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Destroy All Movies!!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film Flexibound – December 6, 2010

16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I wasn't expecting to be blown away by Destroy All Movies!!! I was sure I would get tired of reading it after a few pages. The opposite happened -- I got hooked and couldn't stop." --Mark Frauenfelder, BoingBoing

"A product of the tireless DIY work ethic: It is one of the most painstaking books ever written on punk rock...a volume with both intellectual relevance and deep entertainment value." --Sam McPheeters, BookForum

"An exhaustive work every bit as brash and entertaining as its subject matter. If you fail to purchase a copy, post-apocalyptic punk rock bikers will kick your door down and ram their fists down your throat." --Todd Brown, Twitch

"...insanely genius and improbably comprehensive..." --PopMatters

“..[I]ntelligent, pointed and funny... characterized also by a fresh perspective… an absolute gem, inspired in its three-color design…”

From the Inside Flap

Foreword by Richard Hell

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Product Details

  • Flexibound: 600 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics; 1st edition (December 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606993631
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606993637
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 0.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #414,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Zack Carlson lives in Austin, TX, where he writes books and screenplays with his best pal Bryan Connolly. He works as a film programmer for the Alamo Drafthouse and Fantastic Fest. He has a cat, a semi-functioning pinball machine and a lot of '80s horror video tapes.

(Accompanying pictures of Carlson by Sam McPheeters.)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By S. Messerer on November 16, 2010
Format: Flexibound Verified Purchase
I love film and I love film reference books. I own hundreds of books on film but, unfortunately, most film reference books are rushed, slipshod tomes that are intended to capitalize on a current popular craze. More often than not, their content is limited, and it is painfully obvious that the author has never seen many of the films he or she has written about. Their shelf-life lasts only as long as the current trend and then they are rapidly relegated to the remainder rack.

Destroy All Movies!!! (DAM) is not one of those books!!! DAM is a book that no one asked for, but thank Sweet Baby Cheevers that its authors, Zack Carlson and Bryan Connolly, thought enough about their subject to honor us unworthy cinemaphiles with what will most likely be revered as one of the greatest film reference books this planet has ever known.

DAM attempts to chronicle every movie where a punk rocker is seen on screen and covers both films and made-for-TV movies released between 1974 and 1999. This is not one of them snobby, elitist tomes either! No genre is excluded; no stone is left unturned. If a punk rocker is seen on screen, he/she/it is in this book. Seriously!!! What other film reference book can you name that includes both "Hannah and Her Sisters" and "Blood Orgy of the Leather Girls?" You can't because, until now, no other authors have had the cinematic strength, stamina, and irrationality that it takes to pull off a masterpiece like this. The authors and fifteen of their closest friends (no, I'm not one of them!) watched over 20,000 movies in half a decade to enable them to offer up this twisted dream made reality.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Brian Saur on November 23, 2010
Format: Flexibound
I've been a fan of Zack Carlson and his programming at the Drafthouse for some time. He and his cohort Bryan Connolly have really done a bang-up job with this book I must say. It is an amazing, exhaustive reference guide and just a gorgeous Taschen-like book to boot! The best book of it's kind since the last Psychotronic Guide! A must own for fans of cult and 80s cinema! Fantastic! It has my vote for film book of the year!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Terry from Lac du Flambeau on November 19, 2010
Format: Flexibound Verified Purchase
When I heard about this book I knew I had to order it for the fun of it and for the endless possibilities of trashy movies I could impress my rural America friends with. When things are dull in the middle of winter and you're tired of "Dancing with the Stars" this is the source book for the movie that may not destroy your mind, but will give it a severe bending.

If you have seen all of these movies or even a lot of them, you can be proud of your dementedness. Get this book and learn about movies that you will never see any other place and then take the next step and surprise your friends with a fun night watching some. The people behind this book can be proud of their work. There must be something in Seattle's water that the rest of us don't always get.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. Jenkins on April 17, 2012
Format: Flexibound
Just want to mention, although Amazon no longer stocks this book, it can be purchased direct from the publisher for $35:
[...]
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Format: Flexibound
Truly essential. Punk Rock. Film. The 1980s. If you are interested in any or all of the above, you will be hopelessly smitten with this marvellous book. The writing is witty and intelligent. Plenty of giggles, but equally enough genuine insight to satisfy the cineaste. The book is compulsively readable, as a good film guide should be, and will have you scurrying off to locate desperately rare VHS titles. It is fascinating to view the unfolding of the punk phenomenon through film - in both earnest documentaries and via the distorted lens of Hollywood (Punks quickly became lazy graphic shorthand for slavering hooligans - because of the anti-establishment bent of the movement and also simply because they looked so exciting and outrageous). Additionally, the book is designed to perfection, simply one of the best I have seen and is a thing of beauty all by itself. In this age of IMDB, this book demonstrates that there is most certainly life in the published reference work. It is sure to become a valuable collectors item in the near future. I hope the authors and Fantagraphics will release an updated edition at some point, because you DO need it and will not want to trade up. If the authors choose to write on another subject, I'm sure that will be great too. (They must be heartily sick of Punk after taking years to write this book). At the end of 'The Time Machine', the anonymous traveller goes back to the future equipped with three books, the titles of which are left up to the audience to speculate upon. I am certain that this comprehensive volume would be one of those books (I know he was in Victorian times, but he's a Time Traveller, right?). have I made my point yet? I like it.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rodney Meek VINE VOICE on February 6, 2011
Format: Flexibound Verified Purchase
There will be many who pick this book up and go "Ho-hum, another encyclopedic listing of the appearances of punks in movies from 1974 through 1999--like the world needed another of these." Yes, but this one is written by Zack Carlson and his cronies. Too often, Western culture enters periods of stasis and stagnation, and progress can only resume when someone comes along and kicks it in the pants. Mr. Carlson is just such a pants-kicker.

Often referred to by casual fans of the burgeoning Alamo Drafthouse empire as "the one who's not Tim League or Lars Nilsen", Mr. Carlson is a savant of obscure genre movies, and as a programmer for both the Drafthouse and its phenomenally awesome Fantastic Fest, an annual film festival, he is becoming a tastemaker and a trendsetter. One who, in fact, would cross the street to punch me repeatedly in the face for even applying such moronic labels to him.

In this volume, Mr. Carlson and crew undertake to document every movie in which a punk or at least a gaudy new waver appears. You may very well ask why he is doing this. However, that question is itself a Zen koan, and hence both unanswerable and at the same time its own answer.

Punks pop up all over the place in the movies, and broadly speaking fall into one of several categories: 1) denizens of post-apocalyptic wastelands; 2) urban thugs threatening the mundanes; 3) background flavor to establish that the lead character is no longer in Kansas; 4) signifiers of the decay of decadent Western society. Almost invariably they fill the role of The Other--usually a threat to safety and order, but sometimes the misunderstood outsider who comments on the stifling and intolerant nature of modern conformist consumer culture.
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