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  G. G. Allin  
  Todd Phillips  
  MVD Visual  
Release Date:
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Most people have heard of G.G. Allin. He was most notable as the lead singer of Antiscene. He was also a bit of a regular on late 80s/early 90s TV talk shows such as Geraldo and Morton Downey Jr. Known for his outspoken views on free speech and sexual liberty. However, G.G. Allin will most likely be remembered for one thing: eating his own shit. G.G. Allin would often perform onstage, often quickly becoming naked, and then perform sexual indecencies on innocent bystanders. Then, as exposed in this documentary, he would defecate on the floor, eat it, and then spit it back on the crowd. Allin was the most extreme performer that had ever existed. He was the punkiest of the punk. He was also a heroin addict. He was never really drug free as his brother, Merle, dosed him with acid at a very young age. My point is that the guy was somewhat doomed to be a legend, for better or worse. His parents named him Jesus Christ Allin, for christ's sake. The infamous story of how he performed, died, and lived is the stuff of legend.

It's the bonus footage that's the real draw here. The beginning of G.G.'s last night on earth is documented here. This is basically raw footage of the final performance; in it's entirely, uncut and unedited. The performance lasts about 15 minutes, and then the band disappears. The camera follows G.G. for what seems to be about a mile of city blocks until they catch a cab, all the while dodging police that are apparently looking for him, and G.G. is constantly babbling about getting high. It is a very unrelenting look at the life and mindset of junkie musician who is at his prime, literally.

G.G. Allin was obviously troubled, but one must admire the uncompromising ferocity of his commitment to performance art. The problem with this line of reasoning is, however, by the same token that an artistic vision cannot be uncompromised, you cannot expect society to be as uncompromising as yourself. Obviously the substance abuse and general lack of societal values inhibit actions like being able to function in society and public decency. But G.G. was a leader. He was a hero. He was a freak show. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who idolize him, and now that he has passed on, he is a martyr. The irony is that his ultimate artistic vision involved committing suicide onstage. This goal was never accomplished, and one could say that his mission was not fully realized. Therefore, G.G. was also a failure. Merle Allin, on the other hand, had the bright idea to more or less overexpose his brother by opening and manage his estate.

Personally, I was expecting to see this happen. I only learned about G.G. after his death. When I learned that he was, in fact, dead, I was somewhat relieved. I didn't want to be there when it all went down. I think the guy was an asshole, and he does not deserve all of the recognition. It's this sort of primal wow factor grandstanding that is relatively cheap in the entertainment world. If you can offend someone, you can sell it. And that was G.G.'s skill. It's the unfortunate bystanders that are really at danger here. There is one scene in particular that ultimately sums up what G.G. was about. A female was standing by the stage. She was attacked by G.G. He exposed himself to her and forced his crotch towards her face. I'm sorry, but there is no reason to idolize ANYBODY that is capable of doing that.

You can't censor the world, but I think you can adjust your artistic vision so as not to force the completely unwilling to submit to your vision. I hold ambivalence for G.G Allin. I think he had an artistic integrity that was unparalleled. However, G.G. was meddlesome with his perceived notions of challenging values. You could say G.G.'s performances were a reaction to what was going on in the early 90s with the Gulf War, but I honestly just think G.G. Allin was just an asshole junkie. This is an unfortunate assumption that underground society will accept as such, and to force it down our throats, much like G.G. forced his penis into the face of an unsuspecting concert attendant, is completely unacceptable. His artistic credibility cannot be challenged, but his method was completely flawed.

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