Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies

ggallinhated.jpgThere used to be this guy that I would always see lurking around in the downtown area of my small Southern Ontario hometown. He was a crusty looking 30-something-year-old punk with multi-coloured hair. Pretty standard looking, outside of his hand painted black and red leather jacket. The back of which featured a glorious portrait of none other than punk rock legend GG Allin. The portrait was poorly executed, but then again, so was GG’s music. Eventually I heard the stories of Allin’s extreme antics, but never really looked any further into the man or the music. The only reason I picked up ‘Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies’ was due to my curiosity with the involvement of mainstream comedy director Todd Phillips. (Old School, Road Trip) Washington Post critic Richard Harrington says ‘Hated is actually funnier than Spinal Tap.’ I think I would have to agree.

Lauded as one the most successful student films ever made, Hated was director Todd Phillips documentary project at NYU. The film chronicles the life and times of one of the most disgusting punk rock legends (I use the word ‘legend’ very lightly here) in modern music history. GG Allin, born Jesus Christ Allin and later renamed Kevin Michael Allin, is undoubtedly more known for his extreme lifestyle than his musical legacy. Leap frogging from punk band to punk band, GG finally ended up fronting The Murder Junkies, a group of misfit weirdo’s featuring GG’s brother Merle on bass. The music itself is pretty standard punk rock affair, featuring such classics as ‘Die When You Die’, ‘I Kill Everything I Fuck (The AIDS Song)’ and ‘Suck My Ass It Smells’. We all remember the day we first heard ‘Suck My Ass It Smell’s’. How could we forget? Let’s face it, the music was shit. Everyone was talking about GG’s live show. A grotesque spectacle of sex and violence that usually ended up with Allin totally nude, covered in blood and feces, sexually and physically assaulting his fans. In one of the most unusual interviews in the film, Murder Junkies drummer and convicted sex offender Dino Sex describes GG’s on stage behavior as a social commentary on violence, just as we’re treated to video footage of GG threatening his fans with pieces of the drum kit. This could be one of the funniest moments in the film.

UNK.JPGHated’s balancing act between treating GG as a rock legend/social oddity and a complete idiot can be confusing at times. You get a sense that Phillips respects Allin in some weird way and has become friends with him, yet at the same time, the exploitative nature of the film is hard to ignore. Unk, a GG fan and probably the most unbelievably idiotic person in the film, seems too good to be true. He’s clearly played as an idiot, even to the point of Phillips including some outtakes in his interviews. I would probably question the authenticity of this guy if it wasn’t for some photographs that seem to link him to the stories he tells. In one case, he held a birthday party for GG, but Allin would only attend if one specific request was met. Unk was to find a girl that would shit and piss in GG Allin’s mouth for his birthday. I don’t mean to spoil anything for you, but the proof of success is right there in the film as GG indulges in his birthday present as his brother Merle captures it all on video. I guess it’s just proof of the type of people GG attracted in his lifetime.

merle.JPGWe’re shown examples of the small dent GG made in the mainstream media, specifically with an appearance on the Geraldo talk show. GG, along with other risqué punk rock acts, claims his music brings the danger back to rock and roll. When asked about the act of defecating on the stage and throwing it at the audience, GG claims that his body is a rock and roll temple and his fluids are the communion. Sounds nice until you end up on the receiving end of a fist load of communion. The film isn’t one hundred percent sensational. We do get into the personal lives of GG and his brother. It’s no surprise that their father was a fanatically religious recluse, who on occasion dug graves in their backyard, one for each member of the family. We see GG’s high school teachers and close friends, neither of whom seem to hold any clear answers as to why GG acts out the way he does. One of his buddies just can’t figure out how a man can love to bleed as much as GG does. What’s even more astonishing is how far his fans will go to make GG bleed, ending the Murder Junkies short lived tour after 15 members of the crowd jumped GG on stage, breaking his arm. As Merle says earlier in the film, they don’t expect a tour to last very long because of two reasons: jail and the hospital. GG’s final performance took place at The Gas Station in New York City. After their set was cut short, GG and his fans took to the streets in a small scale riot which ended with GG overdosing on heroin at a friends apartment not long after the incident. It was hours before his friends, posting for pictures with the then dead Allin, realized that GG hadn’t simply passed out.

GG Allin’s story is so ridiculous that you can’t help but laugh. Sure it’s tragic in a way, but it’s hard to feel sympathy towards a man who forcibly pushes people’s faces into his shit covered crotch. GG was a complete asshole, but I suppose one thing he wasn’t was a fake. He truly hated everyone. But Todd Phillips managed to get close enough to him to let GG tell his story with an aggressive honesty that’s pretty rare, even in the world of punk rock. Oh, and about that guy with the GG Allin jacket…he’s dead now.

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