The Decline of Western Civilization Collection

The Decline of Western Civilization Collection

Summary

At long last, Penelope Spheeris' out-of-print music documentary trilogy finally sees official release on DVD. 1981's The Decline of Western Civilization documents Los Angeles' fertile hardcore scene, featuring ferocious live performances by Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Fear and - most importantly - X. 1988's Part II: The Metal Years has become something of a cult touchstone largely because of Spheeris' decision to allow the musicians to choose the setting in which they were interviewed, leading to some farcically over-the-top hair-metal posturing, though (and amusing as it is) the film is more than just another Heavy Metal Parking Lot. 1998's self-financed, never-released-on-home-video Part III - Spheeris' avowed favorite - is a deeper look at the culture of homeless gutter-punk teenagers living in Los Angeles. Essential.