Wednesday, June 14, 2017
MY DEGENERATION (1990)
Thirteen minutes into MY DEGENERATION, the main character falls asleep while watching TV...I was jealous. All kidding aside, I'm not sure why MY DEGENERATION gets such a bad rap. (Although, proudly boasting "see why ROGER EBERT walked out after 7 minutes" on your DVD cover probably doesn't help.) The film is pretty much what you would expect for a 61-minute movie made for $5,000 by teenagers in 1989. The story (as unoriginal as it is) is about a rock band who sell out and then burn out. Along the way, the lead singer falls in love with a talking pig head that she keeps in her refrigerator.
In the (surprisingly enjoyable) audio commentary, director/producer/writer Jon Moritsugu states that he originally planned for MY DEGENERATION to be a 30-minute short film, but then a friend bet him that he couldn't make it into a feature length film. So, instead of adding story (and therefore increasing the budget), Jon simply stretched it to 61-minutes by added in a bunch of needless filler. For example: replaying a long scene of the girls "playing" their instruments (I say "playing" because none of them knew how to play) that was shown earlier, but this time just inverting it to look like a film negative (kinda like the album cover to Nirvana's "Bleach", which was released in 1989).
Overall, MY DEGENERATION would have been much better as a short film, but it's still an interesting look at extremely low-budget filmmaking in the late 1980's. My biggest complaint is the band members not knowing how to play their instruments. That was distracting.
Posted by Dymon Enlow