GG Allin & the Murder Junkies - Blood, Shit, and Fears [DVD] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

GG Allin & the Murder Junkies

Blood, Shit, and Fears 📀 (2012)

MVD Visual

There is probably no figure as troubling for punk rock as GG Allin. His defenders assert that by cutting himself, beating the audience and urinating on stage, Allin was somehow defying irrelevant norms of society while his detractors assert that by cutting himself, beating the audience and urinating on stage he is merely cutting himself, beating the audience and urinating on stage. This is compounded by Allin himself who had trouble articulating his own platform and for his entire career, never really said why he did what he did. In an effort to answer this puzzle, nearly dozens of documentarians have interviewed Allin associates and contemporaries, often with a platform being fixed to the man postmortem. But, for a person as wild and mysterious as Allin, such descriptors are conjecture at best. Where Blood, Shit, and Fears succeeds is that in lieu of presenting depictions of the man, the video presents the man himself in five complete, or nearly complete shows without any commentary.

The first set of shows, three from 1991, show that for all mythos behind Allin, his atrocities are actually true. The first show at the Antenn Club opens with Allin entering the stage already naked and covered in various mucous, smashing a bottle over his head, cutting his forehead with the microphone and then grabbing the hair of an early teen boy in an attempt to get the boy to fellate him. Although the boy breaks free, Allin doesn't let up for the show, rolling on the floor, screaming and making only the vaguest attempts to actually sing music.

The second show at the Fuped Duck is the most disturbing of the bunch. Allin defecates on stage, sings at his feces and then eats it (Watch with caution. I literally almost threw up just from seeing it). Throughout the concerts, the music seems almost arbitrary. Although the band pounds through muscular three chord banger after three chord banger, all of Allin's songs are basically the same. Allin himself barely even sings. Instead, he fights the audience, climbs across the ceiling, pukes on stage, hurls a mic stand at the camera man, sticks a microphone up his rectum and licks men and women in attendance.

But, just as the audience isn't there to actually listen to music, the viewer of the DVD is really there to observe Allin himself. Really, these five live shows are the best depiction of Allin available. His rolling on the floor, demeaning of self and naked flagellation doesn't seem to be a symbol of a broader philosophic perspective. Rather, he comes across as tragic. What trauma could make a person want to treat himself in such a way? Here Allin's body is bloated with drugs and disease, showing sickness in both mind and body.

In showing Allin doing what Allin did, and chose to do, we get more of an understanding of what Allin was than in any after-the-fact eulogy…and frankly, it's not a pretty picture. But, as ugly as it is, it's important to watch, if only to get an understanding of whether some actions really are symbols of a broader concept, or just cries for attention.

Still, while Allin does come across as pathetic in these videos, he really might be saving the last question for himself. As mentioned above, when he does try to get the boy to perform oral sex, he's quite clearly stronger than the young man, but just as he draws the young man close to his penis, he chooses to let him break free. Was GG Allin really all an act, or was he trying to pull the breaks on his self destruction?