Jeremy Saulnier - The Green Room [Film] (Cover Artwork)

Jeremy Saulnier

The Green Room [Film] (2016)

broad Green Pictures

This ain't Portlandia...

The Green Room is a harrowing thriller and one of the best punk films of recent years. It is filmed in the style of John Carpenter's siege movies like Assault on Precinct 13 and Escape From New York rather than the style of Suburbia or SLC Punk. It tells the story of a traveling DIY crust punk band the Ain't Rights that is booked by a flaky promoter with a Mohawk to a skinhead compound/bar in rural Oregon. There they run afoul of the local Neo Nazi thugs by covering "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" by the Dead Kennedys and witnessing a murder. The skins, lead by Patrick Stewart, playing against type of the racially enlightened Picard but not so much corrupt CIA director Bullock, hold them hostage to cover up their fellow's misdeeds and the band and one of the skins, Imogen Poots, have to fight their way out at  a high cost of human life.

In the end, most of the band is taken out by the skins by gun or attack dog. One gets his throat torn out by a pitbull. If anyone is as unnerved by large attack dog breeds as this reviewer, discretion is advised. The only survivors are the sadly recently deceased in real life Anton Yelchin as Pat, a half Jewish crusty punk who joins with Imogen Poots' character in a last ditch paintball based strategy to escape and take out Patrick Stewart and his henchmen.

The film is excellent and relevant with the uptick in punks versus skins fights, the Nazi overtones of the Trump campaign, the standoff in rural Oregon with that militia that seized the bird sanctuary, and other controversies affecting both society and our subculture these days. The director Saulnier is obviously a veteran punk with accurate knowledge of it. The actors are all great too. Patrick Stewart manages a chilling villain who sees this as cleaning up a mess and seems to be some kind of British National Front exile. Alia Shawkat, Imogen Poots and Anton Yelchin do well too.

This film is highly recommended. This reviewer has fought with their share of fascists and dated a blonde who likes paintball a little too much, so it resonates. Having spent the past month on the Oregon coast, its not this bad, and all there is going on is looking at the ocean and forests and playing Oregon lotto slots, but this reviewer will watch his step all the same after seeing this.