Film Review: Love Kills - The Story of Sid and the Pistols
The Story of Sid and the Pistols
Sid Vicious is synonymous with punk rock. The stereotypical image and attitude you think of whenever you hear the word punk is the same one that he wore with pride as he earned the nickname “the architect of punk!”
With his Love Kills: The Story of Side and the Pistols documentary from 2007, director Alan Parker sets out to tell the story of the iconic punk rocker through those who lived it alongside of him, spliced together with rare performance footage and a heaping helping about the popular movie made of Sid’s life (and death) with Nancy Spungen.
The Sex Pistols are undoubtably one of the most influential bands in music history. They brought a punk revolution to Britain, walked to the beat of their own drummer, and refused to play within any of the preconceived notions/rules of what music should sound like.
This first half of this film takes us through the early days of when punk rock was still something small with only 30-40 hardcore followers, to becoming something so much grander as more and more people started to identify with it – and The Sex Pistols were in the middle of it all!
We see live footage of performances, “Anarchy In The U.K.,” “EMI,” “New York,” and “Pretty Vacant,” while hearing their story through several different interviews with Steve Connolly (Glitterbest Management), Mick O’Shea (punk writer), Perry Benson (played Paul Cook in Sid and Nancy), and Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols bassist).
I personally love Glen Matlock being a part of this. He offers us a ton of insider looks on how Sid went from being a “groupie” to joining the band (replacing Glen), how Sid first met Nancy in the UK, and how he and Vicious played together in Sid’s final concert in England under the name Vicious White Kids.
The first half finishes with talks about Vicious’ overdose and the impact his death made on the music scene. Director Alan Parker offers an incredible story about his surreal experience with being allowed to step inside the actual bedroom where Sid overdosed.
The second part of the movie is all about the 1986 feature film Sid and Nancy. They give us several behind the scenes stories: Gary Oldman’s diet, Courtney Love auditioning for the role of Nancy 19 times (she didn’t land the role), shooting specific scenes such as the performance of “My Way,” and Oldman/Chloe Webb (who played Nancy) walking into a local pub while in full costume during breaks in shooting and getting double takes from the locals.
There’s so much media out there on Sid and Nancy’s story, that it’s become quite overwhelming to dig through piece after piece that pretty much says all the same things. Love Kills does tell the same story that any punk rocker ought to know like the back of their hand by now, but it comes at it from such a unique perspective that it makes the familiar tale compelling again and well worth the quick 42-minute watch.