That Darn Punk


That Darn Punk Review

This unapologetic indie certainly feels like a festival-circuit entry. Alas, no -- Kung Fu Films has poured its $21,000 into That Darn Punk with intent to make a profit. Hence, it's straight to video and a big soundtrack release.

Foolish? Hardly. According to the press notes, soundtrack preorders have covered the cost of production fourfold. Now that's a business plan!

It's no surprise the soundtrack is inspiring some enthusiasm. Scored by The Ataris, Nerf Herder, Rancid, AFI, No Motiv, Lagwagon, The Vandals, and a half-dozen other punkish outfits, That Darn Punk is indeed an ode to, well, punk. And its star, Joe Escalante, just so happens to be the bassist for The Vandals.

So what's it all about? Oh, the plot. Yeah. Well, Escalante plays a punk rocker in a Vandals-like band called The Big Tippers, and after an ill-advised near-fling with a music video moll, his girlfriend kicks him out in nothing but his boxers, he is abducted and taken to the desert, and a series of wacky hijinks involving murder, drugs, and aliens occurs -- all so unlikely that you'll be drawing comparisons to Ed Wood flicks.

It's not a bad comparison to make. That Darn Punk is goofy fun with basement-level production values a la Repo Man. Is it a witty ride through existentialism? No. Is it something you might want to put on at a party if for no other reason than to hear the kickin' soundtrack and hope that your drunken guests will get a laugh out of the video?

Ah, perfect.

Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Tuesday 6th March 2001

Reviews 2.5 / 5

IMDB: 6.9 / 10

Cast & Crew