punk receded into escapist new wave, this new breed of sarcastic, anarchistic rebels began a sonic assault from Los Angeles to NYC – and without them there would be no Nirvana, Chili Peppers or Beastie Boys. Featuring explosive editing, never-seen archival footage and some highly colourful interviews with nearly every surviving member from the scene.