Review - DVD

Artist: Desperate Teenage Lovedolls

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In the punk-rock milieu of mid-'80s L.A., it's unsurprising that the sporadically-published We Got Power fanzine mutated into We Got Power Films after a scene documentary ("The Slog Movie") whetted Dave Markey's appetite for lenswork. The first "feature" from the company was 1984's "Desperate Teenage Lovedolls," a sex-and-drugs-and-guns-and-rock story about three starry eyed runaway girls who start a band called The Lovedolls that, of course, becomes fairy-tale famous. (Originally the film was titled "Desperate Teenage Runaways," so you can surmise the sonic reference point for the band.) Like Josie & The Pussycats on smack, "DTLD" featured Redd Kross' McDonald brothers and a clutch of scenesters -- Jennifer Schwartz, Hilary Rubens -- who tried their damndest to act. Shot on Super 8 and seemingly ad-libbed from beginning to end, the film teeters on the brink of disaster, but is charmingly successful at portraying the noxious reality of the Hollywood rock scene. A true cult classic, "DTLD" was long circulated via crappy dubbed VHS tapes; but this DVD release can't do much for the visual fidelity of a movie that was shot so hastily on such a no-budget level. Yet, the soundtrack (with Redd Kross, Black Flag and others) sounds great and the commentary and other bonuses that are included help put the film into its proper context.

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