Review: Punk Vacation (USA 1990)

This movie is profoundly confused.  The filmmakers basically took all the tropes of the 60s biker film (think The Wild Angels or The Glory Stompers), and moved them into the 1980s while substituting new wave punks for the traditional leather-clad bikers – a move that creates some bizarre cognitive dissonance.

The plot is standard stuff – motorcycle gang terrorizes town, townspeople fight back – but the film has absolutely no idea who the audience is supposed to root for, or whether the audience should be taking the film seriously, intermittently portraying the sneering punks as cartoonishly murderous villains before inexplicably recasting them as counter-cultural heroes in the third act when the townspeople finally come for revenge.  Similarly, the movie’s “hero” – a local police officer who is dating the daughter of a murdered citizen – is shockingly unlikable and ineffective.  I would call it a subversion of the genre if there was any indication that this tonal whiplash was intentional.  1 1/2 out of 4 stars (Below average).


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