The music inspired subculture doc. Most have one. Punk has “The Decline of Western Civilization”. Thrash metal has “Thrash”. Hair Metal has “The Decline of Western Civilization 2”. Rockabilly has……..65% of the film “Rebel Beat”. Yes, capturing the essence of the rockin world hasn’t been perfect. Recently a man name Brent Huff decided to capture the elements that make of the rockabilly lifestyle. I got to see it recently and I’m going to give my complete thoughts on the movie. I noticed that in an older post I did, I wrote both good and bad things about a musician, people seemed to just read the first section and continued to send me angry hate mail. Instead of reading the full article and realizing I had a lot of respect for the article’s subject. So in today’s review I’m going to give you rapid fire GOOD and BAD spots from the movie, “It’s a Rockabilly World”. Disclaimer: I don’t have anything against anyone that appears or is interviewed in the film (more like 90% of them). I have 0 complaints about the people in this film. Please do not send death threats.
GOOD: Hey kids, Its Tim Polecat and Eddie Nichols
BAD: Barely any bands are mentioned. Nor are any record labels are brought up.
GOOD: Gene Vincent gets brought up at least once.
BAD: So many Pin Ups. So many Pin Up models were interviewed in this I some times forgot there were guys in here too. They could’ve edited this and made a decent pin up doc.
GOOD: Jimmy Angel is a bop cat that you’ll wanna hug (at least I do). Once I can say that I feel a doc on just him would be amazing.
BAD: I noticed that a good chunk of this was filmed in Southern California. So I have one question….Where were all the Mexicans?
GOOD: The movie is broken into sections. It has all the normal stuff you would expect in such a film. And I appreciate the “Hot Rod” part is kept relatively short.
BAD: There was one lady who basically says that you’re not a real rockabilly if you don’t know anything about cars. On a related note: I don’t know anything about cars.
GOOD: The inclusion of Teddy Boys. The UK subculture consisting of lovers of Rockabilly.
BAD: The inclusion of Teddy Boy Greg. There is a full on discussion about him worth watching though. Fun factoid: He thinks you’re a poser.
GOOD: Can’t think of any at the moment.
BAD: No mention of Teddy boy bands like Crazy Cavan, Lou Cifer and the Hellions, Rebel Ted Rock, King Drapes.
GOOD: Psychobilly gets their own section.
BAD: They show a random punk band during this segment. Showing absolutely no one that I’m aware of in the psychobilly world. Or naming any bands. We do get a taste of it during the end credits to the actual film.
GOOD: Though it is obvious that whoever made this film is oblivious to the rockin world. They at the least did not mention Social Distortion.
BAD: Cleopatra Records owner was interviewed.
GOOD: Ummm…there was a Sun Records poster in the background at one point.
BAD: Wait a second. Cleopatra Records? A label that has had Missing Persons, Christian Death, Quiet Riot….were these guys even trying? Couldn’t hunt down anyone from any rockin label? Rhythm Bomb, Wild, El Toro, etc. Fine, you have Danny B Harvey.
Good: Some might crap all over Drake Bell. But this is a great opportunity. Kids will listen to his music. Hear him talk about Stray Cats and this will inspire his fans to go check it out. So I have nothing to bad to say about him (though I can’t see myself actually listening to him).
BAD: I quit watching Nickelodeon back in 2001.
GOOD: The confederate flag is brought up. Bringing up reasons why some like it and some do not. Both sides I feel bring up good points.
BAD: I love Elvis as much as the next guy but to include an Elvis convention hurt a little. So many jumpsuits in a small segment.
GOOD: Viva gets some much deserved love and organizer Tom Ingram gets a good amount of camera time. Along with live footage from last years event.
BAD: There is a few folks interviewed randomly for a split second I question are even part of the rockabilly world. Or fans. Just seem like they went to random places and put a camera in front of anyone with a tattoo.
GOOD: Hey kids its Danny B Harvey.
BAD: I’ve never heard of Switchblade 3. And they are the main band showed through out the movie. That is more on my part.
GOOD: A scene where a couple of pin ups had collected money from a raffle and donates it to a program for veterans. A highlight I do respect the film makers for showing.
GOOD: Another good, because I don’t wanna completely skewer this film. When talking about the history of the music the interviewers were spot on. This is the reason that I had so much hope for this film after the 15 minutes went by. As I stated earlier they could have mentioned older acts and even current (NOT ONE MENTION OF BIG SANDY!!!!).
BAD: Really? No mention of Big Sandy?
On my last post I did a Q&A with Bopflix’s Chris Magee. In it he explained to me how people in the rockabilly scene are weary of outsiders coming in with cameras. I can now see why. It’s not the worst thing that could’ve been produced but these guys could have had some more help. Or put a little more effort to become a bit more knowledgable. For someone outside the scene to watch this film, I don’t think it’ll leave a bad impression. Not like Rebel Beat did with making some of us look like hoodlums. Just be grateful that a major studio hasn’t gotten around to demolishing the rockin world.
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And as always, stop talking about your car.