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Askew Review 15

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HARD CORE LOGO 1996. Fictitious punk band “on the road” documentary. Approx 90 minutes. Rated R, language. From 1978 to 1991, Hard Core Logo ruled the Canadian punk rock scene. Five years after their breakup, the boys have decided to do a five city reunion tour in Western Canada. This mockumentary follows Joe Dick (singer), Billy Talent (guitar), Pipefitter (Drummer), and John Oxenberger (bass) on their wild tale of misadventure. Along with the normal aggravations punk bands endure while touring, each band member is also struggling with his own issues. Joe Dick is trying like hell (in his own overbearingly way) to light a fire under his band mates asses to get the band together full time and conquer like they did as young men. Billy had been the fill in guitarist for Jenifur, a popular Los Angeles band, and desperately wants to return and enjoy the fame, fortune, and spotlight. Pipefitter is busy struggling with…hmmm..I don’t really recall if he was struggling with anything or not. As we find out through various journal entries, Oxenberger is struggling with the behavior of his band mates and the ill effects of losing his medication. The band plays various venues, visit an aging punk rock icon, get into fights, deal with a crappy broken down band van, and constantly put up with the annoyance of having a film crew record their every action. As the tour winds down, we seem to know what the future holds for Hard Core Logo, but things change. And they change in a jiffy.
         Yes, I did enjoy this flic. However, I really wouldn’t categorize Hard Core Logo as punk. They’re more of an edgy rock band. They do cover a few punk tunes just to make it look like punk...I suppose. Then again, this is Canada I’m talking about. Sorry to you Canadian eh. Oh wait, Joe Dick does have a Mohawk! This flic is like a two hour punk Real World, but only more believable. The characters are likable, even Joe Dick, being the dick he is. There is one scene that will make you feel downright bad for the guy. Ok, maybe two scenes. I found the interaction between the characters, especially Joe and Billy, to be phenomenal. The acting is also admirable. The entire gang is into playing “guess my emotion.” Gawd they’re moody pricks. Ah, hey, yep. That is a cameo by the late great Joey Ramone. I have to wonder why it took this flic almost five years to make it to video because I really dug this baby. Perhaps you will as well. Hard Core Logo is based on the Michael Turner’s 1993 book of the same name. Released by Quentin Tarantino’s Rolling Thunder Pictures. – Denis Sheehan


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