The Decline of Western Civilization Part III
Director: Penelope Spheeris
Year Released: 1998
Ten years after Part II's interest in the sexist, puffy-haired world of hair metal, Spheeris goes back to check in on the 'punk' scene in L.A., and finds homeless teens begging for money on the street, squatting in abandoned buildings, not bathing for weeks (if not months) and cobbling change together to go to concerts. While she has her usual assortment of musicians there to talk about how things have gotten worse in the city - ghostly and frail Rick Wilder of The Mau-Maus, Keith Morris of the Circle Jerks, Flea of Fear (and the Red Hot Chili Peppers) - and though there are four relatively obscure bands that she records (Final Conflict, Litmus Green, Naked Aggression and The Resistance), the real attention is to these outcasts and the abusive home lives that they ran away from (this is where her maternal side comes out - she even buys them food). The antics of the 'gutter punks' can be amusing, but this not like the previous two documentaries at all - it's tragic, and when many of the kids, when asked where they saw themselves in five years, answered they wouldn't be around (or inebriated) ... and they weren't kidding.