The other day I decided to watch What We Do Is Secret, the glammed-up biopic about Darby Crash and The Germs. To be honest, my expectations weren’t especially high. Who could play Darby Crash?
Turns out, Shane West can. Well, to an acceptable level anyway. None of the flaws of the film can be attributed to West. He does a pretty good job.
My main issue with the film is that it just feels so clean and sterile. I just don’t think the punk clubs and warehouses of LA in the late 70’s were this clean…even Darby’s severe heroin abuse comes out looking pretty glamourous.
Just as a comparison…here’s a clip from Penelope Spheeris’ incredible documentary The Decline of Western Civilisation of The Germs performing Manimal
And here is the equivalent(ish) scene in the biopic…starting at 3:40 into the clip.
In the end it was a fun thing to watch. Nothing more, nothing less. I learnt a bit about the band and it made me curious to find out more.
If you want to see the original Germs in action (and a bunch of other awesome bands), I do highly recommend Spheeris’ Decline…, which is available in its entirety to stream on youtube. So, is the biopic actually.