Savage Beliefs: The Movie

82 minutes 2016

Fans of Joe Losurdo's comprehensive documentary You Weren't There: A History of Chicago Punk 1977-1984 might want to investigate this curio from 1984, starring the local quartet Savage Beliefs. Shot in 16-millimeter, with dirty tape edges visible on every splice, it's a schlocky, unfinished thriller with the musicians playing themselves and guitarist Brian Gay trying to take a woman away from a sinister drug dealer. The band deliver a couple of good numbers in a show at the (now defunct) West End, and there's even a guest spot by Naked Raygun, but this could have used a lot more tunes and a lot less drama. (Two black-and-white videos of Savage Beliefs, both superior to the music sequences here, can be found on YouTube.) Charlie Fink directed; among the future notables involved were film-projection specialist James Bond (playing himself—or is he 007?) and Oscar-winning cinematographer Janusz Kaminski (Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List).

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