One of the best mindfuck movies I've seen in a while. A 2001 Jeff Richardson film, starring Joe Escalante (of Vandals fame), among others. I think the best teaser description of it is the love child of Cronenberg's Videodrome, and punk rock. It has a gritty, punk feel to it from the beginning; the acting reminded me of movies like Clerks at first. The protagonist was similar as well, being a hapless punk who's going nowhere fast, and who means well, but can't seem to avoid making mistakes, one after another.

After a suitable amount of character introduction, the movie starts to get weird. I'm not in the habit of writing spoilers, but suffice to say that our hero ends up in the middle of the desert in his underwear, surrounded by surreal insanity at every turn. If you're into punk, this movie is worth it just for the soundtrack... but if you're into low-budget, creative, independent films (for which you're willing to sacrifice some Hollywood-style acting), then this is a can't-miss soon-to-be cult classic.

On the other hand, I saw Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back the same night (how far you've fallen, Kevin..), so anything moderately intelligent was bound to make an impact..
That Darn Punk seems to mirror its hapless narrator in that it goes nowhere fast. It's very easy to get into for the first 20-30 minutes or so. Then, however, all hell breaks loose.

To say that you are sacrificing "Hollywood-style acting" is the understatement of the century. Lines are delivered with the timing and coldness of a granite slab. If it wasn't for the occasional gems ("I'm so glad I'm punk now!" - "Yeah, I'm punk!", billy outside, and, of course, an appearance by Josh Freese) it would be almost unwatchable.

T.D.P. features Joe Escalante as Dirk Castigo, a bassist for the up-and-coming punk band "The Big Tippers" that sound amazingly like The Vandals. Dirk is led into the desert sans-clothing (except some boxer shorts). Once there, he must escape gun-toters, crazy high-school acquaintences, desperate women, unstable women, and UFOs. All this leads to a not-so-surprising surprise ending.

The movie does have, however, a great soundtrack including the likes of Nerf Herder, Assorted Jellybeans, Lagwagon, AFI, Rancid, and, of course, The Vandals. There's even a short clip of Sloppy Seconds' "Queen from Outer Space" that was quite pleasing.

Also starring: Katalina, Mia Crowe, Kandis Scalise, Lisa Hannan, Zander Schloss, Warren Fitzgerald (Billy!!), Scott Aukerman, and Kyle Gass (KG of Tenacious D).
Cool facts: Recorded on 16mm film on a $21,000 budget.
Other info: Written/Directed/Produced by Jeff Richardson for Kung Fu Films.

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